Student Learning Outcomes


The following materials are intended for English 1110X, 1110Y, 1110 and 1120 classes at the University of New Mexico.

The Student Learning Outcomes are the skills and knowledge you should take away from your composition class upon you successfully completing it. You most likely already use most if not all of these in your work, but your composition classes will help you further develop your reading and writing skills that will help you with the work you do in own field of study and other personal and professional contexts.

The following information includes some if not all of the outcomes you will work with in your composition class. The outcome titles are presented in bold with the Core Writing program’s description following it. After this, the description has been split into terms or phrases with explanations of them provided in bullet points. The final paragraph for each outcome provides a less formal discussion of the purpose of that outcome.

As you read through these or use them to help create your Outcome Reflections, keep in mind that the explanations and discussions of the outcomes are just one way to understand these. Your instructor may provide different explanations or approaches to the following.

Rhetorical Situation and Genre

Analyze, compose, and reflect on arguments in a variety of genres, considering the strategies, claims, evidence, and various mediums and technologies that are appropriate to the rhetorical situation

Analyze, compose, and reflect on arguments:

    • This means you will learn to look closely at different arguments written by others, understand their main points, and see how they are trying to persuade readers.

In a variety of genres:

    • You will encounter different types of writing, like essays, articles, speeches, or even social media posts. Each has its own unique style and purpose.

Considering the strategies, claims, evidence:

    • You will learn to think about the techniques writers use to convince their audience, the main points they are making (claims), and the evidence they present to support those points.

And various mediums and technologies:

    • You’ll explore different ways that arguments can be presented, such as in writing, images, videos, or audio recordings. Additionally, you’ll see how technology can influence how arguments are made and shared.

That are appropriate to the rhetorical situation:

    • This means that you’ll understand how the context, audience, and purpose of a piece of writing affect the way it is constructed and presented.

In simpler terms, this learning outcome is all about learning to read, write, and think critically about different arguments in various types of writing. You’ll understand how writers try to convince their readers, what evidence they use, and how they present their arguments can change based on the situation they are writing for (aka: the rhetorical situation). Overall, it’s about becoming a better writer and reader who can understand and create persuasive pieces effectively.

Writing as a Social Act

Describe the social nature of composing, particularly the role of discourse communities at the local, national, and international level.

The social nature of composing:

  • When we talk about the “social nature of composing,” we mean that writing is not just something individuals do alone; it’s actually a social activity. We are informed by everything around us which informs our writing. So, writing happens within and/or because of groups or communities, and these communities play a big role in shaping how and what we write.

Discourse Communities:

  • “Discourse communities” are groups of people who share common interests, goals, and ways of communicating. They have their own language, style of writing, and specific topics they discuss.

At the local level:

  • Locally, you’ll find discourse communities in your immediate surroundings, like your school, your friends, or your neighborhood. Each of these groups has its own way of talking and writing about things that matter to them.

At the national level:

  • At the national level, discourse communities are larger and can involve people from all over the country. These communities may be focused on specific professions, hobbies, or interests that are shared on a national scale.

At the international level:

  • On an international level, discourse communities involve people from different countries and cultures. These communities often communicate using a common language, and they share ideas, research, and knowledge globally.

In simpler terms, when we write, we’re not just doing it by ourselves. We write as part of different groups of people who share similar interests and ways of talking. These groups can be small, like the people you hang out with, or much bigger, like people from all over the country or even the world who are interested in the same things.

Being part of these groups affects how we write because we follow their rules and use their language when we communicate with them. It’s like each group has its own special way of talking and writing that we learn and use when we’re part of that group. So, writing is not only about what you want to say but also about considering the community you are writing for and using the language and style they expect.

Writing as a Process

Use multiple approaches for planning, researching, prewriting, composing, assessing, revising, editing, proofreading, collaborating, and incorporating feedback in order to make your compositions stronger in various mediums and using multiple technologies.

