First Year Writing

Learning Foundation courses at UNC Asheville offer students an opportunity to develop intellectual breadth and to lay the groundwork for their later studies. The mission of UNC Asheville’s First Year Writing course is to provide a concentrated classroom experience in the best practices of clear, effective writing. These include developing the ability to recognize and effectively employ composing processes in a variety of communication situations according to audience and purpose.        

Through their participation in their classroom writing communities, students also engage closely with texts written by themselves, their classmates and professionals. Thus they hone their expressive, interpretive and critical abilities.

In addition, students expand and strengthen their research writing skills. They increase their abilities to pose good questions and to find and analyze valid sources to develop and inform their ideas. They practice appropriately integrating materials from these sources into their own writing using appropriate academic documentation conventions. Through these activities, students construct the foundation for their growth as writers throughout their academic careers and beyond.

The UNC Asheville First Year Writing course, Language 120, aligns itself with the best practices of teaching first year writing as articulated by the Writing Program Administrators (WPA)—the national, professional organization charged with establishing standards for the teaching of academic writing especially in composition programs. According to their Outcomes Statement, “learning to write is a complex process, both individual and social, that takes place over time with continued practice and informed guidance.” Thus, at the completion of Language 120, students must demonstrate competency as outlined in the course student learning outcomes, ratified by a final course grade of at least a C-.

Mission Statement

The UNCA First-Year Writing Program strives to foster students’ awareness of the dynamic and diverse nature of writing. Writing is central to education, not only as a product which may demonstrate skill, but also as a process by which to explore and focus thinking, listening, and communicating. We present writing not only as a means for entering existing conversations, but also as personal expression, for we endeavor to help students understand that even academic writing is simultaneously a personal and a social act. The practice of writing takes time and a balance between working alone and interacting with other writers and readers. Our program works, then, to create learning spaces that hone students’ capacities to listen and speak, inquire and reflect, write and revise. In our classrooms, we work to raise awareness of the rhetorical decisions inherent in the act of writing, challenging students to think critically and ethically as they make these decisions.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of LANG 120, students will have developed writing processes to:

  • Engage in critical inquiry and reflection: Discover and refine critical questions and problems and investigate them from multiple perspectives.
  • Develop information literacy: Access, evaluate, and integrate relevant information from a variety of sources in an ethical manner.
  • Communicate in rhetorically effective ways: Craft and revise written work marked by choices in focus, structure, and style appropriate for rhetorical purposes, audience expectations, and disciplinary conventions.

Override Policy

Students will not be accepted into already closed sections of LANG 120 classes except in special cases. Any such requests should be made to Dr. Deborah James, Director of First-Year Writing.