The First-Year Writing Program @ CCNY


First-Year Composition Mission Statement

First-year composition courses at CCNY teach writing as a recursive and frequently collaborative process of invention, drafting, and revising. Writing is both personal and social, and students should learn how to write for different purposes and audiences. Since writing is a process of making meaning and communicating, FYC teachers respond mainly to the content of students’ writing as well as to recurring surface errors. Students should expect frequent written and oral responses on the content of their writing from their teachers and peers. Classes rely heavily on a workshop format. Instruction emphasizes the connection between writing, reading, and critical thinking; students should give thoughtful, reasoned responses to the readings. Both reading and writing are the subjects of class discussions and workshops, and students are expected to be active participants in the classroom community. Learning from each other will be a large part of the classroom experience.

Writing Program Philosophy

Although there are many sections of composition, all of them should aim to help students achieve the course learning outcomes for English 110, the writing sections of the Freshman Inquiry Writing Seminary, and all of the courses in the 210 series (21001, Writing in the Humanities; 21002; Writing in the Social Sciences; 21003, Writing in the Sciences; and 21007, Writing for Engineering). The individual assignments might vary from section to section, but all courses share these common goals. The writing program is designed around the concepts of rhetorical knowledge and genre knowledge; our aim is to help students understand key rhetorical concepts and to be able to use those concepts to help them read and write in genres across the curriculum. To achieve these aims, students should reflect on their writing in terms of their achievement of the course learning outcomes. Their reflections should culminate in a long self-reflective essay in which they review their writing from the semester. Reflections after every assignment, a graded, end-of-term self-reflection, and a digital portfolio are required components of every class.

English 110 and the Freshman Inquiry Writing Seminar Course Learning Outcomes

  • Explore and analyze, in writing and reading, a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.
  • Develop strategies for reading, drafting, collaborating, revising, and editing.
  • Recognize and practice key rhetorical terms and strategies when engaged in writing situations.
  • Engage in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes.
  • Understand and use print and digital technologies to address a range of audiences.
  • Locate research sources (including academic journal articles, magazine and newspaper articles) in the library’s databases or archives and on the Internet and evaluate them for credibility, accuracy, timeliness, and bias.
  • Compose texts that integrate your stance with appropriate sources using strategies such as summary, critical analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and argumentation.
  • Practice systematic application of citation conventions.

English 21001, 21002, 21003, and 21007 Course Learning Outcomes

  • acknowledge your and others’ range of linguistic differences as resources, and draw on those resources to develop rhetorical sensibility.
  • enhance strategies for reading, drafting, revising, editing, and self-assessment.
  • negotiate your own writing goals and audience expectations regarding conventions of genre, medium, and rhetorical situation.
  • develop and engage in the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes.
  • engage in genre analysis and multimodal composing to explore effective writing across disciplinary contexts and beyond.
  • formulate and articulate a stance through and in your writing.
  • practice using various library resources, online databases, and the Internet to locate sources appropriate to your writing projects.
  • strengthen your source use practices (including evaluating, integrating, quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, synthesizing, analyzing, and citing sources).

Digital Portfolios

Students should use CUNY’s Academic Commons to create their digital portfolios. Be sure that every student is aware of the options for privacy settings and that they set privacy according to their own comfort level.

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message