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 1110, 1110X/1110Y, and 1120 to new contexts and new genres.

English 1110, 1110X/1110Y, and 1120 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 1110: Composition I (Previously "Accelerated Composition")

(3 Credits)

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

English 1110X & 1110Y: Composition I: Stretch I & II (Previously "Composition I & II)

(3 Credits Each)

Composition I: Stretch I & 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. Generally, students can begin Composition I: Stretch I in the Summer or Fall semester, and then will proceed to take Composition I: Stretch II in the following Fall or Spring semester.

English 1120: Composition II (Previously "Composition III")

(3 Credits)

Composition II 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 either English 1110 or English 1110X/1110Y 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 2210: Technical and Professional Communication (Previously "Technical and Professional Writing") 

(3 Credits)

English 2210 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 2120: Intermediate Composition (Previously "Expository Writing")

(3 Credits Each)

English 2120 is an intermediate writing course designed for students who have passed 1110 or 1110X/1110Y, and 1120, 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 1110, or 1110X & 1110Y

Throughout the semester in English 1110, or 1110X & 1110Y, 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 1120

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 2120: Technical and Professional Communication

  • 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 2120: Intermediate Composition

  • 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