Placement into Composition

All students are required to take six credit hours of Written and Oral Communication courses within the Dearborn Discovery Core. Incoming students will have an initial placement into COMP 105.

Students may choose to appeal their placement by submitting a portfolio for faculty review. If the appeal is successful, students will be placed in COMP 106.

If applicable, a student's placement may be based on an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam result, or previous dual enrollment or college credit.

Appeals must be submitted by the end of the last week of classes in the first semester a student is enrolled.

To the student:

Your portfolio should be submitted through the form linked below. Questions can be sent to Professor Mike MacDonald or Professor Margaret Willard-Traub.

In order for a portfolio to be reviewed, it must include:

A cover letter with your name and your student ID# that explains your reasons for the appeal

For context, please see the learning outcomes listed below for UM‑Dearborn’s writing courses. Your letter must argue specifically how your writings fulfill the learning outcomes for COMP 105 (to appeal a COMP 105 placement).

Three examples of your writing

Three examples of your writing completed in high school or college-level courses (for dual-enrollment students, for instance), which exemplify skills in academic analysis, persuasion and research. Again, your introductory letter must address how these examples of your writing exemplify the learning outcomes for COMP 105 listed below. Only one example may be collaborative work.

An explanation of the course for which each paper was written

An explanation of the course for which each paper was written, a description of the writing assignment in each case and explanation of what you intended to accomplish in the writing of each piece.  If possible, please include original copies with instructor comments and/or grades.

Writing Program Learning Outcomes

In an appeal situation we want to be sure you're prepared for COMP 106, so your letter should argue specifically how your writings fulfill the learning outcomes for COMP 105.  The learning outcomes are listed below.  

For example, two of the learning outcomes focus on approaching writing "as a process," and being able to effectively revise and give useful feedback to others on their writing.  To address these two learning outcomes, in your cover letter you might describe the steps you went through in revising one or more of your pieces, and also describe your experience of learning to give useful feedback to peers.  

COMP 105 Writing & Rhetoric I
COMP 105 Writing & Rhetoric I

Course description: Focuses on the study and practice of writing and rhetoric, with special emphasis on the writing process.  Students write and read critically a range of texts, and consider academic and nonacademic genres and conventions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of COMP 105 students will be able to:

  • Approach writing as a process in composing formal and informal pieces
  • Effectively revise writing and give useful feedback in response to the writing of others, including (though not limited to) feedback on grammar
  • Recognize a range of academic and nonacademic genres and conventions and use important academic conventions in writing
  • Demonstrate knowledge of important rhetorical concepts such as audience, purpose and context, and apply these to the writing process
  • Understand that rhetorical concepts operate in other academic disciplines
  • Read critically a range of texts
  • Begin to go beyond an either/or debate on an issue or topic to a more complex rendering of perspectives
  • Control voice, tone, style and other aspects of writing
COMP 106 Writing & Rhetoric II
COMP 106 Writing & Rhetoric II

Course description: Focuses on the study of writing and rhetoric through composing a range of researched texts.   Students study the rhetorical choices effective for writing in different media, and learn practical strategies for academic inquiry and for giving useful feedback in response to the writing of others. Such strategies include those related to the use of electronic and print resources, peer-review and revision.

Learning outcomes

By the end of COMP 106 students will be able to:

  • Use knowledge of important rhetorical concepts such as audience, purpose and rhetorical context to compose and revise effectively
  • Demonstrate awareness of how writing in different media impacts the rhetorical context and the choices a writer makes
  • Give useful feedback in response to the writing of others
  • Engage in critical inquiry, i.e., go beyond an either/or debate on an issue or topic to a more complex rendering of perspectives
  • Demonstrate awareness of the differences between primary and secondary sources (including library research databases) and use these in academic inquiry

 

COMP 270 Technical Writing for Engineers
COMP 270 Technical Writing for Engineers

Course description: Instruction and practice in designing technical reports. Students study the rhetorical problems facing professional engineers and learn practical strategies for analyzing and communicating technical information to technical and non-technical audiences. This course fulfills the Composition II requirement for engineering majors, who must achieve second semester sophomore standing before taking the course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of COMP 270 students will be able to:

  • Use knowledge of important rhetorical concepts such as audience, purpose and rhetorical context to effectively compose and revise technical reports, and to communicate technical information to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Demonstrate awareness of how writing in different media impacts the rhetorical context and the choices a writer makes
  • Give useful feedback in response to the writing of others
  • Engage in critical inquiry, i.e., go beyond an either/or debate on an issue or topic to a more complex rendering of perspectives
  • Demonstrate awareness of the differences between primary and secondary sources (including library research databases) and use these in academic inquiry
  • Understand how ethical considerations in engineering are closely linked to the ability to write and communicate effectively.

 

COMP 280 Business Writing & Rhetoric
COMP 280 Business Writing & Rhetoric

Course description: Instruction and practice in composing and designing business documents, including abstracts, memos, email, letters, reports, resumes, proposals, and slide presentations. Students study the rhetorical problems facing business professionals and learn practical strategies for analyzing business information and communicating with professional and non-professional audiences.  Such strategies include those related to the use of electronic resources, peer-review and revision.  This course fulfills the Composition II requirement for business majors. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of COMP 280 students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of a wide range of business genres and document formats
  • Use knowledge of important rhetorical concepts such as audience and purpose to compose effective business documents
  • Apply an understanding of rhetorical concepts to visual design and presentations
  • Exhibit the ability to effectively revise writing and give useful feedback in response to the writing of others
  • Exhibit an understanding of research methods (including library research methods) and the role of inquiry in writing
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