Language and Composition

Welcome to Language and Composition

This course is a study of the basics of composition including types of essays, how to analyze essay writing, and how to pre-write and edit your essays. The course also includes a description and understanding of rhetoric, argumentation, persuasion, and the rhetorical situation as it applies to past and current writing.

This is a self-paced online course. It contains 11 modules, each with multiple lessons that support varied approaches to help a student learn and engage with the topic, including readings, video, and a knowledge-check quiz. This is a graded course, each student will receive a course transcript that reflects a final grade based on 11 module quizzes,11 module evidence activities, a mid-term exam, and a final exam.

 

Before you start the course

  • Review the Course Learning Outcomes, located in the the tab above
  • Download and review the Course Requirements Document, located in the Documents tab above.
  • Review the Technology Requirements, located in the Technology tab above.

To complete this course and receive a final grade

  • Study all of the lessons within each module and complete the Check Your Knowledge activity at the bottom of each Lesson to receive participation credit.
  • Complete each module quiz.
  • Complete each module evidence activity including writing five compositions.
  • Complete the mid-term examination.
  • Complete the final examination.

Support

If you have a technical issue or feedback for this course, contact our support team at support@tellibary.org.

 

Ready to learn more about Language and Composition?

To enroll in this course, click “Take this Course” below, or click on the Modules below to get started.

This course focuses on the following learning outcomes. By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Analyze and interpret the function essays of different genres.
  • Implement composition basics of prewriting, drafts, and editing to construct an essay.
  • Create original essays based on the function and purpose of different essay genres.
  • Evaluate and apply composition basics of editing, ethics, documentation, and citations to original essays.
  • Apply the elements of the Rhetorical situation to essay analysis and original writing.
  • Evaluate and explain elements of argumentation and persuasion as they apply to writing and rhetorical situations.

Syllabus

You can download a readable PDF of the Course Syllabus

Course Requirements

You can download a readable PDF of the Course Requirements

Planning Your Course

To help you plan out your studies, here are two schedules you can follow to complete this course.

 

Course Outline

 

Module 1 – The History and Design of the Essay

The History of the Essay

  • What is an essay?
  • Why do we write essays?
  • What is academic or formal writing?

Essay Elements and Types of Essays

  • What is the function of an essay?
  • What are the elements of an essay?
  • What are common types of essays?
  • How do different fields of study use essay writing?

Susan B. Anthony: “On Women’s Right to Vote”

  • Susan B. Anthony
  • The women’s suffrage movement
  • Read “One Woman’s Right to Vote.”

Louisa May Alcott: “Death of a Soldier”

  • Louisa May Alcott
  • The role of women in the Civil War
  • Read “Death of a Soldier.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Self Reliance”

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • What is transcendentalism?
  • Read “Self-Reliance.”

Module 2 – The Rhetorical Situation: Purpose, Audience, Speaker

Effective Writing and the Rhetorical Situation

  • The Basic Elements of Effective Writing: Writer, Message, and Reader
  • Rhetoric and the Rhetorical Situation
  • The Six Components of the Rhetorical Situation

Writing for an Audience

  • Identifying Audience
  • Audience Level
  • Audience Background
  • Audience Values and Beliefs

Essay Writer as Speaker

  • Credibility/Expertise
  • Language
  • Personality/Voice

Essay Analysis: Frederick Douglass: “The Destiny of Colored Americans”

  • Frederick Douglass
  • Slavery and Emancipation in the U.S.
  • Frederick Douglass’ purpose and audience
  • Frederick Douglass’ credibility and how he presents himself

Module 3 – Composition Basics: Prewriting

Brainstorming

  • The goal of prewriting
  • Brainstorming
  • Clustering
  • Freewriting
  • Using prompts and constraints to kickstart prewriting

Clustering Ideas

  • Clustering
  • Mapping
  • Group Clustering

Freewriting

  • The goal of freewriting
  • Freewriting as process
  • Focused freewriting

Creating an Outline

  • The benefits of outlines
  • Formatting an outline to capture an essay’s structure
  • Categorizing subtopics
  • Organizing an essay
  • Descriptive outlines

Module 4 – Composition Basics: Paragraphs and Drafting

Writing a Clear Opening

  • Writing for relevance
  • Writing for clarity
  • Writing for your intended audience
  • Writing to engage interest
  • Communicating a clear plan to your reader

Thesis Statements

  • Identifying the purpose or argument of an essay
  • The types of thesis statements
  • Developing a thesis statement
  • Revising a thesis statement

Body Paragraphs

  • The purpose of body paragraphs
  • Structuring an effective body paragraph
  • Ordering body paragraphs within an essay

Developing an Idea

  • Methods for developing an idea
  • Strategies for evaluating and analyzing your thoughts
  • Anticipating questions and counter-arguments
  • Researching other viewpoints
  • Adding support for your idea

Building an Effective Conclusion

  • Rephrasing the main idea and supporting thoughts
  • Re-establishing relevance
  • Encouraging reader reflection

