The Writing Program
First-Year Writing Courses
Spring 2016 Course Descriptions
Individual course descriptions for Spring 2016 courses can be found here.
Writing and Rhetoric Requirement
2 courses (8 credits)
Being able to convey written information and ideas in ways that are compelling to specific audiences is essential both in college and beyond. Beginning in the winter quarter of their first year, students take two sequenced writing courses, usually WRIT 1122 and WRIT 1133.
Together, these courses teach strategies for writing to well-educated readers in diverse academic and nonacademic situations. Students learn rhetorical principles, the analysis and use of readings and source materials, and techniques for generating, revising, and editing texts for specific situations. They also learn to present and justify positions and to produce researched writing in various scholarly traditions, including textual/interpretive (the analysis of texts or artifacts such as images or events), qualitative (the analysis of observations or interviews) or quantitative (the analysis of data from surveys or other empirical studies). In each course, students complete several writing exercises and, through sustained practice and systematic instructor guidance, they complete at least four polished papers, totaling some 20–25 pages. By the end of the two-course sequence, then, students have completed at least 40–50 pages of polished writing.
Our faculty take a wide variety of approaches in course design, choosing readings, assigning papers, and teaching in general so students have a great many options in selecting their courses.
These courses lay the foundation for writing in further Common Curriculum courses (including the Advanced Seminar- ASEM courses), writing in students' majors, and writing in professional and civic life after graduation.
Please select one of the following topics to learn more:
WRIT 1122: Rhetoric and Academic Writing
On completing this course, students are expected to have enhanced the following skills: analytic and critical reading strategies; a basic understanding of rhetorical situations and rhetorical analysis; the ability to write for specific audiences and discourse communities, in a voice effective for those situations; the ability to write texts that are organized, coherent and substantive, demonstrating rhetorical, linguistic and analytical competence. The course will provide instruction and practice in academic and civic writing that exhibits conventions of effective writing and presentation for well-educated readers. Students complete at least 20 pages of revised and polished writing, in multiple assignments, as well as numerous additional exercises. more about WRIT 1122
WRIT 1622: Advanced Rhetoric and Writing
A writing course for advanced first-year students, emphasizing rhetorical strategies for different academic and civic audiences and purposes; critical reading and analysis; and research. Course sections focus on a coherent set of texts, usually on an issue or theme; contact the Writing Program for specific information each quarter.
Prerequisite: admission to Honors Program; score of three or better on AP Language and Composition or Language and Literature exams or four on the IB English; or permission of the director of writing. more about WRIT 1622
WRIT 1133: Writing and Research
This course builds on the writing and rhetorical skills learned in WRIT 1122 by shifting attention from general rhetorical strategies to specific rhetorical strategies that shape different kinds of academic inquiry. Through introduction to quantitative, qualitative, and textual research traditions, students will identify how written reasoning varies in terms of the questions posed, the kind of evidence used to answer them, and the nature of the audience or forum for the result. In addition, the course will teach how to shape research into substantive academic arguments, with attention to the ethical consequences of their rhetorical choices. Students will be asked to develop their linguistic, design and reasoning competencies, with added consideration of citation conventions. Students will complete at least 20 pages of revised and polished writing, in multiple assignments, as well as numerous additional exercises, in projects requiring library-based research as well as other types.
Prerequisite: WRIT 1122.
more about WRIT 1133
WRIT 1633: Advanced Writing and Research
A continuation of WRIT 1622, this is a writing course for advanced first-year students, emphasizing rhetoric strategies for different academic and civic audiences and purposes; critical reading and analysis; and research. The course has a significant research component. Course sections focus on a coherent set of texts, usually on an issue or theme; contact the Writing Program for specific information each semester.
Prerequisite: WRIT 1122 or 1622, plus one of the following: admission to the Honors Program; score of three or better on AP Language and Composition or Language and Literature exam, or four on the IB English; or specific permission of the director of writing. more about WRIT 1633
WRIT 1733: Honors Writing
Honors Writing is designed for students who will benefit from a particularly rigorous and in-depth experience with language. This class offers a theme around which students read serious and challenging texts and write at least 25 pages of polished prose, with additional less formal writings. The course offers advanced instruction in rhetorical theory and practice, as well as writing in multiple research traditions in the academy. Class is a highly participatory discussion format, and students will have latitude in choosing and directing much of their work. Topics vary from section to section.
Prerequisite: admission to the Honors Program and either WRIT 1622 or 1122; or permission of the director of writing, in consultation with the director of Honors. more about WRIT 1733