C1 & C2 Objectives


In completing UCSC’s two-quarter general education requirement in Composition, students learn how to become effective participants in university discourse, spoken as well as written.


1. Students learn -- when reading, writing, listening, or speaking -- to analyze rhetorical situations so as to understand that different purposes and contexts call for different strategies, different conventions, and different techniques.

2. Students learn to recognize and discuss propositions (their own as well as others’) that cannot be merely demonstrated -- that is, to analyze, evaluate, and argue matters of opinion and interpretation as well as to describe matters of fact.

3. Students learn to develop effective processes for writing in different contexts and to use a variety of strategies for discovering, developing, and analyzing data and ideas, for making sense, for revising, and for editing.

4. Students learn to produce writing that:

  • Establishes and maintains an appropriate purpose or coherent set of purposes in relation to the assignment and the audience
  • Employs appropriate strategies of development that accomplish their purpose in relation to the assignment, its context, and its audience
  • Uses sources’ information and ideas accurately and effectively and cites sources appropriately
  • Communicates in accurate, appropriate, and effective prose

5. Students learn strategies for becoming accurate readers and critical analysts of all texts including their own.

6. Students learn how to collaborate with others (including their peers) in doing research, generating and evaluating ideas, and revising texts.

Composition 1, Introduction to University Discourse

As they make the transition from writing in the schools to writing in a variety of academic and professional contexts, students learn to apply rhetorical principles rather than rely on rule-driven formulas. They also experience and come to understand the connections among composing, thinking, and learning.


1. Write at least five relatively short essays (up to 1250 words) and read a variety of texts, including a significant amount of nonfiction that employs argument and analysis.

2. Learn strategies for reading challenging texts -- that is, to understand a text’s purpose or purposes and to follow its train of thought, to begin to be aware of nuance and emphasis, and to be able to relate specific examples and statements to larger topics or claims.

3. Learn strategies for analyzing and criteria for evaluating opinions, interpretations, and arguments (propositions about things that cannot be proved) and learn the academic uses of words such as argument, hypothesis, theory, assumption, claim, etc.

4. Learn to analyze their processes as writers, develop strategies for enhancing those processes, and evaluate the results, all in relation to the particular demands of particular assignments. Students’ attention to process includes:

  • Learning specific strategies for invention and revision in relation to the quality of content as well as its clarity and accuracy
  • Learning the importance of a writer’s purpose and audience and relevant conventions in relation to focus, coherence, and effectiveness
  • Learning to take charge of their proof-reading and editing in standard professional English by analyzing their weaknesses and developing a plan for eliminating error

5. Learn oral communication skills for effective participation in discussions as well as for formal presentations.

Composition 2, Rhetoric and Inquiry

Students in Composition 2 (Writing 2, Core 80B) build on their progress in Composition 1 (C1) by learning strategies for becoming more effective readers, writers, and speakers in the context of assignments that require independent research. They deepen their comprehension of how their writing and that of others can add to the understanding of vital issues and sustain meaningful inquiry through responsible persuasion.


1. Write a series of at least five essays (including one of at least 1500 words) and read a variety of texts that provide occasions for analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating data and arguments.

2. Learn methods of research and approaches to using sources (i.e., the information, theories, arguments, and texts of others) that provide students with the knowledge and confidence to actively participate in the act of inquiry by composing comparative analysis, interpretation, and reasoned argument.

3. Learn specific techniques for critically analyzing sources so as to understand their purpose and context and to evaluate the credibility and relevance of their information and the persuasiveness of their evidence and reasoning.

4. Achieve solid competence and, to the extent possible, virtuosity in all facets of the writing process. This includes:

  • Learning modes of inquiry and strategies for revision that strive for complexity, nuance, and depth as well as coherence and clarity
  • Learning to develop extended, complex arguments by orienting readers, creating clear expectations and a sufficiently explicit train of thought, effectively weaving together multiple strands of inquiry, and bringing the whole to a satisfying conclusion
  • Learning techniques for developing a prose style that moves beyond accuracy and clarity to precision, power, subtlety, and elegance