Core Values

Core Values

An important component of the Course Syllabus

Rowan’s First-Year Writing Program ascribes to the following Core Values. At semester’s end, you’ll write a Reflective Statement describing the many ways you have achieved these values throughout the course. Start now taking notes whenever you have an insight about the Core Values; they’ll be very helpful when it’s time to write your Reflective Statement.

Core Value I

Understand that writing is a practice which involves a multi-stage, recursive and social process.

Students come to experience writing as a collection of practices and processes that involve multiple, recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development. They also come to understand that these writing practices and processes are social and interactive.

The recursiveness of writing is embodied in non-linear composing activities, which include reading, inventing, collaborating, drafting, reviewing, reflecting, responding to feedback, rereading, rewriting, revising, and editing.  While the concept of process is most “visible” in the drafts of students’ final portfolios, the invention stages of writing are equally important and extensive.

  • You can demonstrate perseverance and openness in developing your ideas and writing across time.
  • You can use reading and composing processes as a way to think, to discover, and to explore ideas, and you recognize this as a necessary writing practice.
  • You can identify an awareness for multiple writing processes and how to effectively apply them to various writing situations.
  • You can demonstrate responsiveness to readers’ feedback through reflection and revision.
  • You can distinguish between local and global revision as a reader and a writer, and you practice these at appropriate points in the revision process.
  • You can identify where to go, what to ask, and what to do at various stages in the writing process for feedback and support.

Core Value II

Understand that close and critical reading/analysis allows writers to understand how and why texts create meaning.

Students come to understand that writing—their own and others’—is a process that creates, shapes, and conveys meaning, and that texts represent conversations between self, other texts, and the world.  This recognizes that meaning is generated intertextually; that is, texts build upon and respond to other texts, and texts can be placed in conversation with one another.  Students explore and develop ideas by closely and critically reading texts, analyzing and synthesizing ideas so as to enter into new conversations in their writing.  Students learn that texts represent meanings in different ways in different settings, disciplines, and discourse communities.  Students also come to understand that texts are not limited to alphabetic and print texts, but also include visual and electronic texts.

  • You can read texts closely to interpret and understand writers’ messages, and read texts critically to evaluate, critique, and question those messages and how they are constructed.
  • You can recognize or trace how ideas emerge and combine to create meaning in others’ texts as well as your own.
  • You can analyze and synthesize ideas across multiple texts, exploring issues or questions, so as to develop your own ideas and enter into an existing conversation.
  • You can read texts with a writerly eye so as to identify and evaluate strategies and approaches as potential models in your own writing.

Core Value III

Understand that writing is shaped by audience, purpose, and context.

Students come to understand that all texts are rhetorically situated and can be analyzed using the rhetorical elements of purpose(s), audience(s), and context(s).  Students can rhetorically analyze their own texts and those of others to understand how writers shape and create texts and to understand the options available to them as purposeful writers. Students understand writing as a social communicative act which involves the creation of a purposeful message for a perceived audience. Students also understand that audience expectations, such as textual conventions, vary according to situations or genres.

  • You are familiar with the vocabulary and concepts that define rhetorical situations and can apply them in analyzing and evaluating your own and others’ texts, including print, visual, digital, and multimedia.
  • You can identify, for others and yourself, multiple available strategies and options for creating desired rhetorical effects.
  • Your own writing is both meaningful and responsive to authentic rhetorical purposes.
  • Your own writing demonstrates the ability to respond to varying audience- and context-defined textual conventions and expectations, including, but not limited to form, format, support, use of citations, grammar, and mechanics.

Core Value IV

Understand the role of information literacy in the practice of writing.

Students come to understand that the informed writing associated with academic discourse expects writers to contextualize their own writing within existing conversations and provide sources and evidence beyond their own personal experiences and opinions. Students learn the importance of illustrations and evidence to support their own ideas and interpretations.   Students will develop their information literacy skills in a digital environment and be able to locate, evaluate, select, and incorporate appropriate information to create rhetorically savvy writing.

  • You can practice inquiry-driven research in the service of corroborating, expanding, and developing your ideas.
  • You can find and evaluate sources to appropriately trace, contextualize, illustrate, explain, or support the ideas in your writing, recognizing that there are different types of information, different ways to find information, and different ways to interpret information based on rhetorical situations.
  • You can appropriately select and effectively incorporate information into your writing from a variety of sources—including personal experience, observations, interviews, television, film, websites, and other electronic media (YouTube, podcasts, etc.), as well as books, newspapers, and magazines.
  • You can meet academic audiences’ expectations for documentation of sources with signal phrases, in-text citations, and works cited pages/bibliographies.

Core Value V

Understand the ethical dimensions of writing.

Students become aware that the practice of writing is personal, public, and social and thus has ethical ramifications for themselves and others. As such, students develop the ability to conscientiously read, analyze, and research topics so as to understand their complexity and ramifications and to ethically represent ideas to others in their own writing. In addition to the rather broad social responsibilities of research and writing, students develop an understanding of their accountability to the intellectual community as a whole, and to the university in particular, which includes the practices associated with academic integrity, such as accurately representing the ideas of others and acknowledging sources of information appropriately through citation.

  • You show awareness of the complexity of ideas associated with issues or topics.
  • You have written about topics that have meaning, and you have engaged responsibly with these topics.
  • You recognize and can justify your own point of view.
  • You acknowledge and show respect for different views/opinions of others in your writing.
  • You show an awareness of the priority of logical appeals over emotional ones and the pitfalls of fallacious reasoning.
  • You observe the rules of academic honesty and intellectual property.
  • You recognize and create boundaries between your voice and the voices of others and appropriately use paraphrase, quotations, and citations in accordance with the expectations of academic integrity.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels.
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