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This ENG 102 assignment was developed in the context of CTL sponsored Learning Matters Mini-grant awarded to the English Department. The primary purpose was to assist full-time and part-time faculty in the Department with revising ENG 102 course materials to align with the Inquiry and Problem Solving (IPS) Core Competency and Written Communication Ability. This goal was achieved through several workshops, a programmatic benchmark reading, and a two-phase departmental review process that prepared assignments to be submitted to the Learning Matters Assignment Library. The mini-grant has been invaluable in helping to bring both full-time and adjunct faculty into departmental conversations about composition course requirements and how they align with LaGuardia’s core competencies, the role of the competencies in the curriculum review process, and more generally the importance of the competencies and abilities in the college’s general education requirements.

English 102 is a required course for almost all LaGuardia students. While most students enroll in the course in their second semester, there are some advanced students who take the course later. It is recommended that Composition I and II be taken in sequence since the latter builds upon skills acquired in the first composition course. Composition II is a process-based writing course. Students further develop the critical thinking, writing, and research skills they acquired in ENG 101. They learn close-reading techniques and study diverse texts in at least three genres (poetry, drama, and fiction). Students are required to write three out-of-class essays and one in class final exam.

This paper assignment allows students to practice the dimensions of the IPS rubric and the writing and research skills they have been learning over the course of the semester in preparation for crafting their final research paper. This is an integral part of the scaffolded research process where students begin to develop an argument about a literary text and it is worth 15% of their final grade. It should take them about two weeks to complete this assignment. The students have the choice to later build this essay into a final research paper by integrating secondary sources, and they prepare for that by crafting an annotated bibliography. The hope is that this process will prepare them for writing and researching essays for all future college courses that require low-stakes and high-stakes writing assignments. It also prepares them for writing and problem solving tasks in professional contexts.

This assignment requires students to practice two of the essential skills required in ENG 102 that align with the IPS rubric—close reading and critical thinking about a text, and formulating a claim based on a research question about problematized textual elements. In crafting this assignment, we sought to fully integrate the IPS core competency into the course in assignments scaffolded from an earlier point in the semester and to hone in on transferable skills that the students could build into an integrated final research paper. This assignment is unique to my class and the literature and requirements in my syllabus but serves the same purpose and goals as all of the analytical assignments developed by the committee. There are many examples of final assignments available in the Learning Matters Assignment Library database and this provides an example of an intermediary skill-building assignment that addresses the IPS rubric in ENG 102.

LaGuardia’s Core Competencies and Communication Abilities


This resource is part of the Learning Matters Assignment Library.

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