Composition Program Mission Statement

The Composition Program of the English Department at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga seeks to develop and enhance the ability of students to articulate and express their own ideas as well as the ideas of others.  We emphasize writing skills that draw on critical reading and thinking to enable students to synthesize and analyze multiple points of view, to support their own positions on various issues, and to adjust their writing for diverse audiences, purposes, and conventions.

Our program emphasizes writing as a process and focuses on the importance of revision.  Students produce multiple drafts for each project and develop the ability to critique their own writing as they learn to critique the work of others.

Because we believe that writing is a way of knowing, we encourage students to explore various topics and perspectives to develop their writing skills and to communicate effectively in a changing global environment.  Students read and evaluate texts that are culturally diverse in order to gain insights into the complex nature of ideas and issues.  They learn to be critical readers who evaluate arguments, analyze claims, scrutinize the reasoning behind these persuasive acts, and draw their own conclusions.

The Composition Program requires a two-semester sequence for freshman students.  The first semester focuses on the principles and practices of effective reading and writing, with individualized attention to grammatical and stylistic issues.  The second semester continues to build on these skills and emphasizes the use of research for effective arguments, as well as the relationship between style and meaning.