Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

    Effective writing skills are necessary for success in college and in your future career. This course is designed to improve your writing ability, which is necessary for entrance into ENGL001: English Composition I, as well as for your ongoing success in other academic subjects. Pre-College English coursework focuses on active reading and analytic writing, with emphasis on organization, unity, coherence, and development; an introduction to the expository essay; and a review of the rules and conventions of standard written English.

    In Unit 1, you will learn the basics of active reading and how active reading is paramount in your success as a student and beyond. You will also learn how to identify the main idea in a piece of writing and how to create a topic sentence that conveys the main idea in your own writing. You will discover the benefits of prewriting and will learn prewriting techniques that can be used at the onset of any writing project. In Unit 2, you will delve deeper into the main idea by learning the basics of thesis statements, while developing strong thesis statements of your own. You will also learn the value of outlines in writing, and some techniques to help you outline effectively. Units 3 and 4 continue to explore active reading by focusing on making inferences and paraphrasing material for use in your own writing. Unit 5 wraps up the writing process by providing strategies for writing introductions and conclusions. Various types of essays will be explored, along with strategies to incorporate effective introductions and conclusions. All of the units include grammar basics to facilitate your continued growth as a writer. Each unit will also include active reading practice, allowing you to apply learned skills throughout the course.

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  • Unit 1: Active Reading

    You will begin this course by reviewing the benefits of active readingSuccessful students--and successful readers--approach reading with strategies to help them get the most out of their reading. These students actively look for main ideas and major themes, words they do not understand, and the purpose (why the piece was written) of what they are reading. In this unit, we will cover strategies to improve your active reading skills. Active reading will help you increase reading comprehension and will ensure that you retain the content. This unit will also cover creating a basic sentence and prewriting techniques to help improve your writing.
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  • Unit 2: Combining Ideas

    In the previous unit you mastered different pre-writing strategies. These strategies will help you discover information, but a paragraph isn't merely a list of facts. A paragraph presents your ideas about a topic and then uses specific examples from other sources to structure your information, develop your ideas, and support your conclusions. In order to do this, the sentences in a paragraph must work together. When sentences work together, the writing flows effortlessly and makes it easier for your audience to read your work and understand the development of your ideas. This unit will teach you how to compose effective paragraphs. It will also discuss the power of an effective thesis statement and will give you the information you need to create powerful thesis statements in your own writing.
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  • Unit 3: Making Inferences

    In this unit, you will discover the importance of making inferences. Making inferences is a reading comprehension strategy that will help you learn, remember, and apply what you have read. Another way of thinking about making inferences is learning to read between the lines. In other words, you will learn to draw conclusions from what the author has implied. What are the relationships between the main ideas and the subordinate ideas? Writers often convey meaning beyond the actual words. This unit will also continue to add to your grammar knowledge by introducing the semicolon and colon and showing how these types of punctuation can help you to convey your points. This unit will also discuss proofreading and enable you to read between the lines of your own writing.
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  • Unit 4: Transitions and Summarization

    In both academic and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with presented information. Whether single words, quick phrases, or full sentences, transitions function as signs for readers that tell them how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.This unit will focus on transitions and summarization and how to incorporate them into your writing.
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  • Unit 5: Introductions and Conclusions

    We have come full circle in our writing lessons, and now you need to learn effective strategies to introduce and conclude your writing. Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. While the body is often easier to write, it needs a frame around it. An introduction and conclusion frame your thoughts and bridge your ideas for the reader. In this unit, you will learn the importance of a good introduction and a good conclusion and techniques that will leave your audience with a great impression.
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  • Optional Course Evaluation Survey

    Please take a few moments to provide some feedback about this course at the link below. Consider completing the survey whether you have completed the course, you are nearly at that point, or you have just come to study one unit or a few units of this course.

    Link: Optional Course Evaluation Survey (HTML)

    Your feedback will focus our efforts to continually improve our course design, content, technology, and general ease-of-use. Additionally, your input will be considered alongside our consulting professors' evaluation of the course during its next round of peer review. As always, please report urgent course experience concerns to contact@saylor.org and/or our Discourse forums.

  • Final Exam

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