The goal of this course is to teach you skills that will help you to become a successful college writer. We will work toward this goal by examining several pieces of writing and using a process of inquiry (or, of asking questions) to discover what makes that writing effective. You will learn to evaluate different writing situations and respond appropriately. These skills will serve you throughout college no matter what subject you plan to study.
We will begin deciphering the mystery behind what makes “good” writing by being attentive readers. We will read pieces in a number of genres and decide: What is the author arguing? Who is he or she trying to convince and why? How does he or she try to persuade the reader? What is working in the text and what is not? At the same time, you will hone your research skills and find sources in a topic of your choice to read with this same rhetorical eye. These reading skills will act as the foundation for developing complex arguments and papers that matter in academic conversations.
A necessary component to learning the skills of effective writing is practice, so you will have plenty of opportunity to do just that. Over the quarter, you will complete 4 short papers (2-3 pages each) and 2 major papers (5-7 pages each). In addition, you will learn and practice revision strategies throughout the course, and you will create a final portfolio that will include revised selections of your work. Your portfolio will also include a written reflection on the skills you’ve learned: taking time to think about the skills you’ve developed and then to write about how you’ve used them in this course will help you to be able to take those skills with you and to write effectively in other courses.
I’m looking forward to a challenging, yet rewarding, quarter together!