Use multiple approaches for planning, researching, prewriting, composing, assessing, revising, editing, and proofreading:

    • This means you will learn different ways to go about each stage of the writing process. You’ll discover various methods to gather ideas (planning), do research (research), organize your thoughts (prewriting), put your ideas into writing (composing/drafting), evaluate your work, make improvements (revise), and check for mistakes (edit and proofread).

Incorporating feedback:

    • You’ll learn how to take advice and comments from others (such as teachers or peers) about your writing and use that feedback to improve your projects.


    • You’ll work with others, like classmates, to share ideas and give each other support and suggestions for writing.

In various mediums:

    • You’ll explore different forms of writing, like essays, memoirs, reports, or analyses, and learn how to adapt your writing style for each one.

Using multiple technologies:

    • You’ll become familiar with various tools and technologies that can aid in the writing process, such as word processors, library databases, online platforms for video and/or audio, and other multimodal technology.

In simpler terms, this outcome is all about becoming a well-rounded and adaptable writer. You’ll learn different techniques and tools for each stage of writing, from planning to proofreading. You’ll also understand the importance of getting feedback from others and working with peers to improve your writing skills. Additionally, you’ll explore different types of writing and learn how to use technology effectively to enhance your compositions.

The goal here is to help you become a more confident and skilled writer who can create strong compositions in various forms and mediums while using the best approaches and technologies available to you.

Grammar and Usage

Improve your fluency in the dialect of standardized edited American English at the level of the sentence, paragraph, and document.

Improving your fluency:

  • When we talk about “fluency,” we mean becoming more skilled and comfortable with using a particular language. In this case, it’s about getting better at using the specific way people write and speak in the standard American English that most of your college instructors will expect to see in your work.

Dialect of standardized edited American English:

  • “Dialect” refers to a particular version or style of language used by a specific group of people. “Standardized edited American English” is the type of English that is considered correct and formal in the majority of academic settings in the United States. This is what is used in textbooks, formal writing, and professional settings.

At the sentence level:

  • At the sentence level, you’ll work on writing better and more polished sentences. This means using the appropriate form of proper grammar, punctuation, and word choices to create sentences that are clear and easy for others to understand based on the type of work you are creating.

At the paragraph level:

  • At the paragraph level, you’ll focus on organizing groups of sentences into well-structured paragraphs. This includes making sure each paragraph has a clear main idea and supporting details that connect together smoothly, and that the sentences within your paragraph are ordered logically based on the information you’re presenting.

At the document level:

  • At the document level, you’ll learn how to put all your paragraphs together to create well-organized and coherent pieces of writing. This could be essays, reports, presentations, or any other piece of work you may create.

In simpler terms, the goal is to become more skilled at using the kind of English that is considered “correct” and formal in the United States. This involves getting better at writing clear sentences with polished grammar and punctuation. You’ll also learn to organize your writing into paragraphs, with each paragraph having a clear main idea and supporting details. And finally, you’ll practice putting all your paragraphs together to create longer pieces of writing that make sense and flow well.

The idea is to become more fluent in this specific way of writing so your work conforms to the current usage of the audience with whom you are communicating, which for most of the writing you will do in college follows the academic and professional standards set by the field in which you are studying and working in.

Grammar and Usage

Analyze and describe the value of incorporating various languages, dialects, and registers in your own and others’ texts

Analyze and describe the value:

  • “Analyze” means to carefully study and understand something, and “describe” means to explain or talk about it. So, you’ll be looking closely at something and then explaining its meaning and importance.

Incorporating various languages, dialects, and registers:

  • “Incorporating” means including or using something, and “languages, dialects, and registers” refer to different ways people speak and write. Languages are different languages like Spanish or French. Dialects are variations of a language used by specific groups, like African American Vernacular English, Appalachian dialect, and Southern English. Registers are different styles of language used in different situations, like formal or informal language.

In your own and others’ texts:

  • You’ll be thinking about both your own writing and the writing of others. So, it’s not just about what you write, but also how others use different languages, dialects, and registers in their texts.

Value of incorporating:

  • “Value” refers to the benefits or advantages of something. So, you’ll be talking about why it’s a good idea to use different languages, dialects, and registers in writing.

