Writing I

Getting Started

Welcome to Writing 101 Online

Now that you have accessed our online classroom space, your next step should be to become acquainted with this class website. Logging into an online course for the first time can feel a bit like being dropped into the middle of a forest. You want to know: Where do I go first? How do I navigate this terrain? If this is your first online course, know that this feeling is completely natural: Every online course is set up a bit differently, and getting a feel for each requires taking some time to just click around and understand how everything is laid out.

The work you will do in this course will consist of the following tools and resources:

  • Content: Content consists of course information, module and assignment instructions, and supplementary materials.
  • Discussions: You will complete discussions as you move through the modules.
  • Final Assignments: You will complete the following four major writing assignments: rhetorical analysis, brief argument, and research-based argument (which consists of an annotated bibliography and final essay).
  • Quizzes:You will take three quizzes.

After exploring this course space, you should begin to feel more orientated with the layout, and at that point, you will want to begin working through the modules while staying alert to due dates posted on the Course Schedule. You may want to print this schedule out and place it somewhere handy, as it will be important to keep the due dates in mind throughout the course to verify you are completing all course assignments on time. Completing coursework on time will be crucial if receiving a satisfactory grade is important to you.

A Few Notes Regarding the Course Texts: As you are aware by this point, you are not required to purchase a textbook for this online section of WRT 101. Readings will be provided electronically. These readings are from credible online sources and contain wonderful content related directly to WRT 101 objectives. This content also reflects what you would find in a required textbook for WRT 101. The main online sources for this content are as follows:

  • Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL): This extensive writing-related resource is a favorite for students and writers and contains a wealth of information on writing concepts and strategies. To access this resource now, click the following title to open Purdue's OWL in a new browser window: Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL)
  • WikiBooksWikiBooks is an online, collaborative library of educational textbooks. To access this resource now, click the following title to open WikiBooks in a new browser window: WikiBooks
  • Writing Commons: This extensive resource offers peer-reviewed content for college students and faculty. To access this resource now, click the following title to open the Writing Commons in a new browser window: Writing Commons
  • Oregon Writes Open Writing Text: This resource is a compilation of various open educational articles focusing on college-level writing. To access this resource now, click the following title to open the Oregon Writes Open Writing Text in a new browser window: Oregon Writes Open Writing Text
  • ENG 101: Horse of a Different Color: English Composition and Rhetoric: This online composition and rhetoric text written and compiled by Paradise Valley Community College faculty is aimed at college students in 101-level writing courses. To access this resource now, click the following title to open the Oregon Writes Open Writing Text in a new browser window: ENG 101: Horse of a Different Color: English Composition and Rhetoric

Specific readings are linked to individual module pages. Aside from being rich with credible content, these resources are free and easy-to-access, and as you gain experience using them, you will likely find yourself visiting them on your own for guidance with various tasks and projects, even ones that extend outside of WRT 101.

What's Next? You can begin by visiting Module One and working through the assignments taking care to complete them by the due dates. Then, you can move to Module Two. This is the basic pattern the course will follow, so as long as you follow along with the Schedule and keep up with the assignments for each week, you will be in good shape.

Welcome again to online Writing 101!

Course Schedule

CD = Class Discussion

Please note: Numbers designate corresponding weeks. For example, CD8 = Class Discussion, Week Eight.

DB = Dropbox

Assignments need to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on due dates.

Unit 1: Rhetorical Analysis

Module Assignment Due Date Points
1 CDL 1: Introductions Discussion
1 Literary Autobiography (DB)
2 Readings
2 CD2a & CD2b
2 CD2a & CD2b; Responses and Replies
3 Quiz #1
3 Readings
3 CD3: Rough Draft Essay #1
3 CD3: Peer-Reviews
3 Final Draft of Essay #1 (DB)

Unit 2: Basic Argument

Module Assignment Due Date Points
4 Readings
4 CD4a & CD4b
4 CD4a & CD4b; Responses and Replies
4 Quiz #2
5 Readings
5 CD5a (Rough Draft Essay #2) & CD5b
5 CD5a & CD5b; Responses and Replies
5 Final Draft of Essay #2 (DB)

Unit 3: Research Argument Part 1: Annotated Bibliography

Module Assignment Due Date Points
6 Readings
6 CD6a & CD6b
6 CD6a & CD6b; Responses and Replies
6 Quiz #3
6 Final Annotated Bibliography (DB)
7 Readings
7 CD7
7 CD7; Responses and Replies

Unit 3: Research Argument Part 2: Research Argument Essay

Module Assignment Due Date Points
8 CD8a: Final Rough Draft Essay #3
8 CD8a: Peer-Reviews: Research Argument
8 Final Research Argument (DB)
8 CD8b: Farewell


  • Final Assignments: 550 points
  • Quizzes: 60 points
  • Weekly Assignments: 390 points
  • Total points possible: 1000

A = 900 - 1000 pts.

