These outcomes were developed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators

These outcomes were developed by the council of

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These outcomes were developed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators (Outcomes Statement Adopted Revisions%5B1%5D_0.pdf#)(WPA, 2014), a national association of college and university faculty who oversee or support writing programs. Together, they developed the WPA Outcomes, which include four results students can expect after taking ²rst-year composition. These four results are: 1. Rhetorical Knowledge; 2. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing; 3. Processes; and 4. Knowledge of Conventions (WPA, 2014). Rhetorical Knowledge Rhetorical knowledge is the ability to understand unique situations and audiences and act on this understanding by creating texts that are appropriate for a speci²c purpose (WPA, 2014). Without rhetorical knowledge, it is impossible to tackle an assignment. It is the writer’s task to determine what kind of situation and audience is required for a given task. Rhetorical knowledge is connected with genres. Genres are a type or category of a text. Every genre of writing has speci²c qualities and expectations. Writers cannot address unique situations and audiences with purpose without using a genre. Tone is an element of rhetorical knowledge. Tone refers to a writer’s style, character, bias, or attitude. A relatively bias-free and appropriate tone can separate a writer who is taken seriously from one who is not. Level of formality is part of tone. This is the degree to which a writer chooses a formal or informal approach to the writing task. Generally, academic writing has a more formal tone than personal writing, which might have a more informal tone. For instance, slang is appropriate when writing to a friend, but it would not be appropriate in an academic essay because it is too informal. Including citations and using precise, sophisticated words and expressions are two useful ways to ensure that writing is more formal than informal. Other elements of rhetorical knowledge include understanding a situation’s purpose, audience, and voice or the writer’s personality. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
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7/14/2016 Writing with Purpose 4/23 Critical thinking, reading, and writing are key to success in ²rst-year composition. This includes developing ideas, analyzing concepts, selecting resources, and synthesizing these in writing in a meaningful way (WPA, 2014). For example, take the idea of choosing sources for a paper. Using poorly written texts as a reference in an essay can harm the writer’s integrity, so it is important to read each source closely to determine if it is credible, reliable, timely, and free of bias. Writing Processes Writers use multiple steps and strategies, or processes, to compose texts (WPA, 2014). There are at least six steps writers should aim for: invention, organization, drafting, revising, editing, and feedback. These processes are not always linear and require ³exibility when a writer composes a text.
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