Academic Writing

Catalog Description

Focuses on rhetorical awareness. In this course, students will explore the reading and writing practices of the academic community. Through primary and secondary research, and through guided writing practice, students will critically examine what these practices mean and consider how students’ own reading and writing practices fit into those of “the Academy.” While additional texts may be assigned, writing produced by students in the class will serve as the principal texts for the course. This class will be of particular interest to students who have had limited experience with academic writing. Prerequisite(s): First Year Seminar

Course Theme: The Heartbeat of America

In our reading and writing this semester, we will explore different kinds of work in contemporary U.S. culture. We will read and discuss narratives of men and women’s working lives and explore the changing nature of work in the post-industrial United States. You will read and respond, both orally and in writing, to texts from a variety of genres, including oral histories, memoirs, academic essays, and scholarly writings from such fields as history, economics, and sociology.

These readings are meant to raise questions about the world of work—questions that you will explore in your writing. Broad questions may include, but are not limited to . . .

  • What is the nature of work? What is a job? Does work necessary involve violence, exploitation, and hardship?
  • What kinds of satisfaction do people derive from their work? Why are so many people dissatisfied in their work?
  • How is the working landscape of the United States changing?
  • Why, in the United States, is there still so much inequality of opportunity in the workplace?

Course Objectives

English 100: Academic Writing is intended to familiarize students with the writing and reading practices common throughout the academic community. Assignments invite students to analyze and produce writing representing a variety of rhetorical situations, to understand writing as a process and to explore their own writing processes, and to think of writing in terms of situated disciplinary practices. The course will also allow students to explore technologies commonly used in academic writing contexts.

Specifically, students in this class will . . .

  • Analyze a variety of rhetorical strategies.
  • Identify and employ a range of strategies for discovering, developing, organizing, revising, editing, and proofreading ideas.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of English 100, students will have demonstrated . . .

  1. Rhetorical Knowledge: Learn and use key rhetorical concepts through analyzing and composing a variety of texts; Gain experience reading and composing in several genres to understand how genre conventions shape and are shaped by readers’ and writers’ practices and purposes; Develop facility in responding to a variety of situations and contexts calling for purposeful shifts in voice, tone, level of formality, design, medium, and/or structure; Understand and use a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences.
  2. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing: Use composing and reading for inquiry, learning, critical thinking, and communicating in various rhetorical contexts; Read a diverse range of texts, attending especially to relationships between assertion and evidence, to patterns of organization, to the interplay between verbal and nonverbal elements, and to how these features function for different audiences and situations; Locate and evaluate (for credibility, sufficiency, accuracy, timeliness, bias and so on) primary and secondary research materials, including journal articles and essays, books, scholarly and professionally established and maintained databases or archives, and informal electronic networks and internet sources; Use strategies—such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique, and design/redesign—to compose texts that integrate the writer’s ideas with those from appropriate sources.
  3. Processes: Develop a writing project through multiple drafts; Develop flexible strategies for reading, drafting, reviewing, collaborating, revising, rewriting, rereading, and editing; Use composing processes and tools as a means to discover and reconsider ideas; Experience the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes; Learn to give and to act on productive feedback to works in progress; Adapt composing processes for a variety of technologies and modalities; Reflect on the development of composing practices and how those practices influence their work
  4. Knowledge of Conventions: Develop knowledge of linguistic structures, including grammar, punctuation, and spelling, through practice in composing and revising; Understand why genre conventions for structure, paragraphing, tone, and mechanics vary; Gain experience negotiating variations in genre conventions; Learn common formats and/or design features for different kinds of texts; Explore the concepts of intellectual property (such as fair use and copyright) that motivate documentation conventions; Practice applying citation conventions systematically in their own work