This course studies the intersection between critical thinking and persuasive writing, and, using literary texts as the point of reference, takes as its goal the development of the student's skill at writing cogent expository and argumentative prose.
In this class we will explore the interrelated arts of reading, thinking and writing. Over the course of the semester, we will learn and practice the skills necessary for success in writing at the University. From day one we will note that good writing is good writing, regardless of discipline. As a literature class, we will read a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts to find examples of expository, scenic and argumentative prose. As a composition class, we will work closely with our peers in workshop to develop our writing across four different papers, drawing on our class discussions and readings to formulate complex, well-supported arguments. To this end, we will center our texts on the literature of writing, examining how writers grapple with writing as profession and art, as content and craft, as process and product. For comparative analysis, we will consider how movie adaptations of literature are in keeping with and break from their original texts. Our schedule may include the fiction and film adaptations of Michael Chabon, Hunter S. Thompson, Sherman Alexie and Ian McEwan.
Our readings, activities and assignments will enable you to:
1. read and analyze complex texts
2. write in different genres, for different audiences and for different purposes
3. utilize close reading and driving questions to create complex, well-supported arguments
4. integrate the scholarship of others into your own arguments
5. understand writing as a process that involves drafting, peer review, comprehensive revision and careful editing.