The Expository Writing course is designed to help you become a more effective writer. The ability to communicate your ideas clearly will help you regardless of what you choose to do in the future, because no matter where you go, you will need to demonstrate that you can think critically about a subject and then communicate the results of your thinking to others in a way that they can understand. This skill will serve you well even if you are never write another academic essay. Every sort of writing, from business plans to lab reports to advertising, requires that you use a certain tone, style and set of common conventions in order to communicate clearly and be taken seriously by your audience. To achieve this goal, this class will guide you in the use of the following key tools in producing good, clear writing:
- the ability to read and analyze texts created by others
- the ability do research and then use texts created by others in your own work
- the ability to create a persuasive complex argument
- the ability to effectively revise, edit and proofread your own writing
This section of Expository Writing will use mass media, in general, and comic books, in particular as a way of guiding our class through the key tools you will need to become an effective writer. Mass media come in all shapes and sizes and so they will give us many different ways of thinking about how to identify differents genres and the rhetorical strategies they use and think about them critically. Through writing, discussion and reflection on your own personal responses to the texts we examine, you will learn how to create complex claims about those texts. It’s important to remember as we look at different forms of mass media that, while many of them are frequently present us with highly disposable forms of entertainment, your writing is by no means disposable. Over the course of the quarter, you will also have frequent opportunities to go back, revisit your own work and think about your growth as a writer. This will mean both looking at the big picture - argument, organization, analysis and so on - as well as paying attention to details like grammar, spelling and word choice.