In this course, we will ask what it means to write well. In order to establish a fluid idea of what "write well" means, we will ask what it means to read well. This means we will both read and write in a variety of contexts, examining how we can actively read both visual and textual media, as well as asking how writing as exploration intersects with tailoring writing to audience and purpose. We will look at visual media, such as advertisements, as well as written media, such as song lyrics, under a thematic "canopy" of environmentalism. To do this, we will ask how we can shape our methods for reading pop culture's influence on our definitions and perceptions of the environment -- or what we even mean when we say "environment." By examining this media with an eye for reading and writing the environment, we will work through questions that establish stakes, such as why it matters how written, auditory, and visual media influence our perceptions and involvement in conversations around us.
To assist our analysis of pop culture media, will also read texts on how to shape arguments and participate in writing that stems from a space of inquiry instead of assertion. By examining what it means to ask questions through the writing process itself, while also reflecting on what it means to craft an argument that both emerges out of and enters into an established discourse, we will complete the class with a better understanding of how to approach the myriad of communicative scenarios that require tailoring an already personalized writing voice. Assignments will range from journal entries and exploratory exercises in the community to formal papers that incorporate research towards an original, persuasive argument. As a result, our goal for this class will extend beyond forms of writing and into the writing process. We will produce multiple drafts of each major paper, engage in peer reviews with classmates, and attend conferences about paper drafts with the instructor in order to ask ourselves how our methods of reading and writing can be best utilized in a variety of contexts -- both in and outside the classroom. By tying together our practices of closely reading and then engaging in a conversation through writing, we will begin to articulate the "so what" in our own perceptions, participation in, and claims about the "environment" around us.