ERIC Number: ED269101
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Honors Composition: A Possible Alternative in the Two-Year College.
Bridges, Jean Bolen
Since 1975, an honors course in freshman composition has been offered at Emanuel County Junior College (ECJC), a unit of the University System of Georgia, for academically superior students whose needs may not be met by the standard curriculum. The process of identifying honors students involves screening entering students to identify those who score significantly higher than the majority on the Basic Skills Examination in both reading and writing, who write a satisfactory essay, and who have high Scholastic Aptitude Test scores. Interviews are conducted with the identified students to determine whether the honors course is appropriate for them. The central objective of the course is to develop students' ability to write coherently and logically through practice in four modes of discourse in autobiographical and biographical papers. Drawing from James Moffett's "Teaching the Universe of Discourse," the course includes units in autobiography and journal writing; biography and exposition; and argumentation. The texts for this course, two autobiographies and three biographies, were chosen to illustrate the different modes of discourse, as well as to be interesting, informative, and stimulating readings. To measure the growth of writing skills which occurs during this course, three instructors holistically grade the first and last essays written in the class using a dichotomous scale. Measured gains in writing skills, along with positive student evaluations of the course and high retention rates, provide evidence of the success of the course in countering boredom and challenging the verbally superior student. (RO)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (37th, New Orleans, LA, March 13-15, 1986).