Connect Writing Group

Please visit the Connect Online Resource Guide
Connect logoMembers of the English Department have been part of the CONNECT Writing Group since 2005. During this time we have

  • Established Common Outcome Goals for first-year English at six colleges—Bridgewater State College, Bristol Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Massasoit Community College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and UMass Dartmouth
  • Held annual Connect Composition Conferences for the past four years
  • Presented our program at three of the Conferences on College Composition and Communication in Chicago and the NEASC/NEAAN Assessment Conference at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, ME
  • Led workshops at the 9th Annual Community College Conference on Teaching and Learning and Student Development in Worcester and NECIT Conferences at UMass Boston
  • Presented our work at Bridgewater State College’s CART Celebration
  • Compiled information for an instructors’ resource handbook that is now available on CD
  • Received a $40,000 grant from the Calderwood Foundation and used it to fund web development and support co-editors for the Online Resource Guide
  • Reached out to selected high school English Department chairs
  • Initiated campus discussions, including writing in other disciplines (across curriculum)
  • Addressed assessment of the Connect Writing Project
  • Traveled to regional colleges to present our program.

Adapted from a report by:
Patricia White
Campus Coordinator for the Connect Writing Group
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

What follows are the Common Outcome Goals the six colleges have created for our students. Because our students have the same outcomes for their writing classes, when they transfer to another college in the southeast area they should recognize these standards and be able to discuss their writing with faculty and peers in their new institution.

Common Writing Outcomes for Connect Institutions

Writing:Critical reading:Audience, purpose, voice:Thesis development:Organization:Research and information literacy:
Students will move through the processes of writing: inventing, composing, and revising, culminating in editing according to the conventions of Standard Written English.

Students will critically read and respond to a variety of texts by summarizing, paraphrasing, analyzing, synthesizing, and critiquing,

Students will compose a rhetorically effective text in a voice appropriate to the audience and the purpose of the writing.Students will formulate an effective thesis and support it with evidence.Students will compose coherent and cohesive essays and other texts.Students will locate, evaluate, synthesize, and document primary and/or secondary source materials to support a position.
ExpertWriting is polished and insightful, demonstrating a synthesis of the writing process. Text contains few or if any errors in Standard Written English.Writing engages fully with the text, demonstrating developed inferential and evaluative skills.Writing demonstrates a clear sense of audience and effectively fulfills the writer’s purpose. Voice is distinctive; vocabulary is aptly chosen, lively, and sophisticated.Thesis is clear, thought-provoking, and well focused, supported by vivid and concrete evidence.Writing demonstrates a logical and clear structure, incorporating graceful transitions and unified paragraphs.Primary and/or secondary sources are skillfully interwoven into the text to support the thesis. Research is thorough, and sources are correctly cited.
PractitionerThough competent, writing could improve from better application of one or two steps of the writing process. Text contains some errors in Standard Written English.Writing shows adequate comprehension and some inferential ability; writing shows an ability to engage with the text.Writing demonstrates a basic awareness of audience and generally fulfills writer’s purpose; tone, diction, and vocabulary are functional and appropriateThesis is clear and substantially supported by evidence in a straightforward though perhaps mechanical way.Writing shows a basic sense of beginning, middle, and end; a functional introduction, body, and conclusion; and, for the most part, focused and orderly paragraphs.Most sources are appropriate and correctly documented.  Research is sufficient to the assignment and adequately integrated.
NoviceWriting shows little change from invention to final draft, despite consistent problems with content and/or Standard Written English.Writing demonstrates little comprehension of relevant texts, limited inferential skills, and a lack of awareness of authorial bias.Writing demonstrates lack of awareness of audience and does not fulfill writer’s purpose; voice is inappropriate as demonstrated by tone, diction, and vocabulary.Writing exhibits no central thesis or exhibits a discontinuity between thesis and supporting evidence, or insufficient supporting evidence.Introduction, body, and/or conclusion are unfocused or absent; ideas may be arranged illogically.Writing demonstrates inappropriate use or lack of sources, faulty integration of researched materials, and/or incorrect or absent documentation.