A2 Lower Division Written English Communication I

Course Expectations for Lower Division Written English Communication (A2) (3 units)

To be certified by the Baccalaureate Requirements Committee and the Committee on Written English Proficiency as meeting the lower-division written English communication (A2) general education requirement and the University Written English Communication Policy,


1.   The course must yield a minimum of 6,000 words of formal academic writing, including revisions.


2.   The course must be lower division, open to all students, and may not have prerequisites (except for the two-semester “stretch” courses where the first semester course is a prerequisite to the second semester course); Students should use their course decision from the Write to Register (formerly DSP) or Write to Register for Multilingual Students to enroll in the appropriate version of the course.


3.   The course must be graded on an A, B, C, NC basis, plus/minus grading allowed.

Only grades of a C- or better will fulfill the Area A2 requirement.


4.   The course is taught by faculty with expertise in writing pedagogy, a demonstrated commitment to student-centered, collaborative and culturally-responsive teaching, and experience working with first-year students. 


5.   The course syllabus must include the university-approved student learning outcomes for A2 and link them to activities and/or assignments that students complete to demonstrate they have met the outcomes.


6.   The course must focus on:


Writing for Inquiry, Belonging, and Self-Development: First-Year Experience

  • Opportunities to discuss students’ growth, identity, and self-development
  • Activities and assignments that involve attending campus events, investigating campus resources, and/or engaging with campus organizations
  • Assignments that promote intellectual inquiry and discovery
  • Assignments that help students produce written arguments as the result of inquiry and discovery
  • Assignments that culminate in a digital or print portfolio of college-level writing


7.  The course will cover:


Rhetorical Knowledge

  • Instruction and practice in academic genres of reading and writing
  • Instruction and practice in developing an understanding of audience, genre, and purpose
  • Opportunities for students to discover their own rhetorical purpose


Writing Process

  • Opportunities for discovering and practicing the writing process, including significant opportunities for feedback and revision
  • Opportunities for collaboration, and an emphasis on how collaboration can lead to new discoveries
  • Opportunities for students to discover that writing can lead to new ideas and understanding


Information Literacy

  • Assignments that involve incorporating reading into students’ writing
  • Opportunities to learn about and explore library resources
  • Instruction and practice in locating, summarizing, analyzing, evaluating, and ethically using sources


Reflection and Metacognition

  • Support for students in identifying strategies for college success
  • Support for students as they make the transition to college
  • Readings, activities, and assignments that encourage reflection on the self, identity (e.g. social, familial and cultural), purpose, and goals as student and learner
  • Readings, activities, and assignments that encourage reflection on how personal experiences and goals relate to social justice, equity, and inclusion


Student Learning Outcomes for Lower Division Written English Communication A2 (3 units)

After completion of a lower division general education course in Written English Communication, students will be able to:


1.  Writing for Inquiry, Belonging, and Self-Development: use writing as a form of inquiry, in order to build inquiry-driven academic arguments, culminating in a print or digital portfolio of writing.  Assignments should allow students to explore/discover their experiences, goals, interests, and purpose at SFSU.


2.  Rhetorical Knowledge: demonstrate a familiarity with rhetorical conventions, including purpose, audience, and genre;


3.  Information Literacy: read actively and use information acquired from readings critically in their own writing; integrate reading effectively into their writing; locate, evaluate, and use information ethically in their writing.


4.  Writing Processes: Use writing processes and strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading their own and others’ work; collaborate with faculty and peers during the writing process and on writing projects; use writing processes and strategies for discovering ideas;


5.  Reflection and Metacognition: Reflect on and develop student success and writing strategies; identify and practice habits of mind such as curiosity, openness, engagement, persistence, flexibility, and responsibility.


Links between Educational Goals and Outcomes for Lower Division Written Communication

The student learning outcomes were developed in relationship to the “Educational Goals for the Baccalaureate at San Francisco State University.” The chart below illustrates that relationship for lower division written communication. The numbers correspond to the way the educational goals and student learning outcomes are numbered above.


Links Between Educational Goals and Outcomes

Educational Goals

Student Learning Outcomes for Lower Division Written Communication

1. Competencies for Lifelong Intellectual Endeavor

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

4. Ethical Engagement