Composition 2

Composition 2

Composition 2 (Research Writing) helps writers focus on building and sustaining a researched argument. The course provides guidance for writing as a process – including choosing a topic, brainstorming techniques, finding and assessing viable sources, integrating sources through paraphrase and synthesis, crafting citations, organizational strategy, drafting, revising, and editing – with several interactive and optional assignments leading up to the submission of an assignment with each module.


Writers can practice delivering an argument to multiple audiences, with support for a research paper format, a presentation format, an elevator pitch podcast format, and an editorial format.


Through MindEdge’s adaptive learning, students can access help for more than 20 topics, including misplaced modifiers, comma splices, active and passive voice, etc. This course includes full access to the MindEdge Writing Pad to support real-time student writing and coaching sessions.


Module 1: Introduction to Writing and Reading

  • Describe the traditional writing process and reflect on its value to him or her
  • Demonstrate strategies for reading and comprehending arguments
  • Locate the purpose, main claim, reasons, and evidence when given an argument to analyze
  • Detect fragments and employ strategies for correcting them
  • Detect run-on sentences and employ strategies for correcting them

Module 2: Analyzing Argument and Rhetoric

  • Describe the rhetorical situation of a piece of writing: context, purpose, audience
  • Identify appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos
  • Describe the structure of an argument and identify claims, reason, and evidence
  • Describe the rhetorical effect of organization, style, diction, tone, emphasis, and use of language
  • Evaluate the rhetorical decisions of a writer
  • Explain how their own decisions about a piece of writing increase the effectiveness of that piece of writing
  • Differentiate between simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences
  • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions as appropriate
  • Use proper parallel structure when writing sentences with coordinated or subordinated parts
  • Employ techniques to increase sentence variety

Module 3: Identifying an Issue

  • Identify the characteristics of a strong topic for a research-based argumentative essay
  • Use invention techniques to brainstorm suitable topics
  • Formulate a strong topic for a research-based argumentative essay based on his or her own interests and career goals
  • Describe the purpose and context of his or her chosen topic in a proposal
  • Employ pronouns as appropriate to maintain consistent pronoun reference and avoid case shift
  • Choose the pronoun case and number that is appropriate for the verb form
  • Choose the verb tense that is correct for sentence syntax and context

Module 4: Research and Documentation

  • Explain the role of sources in research-based arguments
  • Identify the types of sources that will be needed to support his or her argument
  • Classify a text as a primary, secondary, or tertiary resource, and make decisions based on that classification about its usefulness to support his or her argument
  • Classify a text as a scholarly, non-scholarly, or academic-trade resource, and make decisions based on that classification about its usefulness to support his or her argument
  • Devise strategies for finding useful sources in an online or physical library
  • Evaluate the credibility and relevance of a source to his or her argument
  • Determine whether the use of a specific source will help support his or her argument
  • Reflect on the research process and revise the topic proposal based on the experience of conducting research
  • Use MLA conventions for integrating the words and ideas of others into his or her writing, while avoiding infringements on academic honesty
  • Create a properly formatted annotated bibliography that summarizes a source and explains why he or she believes the source to be credible and relevant for his or her chosen thesis statement
  • Demonstrate mastery of MLA-formatted reference page research documentation techniques

Module 5: Using Research in Your Writing

  • Identify a passage appropriate for paraphrasing
  • Paraphrase a one- or two-paragraph excerpt, while avoiding infringements on academic honesty
  • Select quotation, paraphrase, or summary as the method of integrating research into his or her writing
  • Identify the main idea and supporting points of a source document
  • Summarize the main idea and supporting points in a properly-formatted summary
  • Use MLA conventions for citing quoted, paraphrased, and summarized material
  • Choose between periods, exclamation marks, question marks, and quotation marks as syntactically and contextually appropriate
  • Use commas where syntactically appropriate, and avoid using them in constructions where they are inappropriate
  • Choose between italics and quotation marks in the body of an MLA-formatted essay
  • Capitalize words in a sentence as appropriate
  • Decide between numerals and words when representing numbers in writing
  • Distinguish between acronyms and abbreviations and use proper punctuation with abbreviations
  • Use strategies for remembering commonly misspelled word parts
  • Distinguish between homophonic words and commonly confused words

