Sharon E. Crowley
B CUSP 134
Offers an interdisciplinary approach to composition, including generating a compelling topic; the articulation of a thesis; the development of supporting evidence; the ability to draw conclusions from the evidence, clear organization of the essay, correct mechanics; awareness of audience, and knowledge of resources for research. Prerequisite: may not be taken for credit if previously earned a minimum grade of 2.0 B CUSP 101, B CUSP 114, or ENGL 131. Offered: AWSp.
The primary emphasis of this course is your own writing, with a focus on developing arguments through close reading of evidence, and writing those arguments for an academic audience. The course also emphasizes critical reading of diverse source materials, and making connections among different kinds of texts. Our main course text will be "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," by Rebecca Skloot (this year's UWB Common Book).
Student learning goals
Critical Thinking: You will learn how to identify the key ideas, arguments, and stakes of various kinds of texts, and how to put them into critical conversation with each other. You'll also learn how to articulate your own position and stakes in relation to what you are analyzing.
Argumentation: You will learn how to present your ideas and arguments in clear, coherent prose form. You will learn how to develop a complex, interesting claim that is well supported with evidence. You'll also work on tailoring your writing according to audience and desired effect. We'll also work on developing a clear sense of what your *stake* is in a given argument, and how to convey that to your audience.
Revision and Collaboration: Academic communities are collaborative spaces. Neither knowledge nor writing emerges fully formed from peoples’ foreheads, but instead must be grappled with, shaped, and honed through a process of active conversation, collaboration, and revision. I focus on research and writing as active processes in which the writer gradually builds knowledge, using writing at every stage to organize and sift through information, do preliminary analyses, and explore ideas.
General method of instruction
Seminar-style class discussions, small group work, and other in-class activities designed to enhance understanding of the reading material and development of writing skills.
Bring curiosity and a desire to improve your writing skills!
Class assignments and grading
Readings: Assigned readings and light research tasks. Participation: online and in-class discussions and other activities (including informal writing activities), peer review and collaborative work. Formal Writing: Two 4-5 page papers during the quarter, multiple drafts of each; plus a final 6-8 page paper. Final project of an e-portfolio that collects all written work and includes a reflective cover essay.
Final ePortfolio: 70% Participation: 30%