The Foundations curriculum introduces first-year Emerson students to the intellectual life of the academy and its responsibilities to the wider world. Courses cultivate the habits of thought, methods of inquiry, and means of presentation that will enable students to understand and participate in deliberations about the academic, professional, and public issues they will encounter in their undergraduate education and beyond.
Oral Communication (4 credits)
CC 100 Fundamentals of Speech Communication is designed to introduce basic concepts, theories, and principles of oral communication applied to speaking situations. The goal is to develop competence in oral communication through performance and critical analysis of student skills in a variety of speaking formats. By the end of the course, successful students will be able to:
- Understand, analyze, reflect, and apply communication principles in diverse oral communication speaking situations.
- Understand and adapt messages to diverse audiences considering factors such as race; gender; ethnicity; religion; economic, social, and family circumstances; geography; language; age; health disparities; disabilities, etc.
- Develop, organize, and deliver informative presentations individually and in small groups.
- Develop, organize, and deliver persuasive presentations.
- Develop, organize, and deliver impromptu presentations.
- Conduct, analyze, and use research to support ideas.
- Transfer and apply acquired skills to personal and professional lives in non-presentational situations.
Written Communication (8 credits)
This two-course writing sequence is designed to enable students to write competently and effectively. WR 101 Introduction to College Writing focuses on cultural analysis that appears in academic work and in the public intellectual sphere. WR 121 Research Writing explores how rhetorical situations call on writers to do research and how writers draw on various types of writing to present the results of their research.
WR 101 Learning Objectives
Emerson's strategic learning objectives state that our graduates should be ready to create, communicate, collaborate, critically think, and civically engage. In alignment with
those SLOs, by the end of the semester students will be able to:
- Understand the principle of discourse variation by examining how different forms of the essay—academic, literary, popular—enable writers to create authorial stances, position themselves in relation to texts, readers, and the wider culture, and come to terms with significant issues through analysis and interpretation.
- Work with a range of texts to understand how writers negotiate linguistic, cultural, and political differences in a society divided along the lines of class, race, gender, sexuality, language, nationality, and so on. Understand the writer's responsibility to participate in conversations about diversity and to hold themselves accountable for their position and how it influences the conversation.
- Identify and work with rhetorical strategies that are typical of the reasoning in academic and intellectual writing, such as putting issues in context, stating propositions, giving reasons, evaluating evidence, justifying assumptions, negotiating differences, and pointing out implications.
- Recognize that writing is a process by learning to write peer reviews that offer useful suggestions for other students' work in progress and to design effective revision strategies by reflecting critically on work in progress.
WR 121 Learning Objectives
Emerson's strategic learning objectives state that our graduates should be ready to create, communicate, collaborate, critically think, and civically engage. In alignment with those SLOs and WR 101's commitment to conversations about diversity and an emphasis on negotiating cultural, linguistic, and political differences, by the end of the semester students will be able to:
- Analyze rhetorical situations in order to identify the type of research needed to establish credibility and the genre best suited to the writer’s aims and the outcome of the research.
- Analyze research findings in order to determine what discourses are dominant and what voices are marginalized or missing from the conversation.
- Enhance their repertoire of genres of writing and their rhetorical awareness of the affordances of different genres, as well as use this genre knowledge when they encounter new and unfamiliar writing situations.
- Develop flexibility as a writer, to understand how writers use research, choose genres, and invent rhetorical stances in academic contexts and in the public sphere.
Students enrolled in the Honors Program complete the following three-course sequence:
- HS 101 & HS 102 First-Year Honors Seminars
- HS 103 Honors Writing Symposium