Expectations for Writing

The following set of expectations will be used to help guide you toward your completion of SPOT. These expectations are products of the eight habits of mind (the tutorial’s goals) that will be the focus of your SPOT experiences. These expectations for portfolios, and the writing you do in SPOT, also have been informed by the English Department’s Composition Committee, the university’s English Competency Subcommittee, and the Writing Across the Curriculum program’s Advisory Committee (all have been consulted on these expectations).

A writer who successfully completes the tutorial should be able to produce a portfolio that consistently demonstrates the university’s expectations for rising-junior level writing (students at around 59 credits). This means that a proficient portfolio at the rising-junior level, one that passes the UDWE:

  • (Genre and Style Knowledge) uses appropriate disciplinary genres for meaningful rhetorical purposes and specific audiences, which includes an emerging knowledge and proficiency with the appropriate style (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) and citation guidelines, particular ways of organizing and expressing ideas, language use, word choice, and sentence structures that are native to that discipline or appropriate to the discussion being attempted by the writer;
  • (Academic Conversation) engages with academic conversations in the writer’s discipline (major) that generates informed opinions, which includes effectively integrating outside sources in support of claims, interrogating the validity and reliability of ideas in sources, showing some awareness of the significance of sources cited (i.e., sources are not chosen haphazardly or randomly), and developing a sustained, coherent focus/argument that answers or explores a question in a structured manner;
  • (Assessment) assesses effectively a variety of texts (the writer’s own, peers’ texts, and published texts) for some explicit purpose that is clear in the written assessments of those texts, which includes demonstrating the capacity in peer feedback to make clear judgments based on textual and other evidence that are informed by appropriate expectations for those texts and demonstrating the same capacity to make evidence-based judgments of published texts;
  • (Rhetoric) understands the rhetorical situation of texts and arguments and responds in a discipline-appropriate and a semi-sophisticated manner, which includes the ability to explain the rhetorical situation in which a text (the writer’s or others’ texts) exists;
  • (Reflection) reflects on the writer’s own writing practices and drafts, explaining how and why writing decisions are made and what potential effects on audiences/readers those decisions may have;
  • (Language Effectiveness) uses effective, clear sentences and language that build a strong ethos (i.e., credibility) for the writer, which includes the ability to edit drafts successfully, moving them toward increasing effectiveness, clarity, and power, and using a variety of sentence structures.