Academic Program - Composition Studies

Mission Statement

Composition students will engage in frequent practice in academic writing, with an emphasis on building effective arguments. Further, students will build “learning portfolios”[1] that showcase their best academic writing, including self-reflections on changes in their writing process and performance. Because research indicates that changes in student writing occur slowly (over a period of years)[2], it is important to evaluate the curriculum for coherence and sequential learning opportunities as students move from the first writing course to the next.

Program Goals

  • Goal 1: Construct thesis-driven academic essays
  • Goal 2: Organize essays with an awareness of the parts of an argument (introduction, background, thesis (claim), support, rebuttal, conclusion)
  • Goal 3: Conduct research and examine primary texts to develop and to support a thesis or claim, and document sources by following MLA or APA style
  • Goal 4: Develop an awareness of different perspectives and cultural values
  • Goal 5: Follow the conventions of standard written English, avoiding mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling that impede intended meaning.
  • Goal 6: Develop self-awareness as a writer in an academic setting



Program Contact

Siobhan Wright

Division Chair, English/Humanities

Phone410 386-8207 

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