Essay Analysis: Edgar Allan Poe “The Philosophy of Furniture”

  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Read “The Philosophy of Furniture”

Module 5 – Narrative and Descriptive Essays

Narrative and Descriptive Essays: Purpose and Organization

  • Define narrative and descriptive essays
  • Basic elements employed in narrative and descriptive essays
  • Organizational strategies for narrative and descriptive writing
  • The Rhetorical Situation for narrative and descriptive writing

Narrative and Descriptive Essays: Technique, Topic, and Style

  • Review definition and basic elements of narrative and descriptive essays
  • Principles of narration
  • Principles of description
  • Choosing a narrative or descriptive topic
  • Review a sample outline

Narrative and Descriptives Essays: Reading Samples

  • Reading strategies for narrative and descriptive essays
  • Read “A South African Storm”

Narrative and Descriptive Essays: Writing Your Own

  • Developing Ideas for Narrative/Descriptive Writing
  • Refining Purpose in Narrative/Descriptive Writing
  • Writing a Thesis for a Narrative/Descriptive Essay
  • Drafting a Narrative/Descriptive Essay
  • Revising a Narrative/Descriptive Essay

Revising for Higher Order Concerns

  • What are high-order concerns?
  • Checking the thesis and focus
  • Reading for audience and purpose
  • Reviewing organization
  • Evaluating an essay’s development

Editing for Lower Order Concerns

  • Editing for grammar
  • Editing for mechanics
  • Editing for sentence structure
  • Editing for style

Module 6 – Classification and Definition Essays

Classification and Definition Essays: Purpose and Organization

  • Purpose of Definition/Classification Writing
  • Basic elements employed in classification and definition essays
  • Organizational strategies for classification and definition writing
  • The Rhetorical Situation for classification and definition writing

Classification and Definition Essays: Technique, Topic, and Style

  • Choosing a classification or definition topic.
  • Choosing the right word/concept for definition essays
  • Developing a thesis that supports your claim

Classification and Definition Essays: Reading Samples

  • Rhetorically reading a classification essay
  • Fred Mednick’s “Multiple Intelligences”

Classification and Definition Essays: Writing Your Own

  • Planning a classification or definition essay
  • Outlining and drafting a classification or definition essay
  • Revising a classification or definition essay
  • Editing a classification or definition essay

Module 7 – Compare and Contrast Essays

Compare and Contrast Essays: Purpose and Organization

  • Defining compare and contrast essays
  • Basic writing elements used in compare and contrast essays
  • Presentation and organizational strategies for compare and contrast writing
  • The Rhetorical Situation for compare and contrast writing

Compare and Contrast Essays: Technique, Topic, and Style

  • Discovering similarities and differences between two or more things
  • Types of comparison
  • Choosing a topic for compare and contrast essays

Compare and Contrast Essays: Reading Samples

  • Reading strategies for compare and contrast essays
  • Read “Nature vs. Nurture, Then and Now”

Compare and Contrast Essays: Writing Your Own

  • Planning a compare and contrast essay
  • Outlining and drafting a compare and contrast essay
  • Revising a compare and contrast essay
  • Editing a compare and contrast essay

Module 8 – Cause and Effect Essays

Cause and Effect Essays: Purpose and Organization

  • Defining cause and effect essays
  • Writing strategies for cause and effect essays
  • Presentation and organizational strategies for cause and effect writing
  • The Rhetorical Situation for cause and effect writing

Cause and Effect Essays: Technique, Topic, and Style

  • Causes and effects Evidence and reasoning
  • Organizational strategies for cause and effect writing
  • Choosing a cause and effect topic

Cause and Effect Essays: Reading Samples

  • Reading strategies for cause and effect writing
  • Read “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”

Cause and Effect Essays: Writing Your Own

  • Planning a cause and effect essay
  • Choosing a topic for a cause and effect essay
  • Revising a cause and effect essay
  • Editing a cause and effect essay

Module 9 – Argumentation and Persuasion

Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

  • Two ways of understanding: inductive and deductive
  • The power of inductive reasoning
  • The power of deductive reasoning Evaluating the truth of a premise

Making Arguments

  • What is an argument?
  • Common types of arguments
  • Making and supporting claims
  • Using appropriate appeals

Responding to Arguments

  • Engaging the opposition in dialogue
  • Refutation and rebuttal
  • Making counter-arguments

Logical Fallacies

  • Types of logical fallacies
  • Finding logical fallacies in writing

Module 10 – Writing Papers and Essays with Documentation

Academic Integrity and Ethical Writing Practices

  • Academic integrity
  • Defining plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • The importance of citing your sources
  • Tips for avoiding academic dishonesty

Finding and Using Evidence Effectively

  • The research process
  • Finding sources
  • Evaluating sources
  • Advanced search strategies
  • Understanding primary, secondary, and tertiary sources

Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting

  • Summarizing
  • Quoting and paraphrasing

Using MLA Format to Create In-Text Citations and Works Cited Page for Your Sources