B = 800 - 899 pts.

C = 700 - 799 pts.

D = 600 - 699 pts.

F = 599 pts. and below

Discussion Grading

Here is a breakdown of how discussion contributions are evaluated:


"A" Level

(90 - 100 percent)

  • Contributions are prompt and relevant to the questions and/or issues posed.
  • Posts demonstrate good critical thinking and reflection, including logical analysis and synthesis of ideas from readings, classmates' posts, classmates' writing, and discussions.
  • Responses to others focus on inquiry and analysis and are encouraging and thoughtful in tone.
  • Responses are posted over a period of time (not all posted at once) and address a variety of subtopics
  • Posts are well-written and free of grammar errors and typos.

"B" Level

(80 to 89 percent)

  • Posts demonstrate some critical thinking and some attempt to respond to posted prompts and to classmates' ideas and writing but are brief and/or general in nature.
  • Responses to others demonstrate some inquiry, response, and analysis but stay at the level of summary, non-specificity, and occasional analysis.
  • Posts are fairly well-written and free of most errors and typos.

"C" Level

(70 to 79 percent)

  • Posts are brief, spotty, and demonstrate more summary or generalized responses than critical reflection, response, and analysis.
  • Posts contain grammar errors and typos.

"D" and "E" Level

(up to 69 percent)

  • Remarks are short, superficial, spotty, and/or lacking.
  • Writing is unpolished and contains a large amount of grammar errors and typos.

Check the "Course Schedule" page for a specific breakdown of points associated with discussions.

  • For discussion assignments worth 20 points, 18 - 20 points is an A, 16 - 17 points is a B, etc.
  • For discussion assignments worth 50 points, 45 - 50 points is an A, 40 - 44 points is a B, etc.

Peer Review - A Few Notes

Throughout this course, you will engage in peer-review, a process that will allow you to give and receive feedback for rough drafts of final projects. Students tend to come to peer-review with a variety of experiences and, at times, anxieties. Some of you may have substantial experience with peer-review; others of you may be coming to it for the first time. Even those with experience likely followed diverse approaches and methods.

With this in mind, here are a few notes about peer-review that reflect what may be helpful:

  • Peer-review is a two-way process: It is easy, sometimes, to forget that peer-review is a two-way process. The process of providing feedback for others can be just as useful, if not more useful, than receiving feedback, as it allows us to strengthen our analytical muscles.
  • Peer-review helps writers see others' approaches and styles: Peer-reviewing the work of others for this class allows you to see how others are tackling the same assignment. You might admire and learn from the approaches of others in your group.
  • Peer-review is part of life: Keep in mind, also, that peer-review is an activity that goes beyond college-level writing courses; you likely will, or already do, engage in peer-review in some level in your work lives as you work with others to refine documents and correspondence. As you will find in the research unit, peer-review is a scholarly practice as well that helps ensure the reliability and credibility of published work. You can probably think of instances in our world where it would be valuable to require more in the way of peer-review.
  • Your feedback is valuable! Many students feel timid about offering feedback to others, particularly when feeling uncertain about specific concepts and about writing. Know that your response as a reader is valuable, as everyone in this class has different strengths and experiences as writers and readers, and each of you has something useful to add. You are advised to frame your remarks as readers instead of "critics." For example, instead of saying, "Your essay needs a better introduction," you could express it as, "When I read your first paragraph, I had a difficult time knowing your overall main idea... Is your goal to argue that Tucson needs more bike lanes or that Arizona needs stricter laws regulating cell phone use while driving? Your main idea becomes clearer later on, but focusing your introduction will help you create a stronger opening!"

These benefits and tips, as too often, find that students have misconceptions about peer-review and worry about offering feedback to others. Others think of peer-review as a one-way process (getting ideas for revision), when really, the process encompasses so much more than that. It is the instructor's hope is that, by understanding the full purpose and value, you will feel more invested in the process and gain the most from this valuable collaborative experience.

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