96-97 LS&A Bulletin

English Composition Board

Not a concentration program
  • The overriding purpose of the College's writing program is to provide students with an introduction to college level writing that will enhance students' critical thinking and writing skills and prepare them for writing successfully both in their undergraduate years and more generally in future educational and professional settings. Underlying the plan for Michigan's writing program are several beliefs: that students need practice in order to learn to write well; that motivation is important because writing is most readily learned through guided practice; that the desire to write can be motivated by the desire to learn, especially when students are learning what they want and need to know. These principles mandate more than a single course in composition for students.

  • The ECB supports the writing program in a number of ways, including placement assessment, teaching Writing Practicum, conducting Writing Workshops, supervising the Peer Tutoring Program, and monitoring the Junior/Senior Writing Requirement.

  • Assessment: A primary function of the assessment is to match the writing ability of incoming students with appropriate curricula. In doing so, the assessment identifies those students whose writing skills would most impede their progress as students, those who are ready for introductory composition, and those who are ready for more advanced work. The assessment also serves an outreach function, making public the College's concerns about writing and providing a framework for conversations with schools.

    The ECB assessment asks incoming students to submit a portfolio of high school writing (transfer students may submit examples of their college writing). The portfolios are evaluated by ECB-trained readers drawn from faculty and advanced graduate students from the ECB, English Language and Literature, the English Language Institute, Linguistics, and the English and Education program.

  • Writing Practicum. In general, those students placed into an ECB Writing Practicum participate in an intensive 2-credit course in academic writing. Practicum students develop writing skills that will allow them to take full advantage of their experiences in University of Michigan courses. Far from being a remedial class, the Practicum addresses areas of concern that Michigan faculty in many disciplines have identified in their own students' writing. Thus, the Practicum enhances students' abilities to succeed at this university.

    Besides providing needed practice in writing and specific instruction in the kinds of writing students will do during their years at Michigan, the Practicum offers several other advantages. First and foremost is the opportunity Practicum students have for intensive, regular interaction with their instructors, most of whom hold Ph.D.'s and all of whom are experienced teachers of writing. Enrollment in Practicum is limited to sixteen students per section, and in addition to class meetings, all students attend weekly individual writing conferences with their instructors. Such individual instruction allows the course to address each student's needs.

    During most fall semesters, several sections of Practicum are linked to introductory courses in Art, Social Sciences, Psychology, and Lab Sciences.

  • Writing Workshop: ECB faculty who teach Writing Practicum also provide consultation and instruction in the Writing Workshop. During the hours that the Workshop is open, ECB faculty members are available for half-hour appointments (on a drop-in or scheduled basis) to discuss writing with any undergraduate. Extended appointments are available for students whose immediate needs cannot be met in half-hour sessions.

    Instructors in the Writing Workshop do not make assignments and will not work as editors or proofreaders for their student clientele. They will discuss the meaning of and approaches to writing assignments made in any course in the College, and then help those same students to be aware of appropriate rhetorical, syntactical, and grammatical choices as they write their papers.

  • Peer Tutoring: The ECB trains peer tutors as another source of assistance for students with writing assignments. Tutors learn their craft in ECB 300: Peer Tutoring Seminar, and go on to ECB 301: Directed Peer Tutoring, where they work directly and independently with student clients. Peer Tutors will not work as editors or proofreaders. They will discuss the meaning of and approaches to writing assignments made in any LS&A course, and then help writers to be aware of appropriate rhetorical, syntactical, and grammatical choices as they write their papers. ECB Peer Tutors currently work in the Angell/Haven computing center in the evenings.

  • Junior/Senior Writing Requirement: The upper-level writing requirement provides juniors and seniors practice and instruction in writing appropriate to advanced courses in the various disciplines. The ECB establishes course guidelines and develops models for writing instruction, approves upper-level writing courses, funds and trains GSTA's to assist in writing instruction, offers workshops and consultation for faculty, supports upper-level teaching through the Writing Workshop, and monitors and reports students' completion of the ECB component of upper-level writing courses.

  • Courses in English Composition Board (Division 360)

    100. Writing Practicum. ECB Assessment. I. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (TUTORIAL). May be elected for a total of four credits for any combination of ECB 100-105.

    102. Writing Practicum. ECB Assessment. II. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (TUTORIAL). May be elected for a total of four credits for any combination of ECB 100-105.

    104. Writing Practicum. ECB Assessment. IIIa. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (TUTORIAL). May be elected for a total of four credits for any combination of ECB 100-105.

    105. Writing Practicum. ECB Assessment. IIIb. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (TUTORIAL). May be elected for a total of four credits for any combination of ECB 100-105.

    106. Transfer Writing Practicum. ECB Assessment. Transfer standing. I. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (TUTORIAL). May be elected for a total of four credits for any combination of ECB 106-109.

    108. Transfer Writing Practicum. ECB Assessment. Transfer standing. II. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (TUTORIAL). May be elected for a total of four credits for any combination of ECB 106-109.

    300. Seminar in Peer Tutoring. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

    301. Directed Peer Tutoring. ECB 300. (1-3). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (EXPERIENTIAL).