Faculty Forum Papers
"AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CURRICULUM REVIEW COMMISSION"
RE: English Composition
By: C.W. Dane, Professor of Business Administration
An open letter to the Curriculum Review Commission:
Based on your October 7, 1987 draft, your commission might be giving serious consideration to having the "communications" component of the General Education Model consist of:
Writing 121 3 semester credit hours
Communications 222 3 semester credit hours
Writing Intensive Course (WIC) at the upper division level in the student's major
I applaud your committee's reduction in the number of credit hours devoted to English composition. I just don't believe you have reduced it enough. We shouldn't devote any of our scarce General Education hours to any courses in English composition.
Entering freshman have already completed 12 years of formal instruction in English composition. These courses are taught in the student's native language using verbal skills learned from childhood. In most cases, the courses are taught by teachers who willingly critique many written assignments giving the students plenty of opportunity to practice composition. Why should one more English composition course improve the results?
Actually, most high school graduates have the English composition skills to write well. They have had years of English grammar. Students who plan to go to college usually take English courses that provide opportunities to practice different writing styles and to have their work critiqued. At college, most of these students will write well if convinced by the actions of instructors of their technical subjects that writing well is important. For that reason, I believe your suggestion of WIC's is a step in the right direction.
C. W. Dane
Professor of Business Administration
October 22, 1987
Opinions expressed by authors of Faculty Forum articles are not necessarily those of the OSU Faculty or Faculty Senate.