Sharon E. Crowley
B CUSP 135
Strengthens performance of college-level argumentative writing and scholarly research, critical reading and thinking, and the critique and the creation of print and new media texts. Prerequisite: either B CUSP 101, B CUSP 114, or B CUSP 134. Offered: AWSp.
The primary subject of the course will be the student's own writing-from-research, with an emphasis on using diverse source materials, developing arguments through deep analysis of evidence, and writing those arguments for an academic audience. To give the course cohesion, assigned readings will serve as a scaffold for directed research and writing assignments. Assigned readings will encompass a variety of genres, and each will present a different angle on the central course topic.
Student learning goals
Research Methodology: You should be able to generate a core set of questions and use them to help you gather a range of different sources. You should be able to explain why and how various sources belong to your project, and what light they shed on your central questions.
Critical Thinking: You should be able to identify the key ideas, arguments, and stakes of various kinds of texts, to extend and complicate those key ideas/arguments, and to put them into conversation with each other. You should also be able to express your own position and stakes.
Argumentation: You should be able to present your ideas and arguments in clearly written prose. Your papers should have a claim supported with evidence, and should show sensitivity to audience, context, and genre. You should be able to express what's at stake in your argument.
Revision, Collaboration, and Writing-as-Process: 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. Students will be broken up into small working groups for collaboration and workshopping, while developing their own individual research projects over the course of the quarter.
General method of instruction
Seminar-style class discussions, small group work, and some lectures.
Prerequisite: BCUSP 134 or equivalent strongly recommended. Familiarity with MLA guidelines, principles of academic argumentation, close reading skills.
Class assignments and grading
Assigned readings; research tasks; in-class writing assignments; 4-5 short papers (2-3 pages); 1 final research project/paper (7+ pages).
Preparation and Participation (includes peer review, a short oral presentation, and contributions to class discussions and small group work): 30% of final grade
Final ePortfolio (compilation of work submitted, plus cover letter and fresh revision of research project): 70% of final grade