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English Composition


Written and Oral Communication:

English 120 and 220 currently fulfill this requirement. Courses in this category must meet five required learning outcomes that address critical reading and listening, the ability to write in varied expository formats using “standard English” and “appropriate technology,” research skills, argumentation, and originality and “ethical attribution and citation” (see CUNY Common Core Course Submission Form).  Common assignment models (essays, annotated bibliography, research paper) from those courses which meet the category’s learning outcomes are available upon request. Contact the Writing Across the Curriculum Program.

Critical Reading and Research:

English 120 and 220 currently fulfill this requirement. Common assignment models (annotated bibliography, research paper) from those courses which meet the category’s learning outcomes are available upon request. Contact Jean-Jacques Strayer,


Critical Thinking

The Common Core learning outcome for critical thinking, that students should be able to “evaluate evidence and arguments critically or analytically,” can be met through assignments and activities that also meet the Written and Oral Communication learning outcomes and the Research and Information Literacy outcomes.

Academic activities that require students to perform research also require that students “evaluate evidence” in evaluating the sources they find and that they assess “critically” the articles and data those sources provide. So do writing assignments and oral presentations, expository or argumentative.  


The assignments and activities below meet more than one of the common learning outcomes:

(A course can meet several of the Common Core required learning outcomes by using these assignments/activities.)

Written and Oral Communication (WO),
Critical Thinking (CT),
Research and Information Literacy (RIL).


2 required outcomes:

  • Annotated bibliography (CT/RIL)
  • Analytic essay (WO/CT)
  • Compare/contrast essay (WO/CT)
  • Expository essay (WO/CT)
  • Summary essay (WO/CT)
  • Lab report (WO/CT)
  • Debating (WO/CT)

The following assignments and activities can meet at least two learning outcomes if students are directed to “evaluate evidence and arguments critically or analytically” in the process:

  • Personal essay (WO/CT)
  • Letter writing (WO/CT)
  • Online discussion (WO/CT)
  • Panel discussion (WO/CT)
  • Speeches (WO/CT)
  • Role playing (WO/CT).

3 (all) required outcomes:

  • Documented research paper, Bibliographic essay (literature review), Book report/review
  • Any of the assignments and activities in “2 required outcomes,” except the Annotated bibliography, can meet all three required learning outcomes if they include academic research (RIL), i.e. “gathering, interpreting, and assessing information from a variety of sources and points of view.”