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Proficiencies: Writing 121 vs. Writing 122

Even though the portfolio process is similar for WR 121 and WR 122, there are key differences in the sophistication we expect to see in the students’ papers. We hope you’ll use this document as a guide both for planning your course but also for giving constructive feedback to students as they develop as college-level writers.

Objectives

Writing 121:

  • Introduces argumentation, critical thinking, rhetorical awareness, and academic research and documentation.
  • Focuses on writing clear, detailed prose that employs critical reading and thinking; introduces rhetorical awareness and argumentation; employs basic research and documentation knowledge.

Writing 122:

  • Develops skills in argumentation, critical thinking, and rhetorical awareness, and practices academic research and documentation.
  • Focuses on writing logical and effective argumentative prose that reflects critical thinking and close, critical reading; introduces stylistic elements.
  • Develops awareness and consideration of different audiences; and develops research and documentation skills.

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing

Writing 121:

  • Acknowledges differing viewpoints; emphasizes accurate representation of sources through paraphrase and appropriate quotation.
  • Begins to differentiates the sources and writer’s own ideas.

Writing 122:

  • Identifies, analyzes, and evaluates sources based on argumentative claims, main ideas, assumptions, and the rhetorical appeals to audience, differentiates the sources and writer’s own ideas.

Thesis

Writing 121:

  • Creates an arguable thesis.

Writing 122:

  • Creates a complex, argumentative thesis based on logical support (optionally with enthymeme).

Organization

Writing 121:

  • Organization meets needs of readers and intended purpose, and reflects genre conventions.
  • Begins to address context by signaling exigency and reader’s need-to-know.

Writing 122:

  • Organization anticipates readers’ stance and develops thesis and reasoning.
  • Context and exigency carefully established.
  • Writer’s stance signaled in organizational and rhetorical strategies (such as in introduction and marshaling of source material).

Development & Support

Writing 121:

  • Development provides evidence and logical support of thesis.
  • Progression reflects thesis and related claims, and develops stance towards a conclusion.

Writing 122:

  • Balanced and insightful presentation of evidence supports the thesis.
  • Progression reflects thesis, argument, and related claims towards a logical and reasoned conclusion.

Audience, Purpose, Voice

Writing 121:

  • Anticipates questions in reader’s mind and supplies information.
  • Assesses knowledge and bias of audience.

Writing 122:

  • Portrays counterarguments fairly.
  • Words and sentences are appropriate for the audience.
  • Convinces reader of the validity of the thesis.

Information Literacy

Writing 121:

  • Evaluates source materials for currency, reliability, authority, and bias.

Writing 122:

  • Selects primary and secondary sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, and appropriateness.

Conventions

Writing 121:

  • Variation in sentence structure appropriate to genre.
  • Punctuation is generally correct.

Writing 122:

  • Deliberate, effective variation in sentence structure appropriate to academic genre.
  • Punctuation is accurate and reflects purpose.