  • MLA Formatting
  • The importance of citation
  • Creating a works-cited page
  • Creating in-text citations

Writing Your Paper with Documentation

  • Planning a research essay
  • Outlining and drafting a research essay
  • Revising a research essay
  • Editing a research essay

Module 11 – Argumentative Essays

Argumentative Essays: Purpose and Organization

  • Defining argumentative essay
  • Basic writing strategies for argumentative essays
  • Preparation and organizational strategies for argumentative writing
  • The Rhetorical Situation for argumentative writing

Argumentative Essays: Technique, Topic, and Style

  • Choosing a topic and a side to defend
  • Gathering evidence for an essay
  • Developing your argument and responding to counter-arguments
  • Structuring your essay
  • Read a sample outline

Argumentative Essays: Reading Samples

  • Reading strategies for argumentative essays
  • Read “A Message to Garcia”

Argumentative Essays: Writing Your Own

  • Planning an argumentative essay
  • Outlining and drafting an argumentative essay
  • Revising an argumentative essay
  • Editing an argumentative essay

This course is delivered fully online and you will be required to have access to a computer, laptop, or web-capable mobile device – along with consistent access to the internet – to access course material and complete assignments. Review the information below to ensure your system meets the minimum requirements necessary to complete a course for credit.  

PC Requirements

Hardware

  • Intel Core 2 Duo (or AMD 64×2 Dual-Core) processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • 1024×768 resolution monitor
  • Soundcard with microphone and speakers
  • Built-in or external webcam
  • Broadband internet connection with speeds of  at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at: http://www.speedtest.net
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled

Software

  • Windows 7 or above

Macintosh Requirements

Hardware

  • Intel Core 2 Duo (or AMD 64×2 Dual-Core) processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • 1024×768 resolution monitor
  • Soundcard with microphone and speakers
  • Built-in or external webcam
  • Broadband internet connection with speeds of  at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at: http://www.speedtest.net
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled

Software

  • Mac OS 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or above

Tablet or Smartphone

NOTICE:  Though you can view and interact with all of the available course content on a tablet or smartphone, you MUST USE A DESKTOP OR LAPTOP computer to complete the proctored midterm and final examinations.

Hardware

  • 2 GHz process or faster
  • 1 GB RAM or greater
  • 80 GB hard drive
  • Microphone and speakers
  • Wireless internet connection

The midterm and final exams for this course are taken online and proctored through a service called Examity. The cost of the exam proctoring is covered in the cost you pay for the course.

Exams must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance, and must be completed within 2 hours of starting the examination. If you miss a scheduled exam, you will be responsible for the cost of the make-up exam proctoring.

Examity® system requirements are:

  • Desktop computer or laptop (not tablet, Chromebook or cell phone).
  • A working built-in or external webcam and microphone
  • Internet speed must be at least 2 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. Hot spots are not recommended. Test internet speed at: http://www.speedtest.net
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled

Make sure to log into Examity to setup your profile before you take you midterm.

Thank you for your participation in this TEL Library Pre-Course Survey. All course surveys are used to improve the quality of our course offerings and to gain insight into the trends and needs of online students. All data is automatically set up to omit personally-identifiable information as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other federal and state law. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete this survey.

Please answer each question as honestly as possible, we use your responses to make our courses better. We value your opinion and input!

This survey is only available to students who have enrolled in this course.

This section contains PDF versions of each of the lessons from within the course. The lessons are available as PDFs and are accessible for most screen readers.

If you have any issues accessing the documents, please contact support@tellibrary.org

Module 1: The History and Design of the Essay – 5 Lessons

Module 2: The Rhetorical Situation: Purpose, Audience, Speaker (available soon) – 4 Lessons

Module 3:  Composition Basics: Prewriting – 4 Lessons

Module 4:  Composition Basics: Paragraphs and Drafting – 6 Lessons

Module 5: Narrative and Descriptive Essays – 6 Lessons

Module 6: Classification and Definition Essays – 4 Lessons

Module 7:  Compare and Contrast Essays – 4 Lessons

Module 8: Cause and Effect Essays – 4 Lessons

Module 9:  Argumentation and Persuasion – 4 Lessons

Module 10: Writing Papers and Essays with Documentation – 5 Lessons

Module 11: Argumentative Essays – 4 Lessons

Take this Course

Course Content

Modules Status
1

Module 1 - The History and Design of the Essay

2

Module 2 - The Rhetorical Situation: Purpose, Audience, Speaker

3

Module 3 - Composition Basics: Prewriting

4

Module 4 - Composition Basics: Paragraphs and Drafting

5

Module 5 - Narrative and Descriptive Essays

6

Language and Composition - Mid-Term Examination

7

Module 6 - Classification and Definition Essays

8

Module 7 - Compare and Contrast Essays

9

Module 8 - Cause and Effect Essays

10

Module 9 - Argumentation and Persuasion

11

Module 10 - Writing Papers and Essays with Documentation

12

Module 11 - Argumentative Essays

13

Language and Composition - Final Examination