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Core Writing

A view over Smith plaza on a clear day; spring flowers in the foreground, the Humanities Building in the background
Photo: Yulia Ryzhik

To succeed in college and beyond, students need to become agile writers who can adapt their writing to a wide variety of audiences, contexts, purposes, mediums, and technologies. They must learn to analyze new situations and respond to them appropriately. Instead of teaching one right way of writing, we seek to make students flexible writers who can transfer what they’ve learned in 110, 111/112, 113, and 120 to new contexts and new genres.

English 110, 111/112, 113 and 120 teach students to analyze rhetorical situations and respond with appropriate genres and technologies. In addition, these courses are designed to help students improve their fluency in standardized edited American English while valuing and, at times, incorporating the linguistic diversity of the various communities students inhabit. This focus on linguistic pluralism fits the mission of Core Writing, of UNM, and of an increasingly global workplace.

Course Listings


English 110: Accelerated Composition (3 Credits)

Accelerated Composition introduces students to key approaches to writing. The course moves at a quick pace, often with writing assignments every week.

English 111 & 112: Composition I & II (3 Credits Each)

Composition I and II is a two-semester sequence that provides students with extra support in their writing, including more time for drafts and lots of opportunities for feedback. Students stay with the same instructor for both semesters and can begin Composition I in the Summer or Fall semester.

English 113: Enhanced Composition (4 Credits)

Enhanced composition is a 4-credit class that augments the ENGL 110 curriculum with a once-per-week “studio.” During the 1-hour-per-week studio, students meet in small groups (approximately 7 students) with the instructor to receive extra support in their writing, including working closely on their writing process and receiving immediate feedback from peers or the instructor.

English 120: Composition III (3 Credits)

English 120 emphasizes academic writing, research, and argumentation. You will design and research a project of your own and will summarize, synthesize, evaluate, and integrate secondary sources to support your own argument. You will also analyze the writing and research approaches (e.g., quantitative v. qualitative v. textual) of an academic discipline that is of interest to you.

You will build on the rhetorical approach introduced in English 110, 111/112 or 113 by continuing to analyze rhetorical situations in terms of audience, contexts, purpose, mediums, and technologies and apply this knowledge to your reading and writing. You will also extend your understanding of how writing and other modes of communication (such as visual and audio elements) work together for rhetorical purposes.


English 219: Technical and Professional Writing (3 Credits)

English 219 introduces students to the different types of documents found in the workplace. Students focus on how to analyze and understand readers; needs as well as develop a coherent structure, clear style, and compelling page layout. Students learn useful writing and research strategies they can use as they write correspondence, procedures, resumes, presentations, proposals, and multi-page reports.

English 220: Expository Writing (3 Credits Each)

English 220 is an intermediate writing course designed for students who have passed 110, 111/112, or 113, and 120, and who wish to improve their writing skills to meet the demands of academic writing across the disciplines; Course readings and assignments should provide students with opportunities to study and practice various rhetorical forms, and teach students the rhetorical foundations necessary for adapting writing to any situation.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following are the approved learning outcomes for our core curriculum courses:

English 110, 111, 112, 113

Throughout the semester in English 110, 111, 112, or 113, you will progress toward the following student learning outcomes:

Rhetorical Situation and Genre

  1. analyze, compose, and reflect on arguments in a variety of genres, considering the strategies, claims, evidence, and various mediums and technologies that are appropriate to the rhetorical situation

Writing as a Social Act

  1. describe the social nature of composing, particularly the role of discourse communities at the local, national, and international level

Writing as a Process

  1. use multiple approaches for planning, researching, prewriting, composing, assessing, revising, editing, proofreading, collaborating, and incorporating feedback in order to make your compositions stronger in various mediums and using multiple technologies

Grammar and Usage

  1. improve your fluency in the dialect of Standardized Written American English at the level of the sentence, paragraph, and document
  2. analyze and describe the value of incorporating various languages, dialects, and registers in your own and others’ texts


  1. evaluate your development as a writer over the course of the semester and describe how composing in multiple genres and mediums using various technologies can be applied in other contexts to advance your goals


  1. use writing and research as a means of discovery to examine your personal beliefs in the context of multiple perspectives and to explore focused research questions through various mediums and technologies
  2. integrate others’ positions and perspectives into your writing ethically, appropriately, and effectively in various mediums and technologies

English 120

In addition to the outcomes listed above, the following outcomes are added under Research:


  1. compose a research-based academic argument in one of various mediums and technologies by identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing sources, which must include secondary sources
  2. analyze and describe the writing and research conventions of an academic field in order to understand the different ways of creating and communicating knowledge

English 219: Technical and Professional Writing

  • Analyze Rhetorical Situation: Students will analyze the subject, purpose, audience, and constraints that influence the documents they you write to ensure they achieve specific and useful results [NM HED Area I Core Competency 3].
  • Find and Evaluate Information: Students will gather information from professional, academic, and government sources, evaluating the information they find for quality, validity, and usefulness [NM HED Area I Core Competency 5].
  • Compose Information: Students will develop strategies for generating content and organizing it into a logical structure that is appropriate for their intended users; they will consider ethical influences for the documents they compose; they will work effectively with others to create documents [NM HED Area I Core Competencies 3 and 4].
  • Present Information: Students will edit and revise their writing to provide unambiguous meaning and coherent structure; they will incorporate visual elements to improve the reader’s understanding; they will create an overall design that enhances readability and shows professionalism [NM HED Area I Core Competency 4].

English 220: Expository Writing

  • Analyze Rhetorical Situation: Students will analyze the subject, purpose, audience, and constraints that influence and determine what kind of document (genre) they will write [NM HED Area I Core Competencies 2 and 3].
  • Find and Evaluate Information: Students will develop research strategies for their rhetorical situation, and then gather information from primary and secondary sources; they will evaluate the sources for quality, validity, and appropriateness for the rhetorical situation [NM HED Area I Core Competency 5].
  • Compose Documents: Students will develop strategies for generating content, organizing it into a logical structure, and otherwise shaping it to address the needs of their audience within particular disciplines [NM HED Area I Core Competencies 3 and 4].
  • Present Documents: Students will edit and revise their writing to provide clear meaning and coherent structure; they will use effective document and paragraph structure, documentation and genre conventions, and document design to create a rhetorically complete presentation [NM HED Area I Core Competencies 3, 4, and 5].
  • Reflection: In reflecting on major writing assignments, students will be able to explain course outcomes and how they have achieved them [NM HED Area I Core Competency 1].

Department Contact

If you have any questions regarding these courses or think you may have an equivalent transfer course from another institution, please contact:

The English Department

(505) 277-6347

Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021