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College Writing II

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Course Purpose and Objectives:

In College Writing II, we study and practice academic research writing. Students will apply their rhetorical knowledge in the context of academic research through regular informal and formal writing. Students will generate and pursue complex theses through purpose-driven, process-based writing that engages audiences and integrates research. In this workshop course, writers will develop effective research habits and become familiar with the standards of academic research writing. Students will exit with an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses as writers and researchers; successful completion of this course will prepare students to meet the writing challenges they will encounter throughout their academic careers and beyond.

Building upon the skills acquired in College Writing I, students completing College Writing II will produce four formal, researched essays during the course of the semester, working toward the following learning outcomes:

  • Generate research topics, ideas, questions, and problems
  • Locate, evaluate, and analyze primary and secondary sources of information
  • Use the writing process, including feedback from others, to compose substantive researched essays for an academic audience
  • Integrate and synthesize their own thoughts meaningfully with the words and ideas of others while foregrounding their position in the academic conversation
  • Recognize different citation styles, based on discipline, and employ appropriate systems of documentation accurately
  • Practice academic integrity

Getting Started

Deciding on a topic is possibly the most difficult part of doing research. If you're not sure how to start, talk with your professor, ask a librarian, or:

  • Think about a topic that you are interested in.
  • Do some background reading from a textbook or subject encyclopedia.

Generally, you will want to narrow your topic to something manageable. You may need to rework it several times as you research. It is possible you may need to expand a topic if it is too narrowly focused on a single idea.

  • Once you have an idea, write it out as a short sentence or question then pick out search terms.

Use the sources in the following Research Tools pages to find information.

"How does stress affect memory?"  stress, memory