Writing 5 Learning Outcomes

Writing 5 is the course in which you begin to integrate yourself into Dartmouth’s academic life. When you take Writing 5, no matter which section you are in, you should expect to work on college writing in ways that will help you participate in the academic conversation while contributing your own valuable ideas.

You will learn to approach reading not only for the purpose of receiving knowledge, but for the purpose of understanding, questioning, and challenging arguments. In college, you might apply this kind of critical thinking to conventional written texts such as essays, books, or poetry, but also to objects, images, performances, and even to non-visual media. You will learn to approach your own writing with what we call “rhetorical flexibility,” which means knowing different writing tools and strategies, and being able to choose the best tools and strategies to create and communicate your meaning for any given context and in different modes, such as multimodal projects, collaborative compositions, or speeches. You will be asked to demonstrate the core capabilities articulated below. These are the “outcomes” you will work towards in this course, and continue to work on in your First-year Seminar, and that you will go on to use in the rest of your college work and beyond.

Creating and Producing

Upon completing Writing 5, you should demonstrate the ability to:

  • Craft a strong, supportable claim to guide your paper, and represent that claim in a short statement (often called a thesis).

  • Support your claim with an evidence-based argument, choosing the best evidence, organizational structure, and rhetorical strategies for that argument.

  • Express complex ideas with clear, concise language, paying attention to voice and audience.

  • Participate in an academic conversation with both peers and scholars by engaging with, responding to, incorporating and appropriately attributing the ideas of others.

Inquiring, Interpreting, Integrating

Upon completing Writing 5, you should demonstrate the ability to:

  • Ask questions that inquire into the complex issues of the course.

  • Read critically, recognizing and questioning an author’s argument.

  • Assess the reliability of research sources.

  • Gather information through critical reading and research, distinguishing unsupported opinion from evidence-based argument.

  • Analyze information in the context of relevant social and scholarly conversations.

  • Transform information into a written argument that recognizes multiple perspectives in addition to your own.