Student reading book in plaza

General Competencies in Reading & Writing

The University of Dayton’s commitment to enabling all students to achieve essential abilities in reading and writing is formalized in the General Competencies in Reading and Writing. All students are to achieve these competencies by completing the English composition curriculum with a C- or better performance.

The composition curriculum is designed to meet the University’s General Competencies in Reading and Writing. Thus, when students finish their general competency courses, their portfolios should provide evidence of their abilities in the eight areas outlined below.

Critical reading, analysis, and evaluation of non-fiction prose, for example: 

  • Reading to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate non-fiction prose
  • Questioning texts
  • Annotating texts
  • Summarizing and paraphrasing texts
  • Identifying and recognizing the differences among claims, evidence, premises, and reasoning
  • Judging the relative quality/worth of these claims, evidence, etc.
Critical reading, analysis, and evaluation of fiction, for example:
  • Reading to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate fiction
  • Questioning literary texts
  • Responding to literary texts
  • Identifying major and minor characters, themes, images, motifs, and symbols
  • Judging the relative quality/worth of particular literary texts
Writing college-level expository essays and argumentative/persuasive essays, for example:
  • Writing from readings (summary, paraphrase, response, critique, synthesis) Quoting and documenting primary and secondary sources
  • Organizing material in strategic ways
  • Conveying information in a clear, concise style
  • Articulating arguments with clear claims, relevant data, and sound reasoning Adhering to the conventions of standard written English (mechanics, spelling, punctuation, syntax)

Writing essays appropriate for a variety of purposes, for example:

  • Writing to inform, persuade, and entertain
  • Writing to learn
  • Writing to demonstrate learning
  • Writing for self-expression
  • Writing for informal and formal situations
Writing essays appropriate for a variety of audiences, for example: 
  • Writing for expert readers
  • Writing for general readers
  • Writing for friendly readers
  • Writing for neutral readers
  • Writing for hostile readers
  • Writing for both known and unknown readers

Basic research activities, for example:

  • Choosing and limiting research topics
  • Locating and using appropriate print and electronic sources of information
  • Judging the credibility of sources
  • Judging the usefulness of information
  • Developing a research strategy
  • Taking notes on source information
Use of existing and emerging technologies to complete writing assignments, for example:
  • Conducting research using Roesch Library catalog and subscription databases
  • Conducting research on the Internet
  • Using word processing software effectively to meet MLA format and to enhance visual impact of essays
Fundamental critical thinking skills, for example:
  • Constructing and supporting claims
  • Evaluating evidence
  • Mobilizing appropriate forms of reasoning
  • Recognizing logical fallacies