Welcome to English 131! In this course we are going to focus on developing and refining academic writing skills that will be useful in many situations (not just in English classes!) When this class is over, you will, for example, be better able to critically read a text, analyze an argument, develop a line of inquiry in support of a complex claim, and revise your writing for greater clarity and impact. You will face many different writing situations during and after college, and this class will help you to decide what writing styles and strategies will best help you in each situation.
In the first half of the quarter, we will examine representations of visual media (political propaganda, comics, advertisement, etc.) and look at how creators of these visual “texts” use different approaches, styles, and media to respond to different situations. In the same way, writers use different writing techniques to respond to different situations and reach their target audience more effectively. In the second half of the quarter, we will explore the issues related to language and identity and how these two factors interact with race, class, and gender among other things.
In this course, we will not only become more acutely aware of the various elements we need to consider when we write, but also develop heightened consciousness about our own writing process. Although analyzing visual “texts” and examining issues about language and identity are our two main topics of discussion, this course will primarily focus on how and why we write differently depending on our rhetorical contexts.