In simpler terms, you’ll be studying and talking about why it’s important and beneficial to use different languages, dialects, and styles of language in writing. This includes looking at how people use different languages and styles, like formal or informal language, and how it can add meaning and richness to both your own writing and the writing of others. The goal is to understand and appreciate the value of using diverse language and styles in texts to communicate more effectively and connect with different audiences.


Evaluate your development as a writer over the course of the semester and describe how composing in multiple genres and mediums using various technologies can be applied in other contexts to advance your goals


  • “Reflection” means looking back on your experiences and thinking about what you’ve learned, how you’ve improved, and what you could do better in the future.

Evaluate your development as a writer:

  • “Evaluate” means to assess or judge, and “development as a writer” refers to how you have grown and improved your writing skills during the semester. So, you’ll be thinking about how you started as a writer and how you’ve gotten better since then.

Composing in multiple genres and mediums:

  • “Composing” means creating or writing, and “genres” refer to different types of writing, like commentaries, narratives, or reviews. “Mediums” are the various forms of writing, like text, images, audio, or videos.

Using various technologies:

  • “Technologies” are the tools or methods you use to create and share your work. Some examples of “technologies” you may use include word processing programs or other computer programs used to build a project, the internet, a camera on a cell phone, or an app on a tablet.

Applied in other contexts to advance your goals:

  • “Applied in other contexts” means using what you’ve learned about writing in different situations and in different settings. This means using your knowledge in places beyond your English class such as in other classes you’re taking, at work, on social media, and any other place outside of the university. “Advance your goals” means using these skills to help you achieve what you want in the future.

In simpler terms, you’ll be looking back on how you’ve grown as a writer during the semester and thinking about the progress you’ve made. You’ll consider the different types of writing you’ve practiced and the various ways you’ve created projects for your class. You’ll also think about the tools and methods you’ve used for these.

Then, you’ll think about how you can use these skills and experiences in other situations beyond your composition class. For example, you might use what you’ve learned to write better in other college courses or in your future career. The idea is to understand how being a flexible and skilled writer can help you achieve your goals in different areas of your life. Reflection allows you to see how far you’ve come and how you can continue to improve and apply your writing skills to succeed in various contexts.


Use writing and research as a means of discovery to examine your personal beliefs in the context of multiple perspectives and to explore focused research questions through various mediums and technologies.


  • “Research” means the process of investigating and gathering information about a particular topic or subject to learn more and support your ideas.

Using writing and research as a means of discovery:

  • Writing and researching are tools you can use to explore and learn new things. Instead of just stating what you already know, you’ll use writing and research to discover more about a topic and find out new information.

Examine your personal beliefs:

  • “Examine” means to carefully look at and think about something. In this case, you’ll be exploring your own thoughts, opinions, and beliefs on a subject.

In the context of multiple perspectives:

  • “Multiple perspectives” means considering different points of view or opinions about the same topic. You’ll look at your own beliefs in relation to what others think and see how they compare.

Explore focused research questions:

  • “Focused research questions” are specific and targeted questions you’ll ask while doing research. Instead of just looking for any information, you’ll have clear questions in mind to guide your investigation.

Through various mediums and technologies:

  • “Various mediums” refer to different forms of communication, like written text, images, audio, or videos. “Technologies” are the tools you’ll use, like computers, the internet, or apps.

In simpler terms, you’ll use writing and research to discover new information and learn more about a topic. Instead of just talking about what you already know, you’ll look at your own beliefs and ideas about the subject and compare them to what others think. You’ll ask specific questions and use different forms of communication, like writing, images, or videos, and tools like computers and the internet, to find the answers you’re looking for.

The goal is to expand your understanding, challenge your own beliefs, and explore a topic from different angles by using writing and research in creative ways. By doing this, you’ll be able to present a well-rounded and informed perspective on the subject you’re exploring.


Integrate others’ positions and perspectives into your writing ethically, appropriately, and effectively in various mediums and technologies.