Module 6: Synthesizing Research

  • Explain the role of synthesis in critical thinking and real world situations
  • Explain how summary and synthesis differ
  • Explain the role of synthesis in research writing
  • Distinguish between the arguments being made by various source authors and compare, contrast, and extend the ideas
  • Write a synthesis that discusses the relevance and credibility of three sources and extends ideas to create a synthesized point not presented by any of them
  • Use words correctly to create the desired effect
  • Modify parts of sentences correctly and without ambiguity
  • Choose active voice constructions for most writing, using passive voice constructions only to create a desired effect

Module 7: Re-assessing Your Argument

  • Explain how each piece of evidence slated for inclusion in the research paper functions to support the argument’s main claim or reasons
  • Document the structure of the proposed argument in an outline or a visual organizer
  • Recognize and eliminate points that are too weak to be supported
  • Recognize points that overlap or are redundant and consolidate to aid reader comprehension
  • Recognize underdeveloped parts of the argument and devise a strategy for developing points more effectively
  • Consider the order of ideas and choose an order that will reinforce a reader’s reception of the ideas in the argument
  • Locate research to support ideas that remain underdeveloped
  • Revise his or her outline or visual organizer so that it represents all parts of the argument sources that will be used in the research paper draft
  • Revise his or her annotated bibliography so that it represents the full range of sources that will be used in the research paper draft
  • Place modifiers in a sentence so that their referents are unambiguous
  • Include a subject in the modifier when necessary for clarity

Module 8: Writing and Revising the First Draft

  • Choose a strategy for creating a draft paper, using the annotated bibliography, synthesis, outline, or visual organizer as a starting point
  • Distinguish between revision and editing, and use strategies for revision and editing at appropriate stages in the writing process
  • Explain the differences between the first draft and other drafts of a research paper
  • Develop paragraphs with topic sentences and relevant details
  • Create a strategy for introducing the paper that gains audience attention and explicitly identifies the thesis statement
  • Create a strategy for concluding the paper that reminds the reader of the purpose and implications of the research paper
  • Create a title that identifies the topic of the research paper and invites the reader into the discussion
  • Revise the paper by reviewing the structure and support, creating an outline again or using other techniques to envision and reassess argument structure

Module 9: Publishing for Different Audiences

  • Consider an audience’s reaction to an argument and make decisions to improve audience reception and interest
  • Seek different methods of delivery or publication
  • Modify message and decisions about delivery based on choice of medium of delivery
  • Use parallel structure, antithesis, and inverted word order to emphasize ideas
  • Devise and enact a strategy for seeking feedback that is tailored to the writer, the audience, and the message
  • Consider audience feedback when making revision and delivery decisions
  • Present an argument to an audience in person, using text and slides when appropriate
  • Write an argument in an editorial format for a general (non-scholarly) audience
  • Script and create a podcast segment that presents the argument for a general (non-scholarly) audience

Module 10: Revision and Final Draft

  • Distinguish between revision, editing, and proofreading and use strategies for revision, editing, and proofreading at appropriate stages in the writing process
  • Devise and enact a strategy for seeking feedback tailored to the writer and the research paper
  • Use transitions to aid understanding of how ideas are connected to each other
  • Use topic sentences to improve the coherence of the essay and the flow of ideas
  • Use emphasis and old information to new information flow to aid reader understanding and sentence flow
  • Use keywords to improve reader perception of coherence in paragraphs and essays
  • Identify and reflect on the stages of the writing process and the writer’s own process
  • Create a final draft of a researched essay that makes a supported argument and is polished to the best of the writer’s ability