/ General Education

Expository Writing

The ability to write clearly and persuasively is essential to professional life, personal reflection and participation in society. It has been a core of the liberal arts since ancient times.

Hope’s four-credit expository writing (EW) requirement prepares you to succeed with the writing involved in other college courses and in life beyond college. English 113, normally taken in your first year, fulfills the requirement. Students who have earned a 4 or 5 on the AP English exams, or who score a 60 on the CLEP test in college composition, receive credit for English 113 if they so request.

Additionally, all FOCUS (provisionally admitted first year) students must take English 113 in the fall semester. The course serves as foundation for additional writing instruction in other courses and develops skills in critical reading and thinking, gathering and evaluating information, and using the resources of Hope’s award-winning library.

See descriptions of English 113 courses we currently offer.

Learning Goals for English 113

Course Purpose

The primary purpose of English 113, Expository Writing I, is to equip Hope College students with essential writing skills and practices for education and life.

Course Goals

In Expository Writing I, students will

  • Practice critical reasoning skills
  • Demonstrate clarity and concision in prose style
  • Write with coherent organizations at the sentence, paragraph and document levels
  • Demonstrate knowledge of essential conventions of standard written English
  • Demonstrate savvy, discriminating research skills
  • Practice writing as a creative, collaborative and recursive process
  • Produce persuasive, evidence-based academic writing, distinctly voiced and tailored to its audience

Teaching English 113: Selected Voices from the Classroom

Ernest Cole
ernest coleIn my section of English 113 titled “Seminar in Academic Writing,” I conceptualize and locate first-year composition within the context of self-discovery. This process can be achieved through exploring a philosophy of writing through texts, which mean that rather than writing about texts, I ask my students to use course readings as bases for discussion, analysis and exploration. I emphasize that students must see themselves as engaging in conversation with writers, situating themselves in a conversation with other writers, working with them in meaningful ways and developing new ways of approaching texts. I work with my students to discover new ways of thinking about complex ideas expressed and developed over a considerable number of pages, and help them formulate their own thoughts through close reading, critical thinking and intellectual inquiry
Pablo Peschiera

PabloAbove all, I hope my students leave class with an awareness of control. Control comes through the process of revision. This means that they can handle their words like a sculptor handles clay, reshaping it again and again until it takes the proper form. I don't ask my students to become great writers. I only want my students to know the joy of working with language and getting it right, so that they can feel some confidence in their ability to write clearly and purposefully. That way they'll know their thoughts and ideas appear correctly and accurately on the page, in the way they intended.

When students know they can take control over their language and truly communicate in a way that is both of their choosing and satisfies the context of their writing (the audience, the assignment, etc.), they've found their "voice." Having that "voice" doesn't mean they will always find writing easy — far from it, in fact. That "voice" means they can revise with confidence, working through the difficult drafts, knowing that through the reshaping power of revision, they can eventually communicate their message clearly.

So I see a writer's "voice" as coming only through learning how to control language. When students feel control over their language through revision, they start to feel control over their message, control over themselves and even control over their destiny