Integrate others’ positions and perspectives:

  • “Integrate” means to combine or include, and “others’ positions and perspectives” refers to the ideas, opinions, and viewpoints of different people.

Ethically, appropriately, and effectively:

  • “Ethically” means doing things in a fair and honest way, “appropriately” means doing things in a suitable or fitting manner, and “effectively” means doing things in a way that achieves the desired result. When you integrate others’ positions and perspectives ethically, it means you do so honestly and give proper credit to the original sources. You won’t plagiarize or use others’ work without permission, but rather acknowledge and respect their contributions. Integrating others’ positions and perspectives appropriately means doing it in a way that makes sense for your writing’s purpose and audience. You’ll choose relevant and meaningful viewpoints that add value to your work. To integrate others’ positions and perspectives effectively, you’ll use them in a way that enhances your writing and helps you convey your message clearly. This might involve using quotations, paraphrasing, or summarizing their ideas skillfully.

In various mediums and technologies:

  • “Various mediums” are different forms of communication, like written text, images, audio, or videos. “Technologies” are the tools you’ll use, like computers, the internet, or software.

In simpler terms, this learning outcome is about how to include other people’s ideas and viewpoints in your writing in a fair, suitable, and effective way, using different forms of communication and tools. Your goal is to ethically and respectfully include the thoughts and opinions of others in your writing to enrich your content while using appropriate techniques and different mediums to effectively communicate with your audience. By doing this, your work will become more credible, informative, and engaging.


Compose a research-based academic argument in one of various mediums and technologies by identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing sources, which must include secondary sources.

Compose a research-based academic argument:

  • “Compose” means to create or write, and “research-based academic argument” refers to a piece of writing where you present your ideas and opinions backed up by evidence and information you’ve gathered through research.

In various mediums and technologies:

  • “Various mediums” are different forms of communication, like written text, images, audio, or videos. “Technologies” are the tools you’ll use, like computers, the internet, or apps. You’ll not only draft your project, but you’ll also use other ways of presenting it, such as creating images, audio recordings, or videos to enhance your message.

Identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing sources:

  • “Identifying” means finding and selecting appropriate sources for your research. “Analyzing” means examining the sources closely to understand what they’re saying and if it applies to your work. “Evaluating” means judging the quality and credibility of the sources. “Synthesizing” means combining information from different sources to support your argument.

Including secondary sources:

  • “Secondary sources” are materials created by others that discuss or analyze primary sources (original research or data). This could include academic articles, books, or websites.

This outcome is about creating a research-based academic argument using different forms of communication and tools. You’ll find and select sources about your topic, closely examine and understand what they are saying, judge how credible and trustworthy they are, and then use information from these sources to support your argument. By using different mediums and technologies, you’ll have the opportunity to present your ideas in creative and engaging ways while integrating information from your sources to strengthen your argument.


Analyze and describe the writing and research conventions of an academic field in order to understand the different ways of creating and communicating knowledge.

Analyze and describe the writing and research conventions:

  • “Analyze” means to closely examine and study, and “describe” means to explain or talk about something. “Writing and research conventions” refer to the established practices and rules followed by scholars and researchers in a particular academic field.

An academic field:

  • “Academic field” refers to a specific area of study, such as biology, history, psychology, or literature. Each field has its own unique way of conducting research and communicating knowledge.

To understand the different ways of creating and communicating knowledge:

  • “Creating knowledge” means discovering new information and insights through research. “Communicating knowledge” means sharing what has been learned with others. By understanding the conventions of the academic field, you’ll see how scholars in that field discover new information through research and effectively share their findings with others.

In simpler terms, this outcome is about studying and explaining the practices and rules used by professionals in a particular area of study. The goal is to become familiar with the writing and research conventions of a particular field so that you can better understand how knowledge is created and communicated within that area. This understanding will enable you to contribute to the ongoing conversation and knowledge-building process in the field through your own research and writing.



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UNM Core Writing OER Collection Copyright © 2023 by University of New Mexico is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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