Guidelines for 110

Guidelines for English 110

The primary goal of English 110 is to introduce students to the writing strategies and methods of inquiry that are at the heart of a liberal arts education and the College’s General Education curriculum. In English 110, students pursue questions of scholarly consequence as they build the authority they need to write their way into existing intellectual conversations.

To foster this kind of authority, English 110 puts writing at its center. In other words, it sequences assignments and class activities to teach the craft, rhetoric, and processes of writing. The program asks each instructor to create a “Course Overview” that makes this sequence evident. The overviews are designed to emphasize particular elements of writing and demonstrate how writing assignments give students practice with these elements. In addition, the overviews demonstrate how the goals that students achieve in earlier reading and writing assignments enable them to meet the requirements of later, more complex assignments.

Writing Assignments foster a conversation about the course topic with:

•    At least four formal essays over the course of the semester, for a total of at least 4,000 words. However, an annotated bibliography or some other writing-intensive project may be substituted for the fourth essay.

•    At least one formal research essay or project that introduces students to using and evaluating library resources. Sources should include both physical and online materials, such as CUNY+, appropriate research databases like JSTOR or EBSCOHost, and Rosenthal Library. Additionally, all 110 courses should schedule at least one meeting with a librarian.

•    Pre-draft writing, drafts, and revisions of all formal writing assignments. At least one of these revisions should be done as a peer review.

•    Regular, ungraded informal pieces of writing (both in class and outside).

Reading Assignments serve writing assignments, as they are selected with writing in mind and are examined from a rhetorical point of view. In addition, they should be limited to what may be discussed in class or on an electronic forum. Because of this, students in English 110 read to learn:

•    Methods for active engagement with a variety of texts and genres of appropriate difficulty for college freshmen.

•    Principles of excellent writing—for example, the development of a style appropriate to a particular audience, responsible use of evidence, and methods of analysis.

•    The conventions of academic writing and other genres.

•    How academic sources “speak” in “conversation,” and how to intervene among them with authority in writing.

Every student in English 110 conducts original research and enters into a scholarly community through:

•    A process of inquiry that he or she devises through the analysis of evidence.

•    A clearly defined policy on academic integrity that is stated on the course syllabus.

•    The academic conventions of citation, which they practice by integrating source material into their writing.

•    The distinctions they draw between primary and secondary sources.

•    The regular use of “The Goals for Student Writing at Queens College” and a vocabulary for discussing elements of writing, such as Gordon Harvey’s “Elements of Academic Writing.”

•    When possible or appropriate, a digital platform that encourages formal and/or informal student writing. The digital platforms could include anything from blogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, Blackboard discussion threads, Epsilen software, social networking sites, or anything along those lines.

Resources available for students enrolled in English 110 (or any course that involves writing) include:

•    Tutoring provided by the Writing Center (, including regular one-on-one sessions, drop-in sessions, and e-tutoring.

•    Writing guides and handouts available on The Writing at Queens web site (

•    Revisions: A Zine on Student Writing (

•    “Writing Intensive Courses: A Guide for Students” (

•    “Goals for Student Writing at Queens College” (

Print Friendly, PDF & Email