The course’s focus is on writing at the college level, and as such it introduces students to the level of critical thinking required for excellence in college composition. Critical thinking beyond the level of summary or ideas supported by quick examples is the ground of academic argument, and this form of composition entails close reading of texts to develop ideas for argument in essay form. Hence, our course will focus on the production of essays through critical thinking and close reading, and through cultivating an awareness of the rhetorical choices we are making in our efforts to construct complex and engaging arguments. The literature we read will center on the theme of loss and the process of letting go.
Readings will include the following: O'Brien, The Things They Carried; Sebold, The Lovely Bones; Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; and Strunk and White, The Elements of Style.