TEXTS: The Bedford Reader, tenth edition, and The Undertaking: Life Studies of the Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch, both at Shaman Drum, State Street; AND coursepack, at Accu-Copy on William St., two blocks down from State Street.
College Writing: Below the Surface: the Hidden World. This writing course focuses on the creation of complex, analytical, well-supported arguments that matter in academic contexts. Students work closely with peers and instructors to develop their written prose. Readings cover a variety of genres that challenge the writer and reader. Our emphasis will be on structure as well as content and the relationship between writer and audience with a close look at: syntax, diction, clarity, cohesion, grammar, logic, organization and texture. Another lens to place over the writing involves types of appeal: emotion, character, values, logic and facts, and humor.
Structurally, we pay close attention to the beginning (introduction, thesis, claim, topic); middle (body, support of argument, examples, evidence, analysis, data); (conclusion, author’s final point of view, final interpretation of evidence, warrant). This necessitates the complex interplay between language, writing, argument and the writer, reader, and text.
What might have earned an A in high school might earn a C or worse in a college classroom. We have a different measuring stick. Students should be able to move further into complex ideas by challenging themselves and readers to consider counter arguments and information outside of their own research as well as manipulating said research. My grading criteria is listed on the class website in an Announcement on CTools.
The Work: Three papers, each at 20%; inclass writings, 20%; peer critiques 10%; class participation total 10% split between class presentation, workshop/discussion/noting OTHER student comments during discussion.