DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse > Undergraduate > First-Year Writing > Courses > WRD 103: Composition and Rhetoric I

WRD 103: Composition and Rhetoric I

WRD 103 introduces students to the forms, methods, expectations, and conventions of college-level academic writing. It also helps students develop rhetorical knowledge in both critical reading and writing as they work to develop their written and multimodal composing skills to achieve a range of purposes and objectives.   This course is part of the university Liberal Studies core, and students must achieve a grade of C- or better to receive graduation credit.  


Course Goals. WRD 103 has the following specific goals:

  • Students should gain experience reading and writing in multiple genres and modalities, including but not limited to the academic essay.
  • Students should develop a stance appropriate to the rhetorical circumstances, the ability to marshal sufficient, plausible support for their assertions and should become familiar with a variety of structures for presenting such evidence, including but not limited to narration, exemplification, definition, classification, comparison, analogy, and cause and effect that depend upon the rhetorical situation.
  • Students should develop the ability to shape the language of written discourse to their audiences and purposes, fostering clarity and emphasis by providing explicit and appropriate cues to the main purpose and the subsections of their texts.
  • Students should develop the ability to read and evaluate the writing of others and to identify the rhetorical strategies at work in written texts.

Minimum Course Requirements.  Each section of WRD 103 is expected to meet the following minimum requirements for student work:

  • Amount of Writing. Students will complete at least four writing projects, each of which will be approximately 750 to 1000 words long.
  • Types of assignments include a required rhetorical analysis; critical or persuasive arguments; and writing in genres other than the academic essay.  At least one project should include attention to multimodal writing. While some citation practices will be discussed, it will be more fully covered and taught with the assigned research paper in WRD 104.  
  • Student Portfolio (and reflective component).
  • Drafting and Revising. Students will submit preliminary drafts of at least two of their projects for the instructor's review and comment, so that some weight in the final grade is given to the student's skill in developing and revising his or her writing.
  • Students will not receive a grade of C- or better if their finished work repeatedly fails to conform to certain basic standards.