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 aftertaking ²rst-year composition. These four results are:1. Rhetorical Knowledge;2. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing;3. Processes; and4. Knowledge of Conventions (WPA, 2014).Rhetorical KnowledgeRhetorical knowledge is the ability to understand unique situations and audiences and act on thisunderstanding by creating texts that are appropriate for a speci²c purpose (WPA, 2014). Withoutrhetorical knowledge, it is impossible to tackle an assignment. It is the writer’s task to determine whatkind of situation and audience is required for a given task. Rhetorical knowledge is connected withgenres. Genres are a type or category of a text. Every genre of writing has speci²c qualities andexpectations. Writers cannot address unique situations and audiences with purpose without using agenre.Tone is an element of rhetorical knowledge. Tone refers to a writer’s style, character, bias, or attitude. Arelatively bias-free and appropriate tone can separate a writer who is taken seriously from one who isnot.Level of formality is part of tone. This is the degree to which a writer chooses a formal or informalapproach 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, butit would not be appropriate in an academic essay because it is too informal. Including citations andusing precise, sophisticated words and expressions are two useful ways to ensure that writing is moreformal than informal.Other elements of rhetorical knowledge include understanding a situation’s purpose, audience, andvoice or the writer’s personality.Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing
7/14/2016Writing with Purpose4/23Critical thinking, reading, and writing are key to success in ²rst-year composition. This includesdeveloping ideas, analyzing concepts, selecting resources, and synthesizing these in writing in ameaningful way (WPA, 2014). For example, take the idea of choosing sources for a paper. Using poorlywritten texts as a reference in an essay can harm the writer’s integrity, so it is important to read eachsource closely to determine if it is credible, reliable, timely, and free of bias.Writing ProcessesWriters use multiple steps and strategies, or processes, to compose texts (WPA, 2014). There are at leastsix steps writers should aim for: invention, organization, drafting, revising, editing, and feedback. Theseprocesses are not always linear and require ³exibility when a writer composes a text.