CSUN STRETCH COMPOSITION
The stretch composition courses are designed to teach students to write effectively in Edited American English; to find facts to develop their ideas; to organize and present material clearly, logically and persuasively; and to read multicultural expository prose critically and accurately. In addition, students will be able to integrate cutting-edge information age technology into their writing.
Why Stretch Now?
Students do better with their writing coursework and feel better about their learning experience when given more time to write, revise, and discuss writing with a familiar cohort and instructor. Those institutions that have adopted a stretch model demonstrate conclusively a rise in student retention and pass rate. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds who score in the lower level of the English Placement Test are afforded greater access and opportunity to develop college-level writing with support services, such as tutoring and peer mentoring. Students traditionally labeled "remedial" do best with a stretch model. A stretch model recognizes that the work done in "remedial" writing courses is already legitimate university work and should not be seen as "pre-college." A one-year, two-semester stretch course removes the stigma of "remedial"; any label such as "remedial" or "pre-college" negatively impacts the student's emotional and intellectual well-being.
CSUN Stretch: The Progressions (Semester A) and The Projects (Semester B)
A. Progression I: Reading and Responding to Texts
Exercise 1: Summary and Reconstruction
Exercise 2: Letter to Author
Exercise 3: Letter to Friend or Family Member
Essay 1 (two drafts)
B. Progression II: Seeing and Hearing Texts
Exercise 1: The "Word-Picture"
Exercise 2: The Scene
Exercise 3: The Ethnography
Essay 2 (two drafts)
C. Progression III: Arguing through Texts
Exercise 1: Argument and Analysis
Exercise 2: The Dialogue
Exercise 3: Argumentative Proposal
Essay 3 (two drafts)
D. Informal Reflective Essay
The Projects continue where semester one's Progressions left off, with rhetorical analysis, research, and argumentative writing. The Projects require composing with new media, active fieldwork, class presentations, and more challenging readings.
PROJECT WEB: Project Web asks that students form groups of three or four and, in conversation with each group member, design a blog devoted to a particular theme decided on by the group. Each group will read and/or write about technology and social change, immediacy, hypermediacy, and remediation.
Project Web Requirements:
Preferred emails on blog
Introduction to blog (stating purpose, theme, and group members--no references to class)
Various posts related to blog theme, with creative use of new media (e.g., YouTube clips and other Web media)
Individual essays (@1,000 words; hardcopy for review and Web version posted on blog) demonstrating good scholarly research.
PROJECT SPACE: Project Space asks that students form new groups of three or four to consider the socioeconomics and politics of space. While space can be defined as urban, community, and personal, it may also be institutional (e.g., the university and hospital). We're interested in how space shapes our conception of world, self, and other.
Project Space requirements:
Physical representation of your fieldwork, e.g., model, diagram, etc.
Individual essays (@1,000 words) demonstrating good scholarly research
PROJECT TEXT: Project Text asks that students form new groups of three or four to interpret a major text through close reading and research. Groups approach this text through a number of critical sources, classroom discussions and activities, and individual student essays.
Project Text requirements:
Annotated bibliography of five texts (not included in class)
Individual essays (@ 1,000- words)
Following the completion of The Projects:
Reflective Essay: you will review and reflect on all Stretch work (The Progressions and The Projects) @ 500-750 words. Assess your progress.