Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.
This course examines how people who share similar thoughts, ideas, and goals—i.e. discourse communities—use particular texts as a means of intercommunication and influencing individuals’ thoughts, actions, and writing. Along the way, we will address several questions: What is the relationship between certain discourse communities and their texts? How are certain genres employed or shaped by discourse communities? What role do these genres play in individuals’ daily lives? How is discourse community membership accessed through writing? What is gained or lost when you align yourself with certain forms of writing? How do discourse communities and their discursive practices affect people’s ways of being and doing? To inquire and respond to these questions we will first examine genre and discourse analysis approaches in order to understand the social, cultural, and ideological processes of discourse communities and their texts. We will then apply genre and discourse analysis models and examples to examine and better understand various discipline-specific texts. The aim of this class is to develop your awareness of the rhetorical strategies of particular genres used by discourse communities and to recognize that certain writing situations require specific rhetorical moves. As writers you need to become familiar with the conventions appropriate to a particular rhetorical situation or discipline. In other words, I want you to investigate, analyze, and ultimately learn to write the way people do in your major, discipline, and (potential) field of interest.
In framing and studying discourse and texts within their institutional and social contexts, you will be able to unravel the practices that influence individuals’ rhetorical actions in various settings. Course readings, writings, and discussion will focus on issues of power, identity, race, and gender and how language is used to construct, transmit, and perpetuate particular ideologies, values, and practices. This class is intended to prepare you to think critically about the ideas and language of others and how to articulate your own meaningful responses to those ideas and language through expository writing. Text: photocopied course packet.
As part of the English Department’s Computer Integrated Classroom (CIC) program, we will have access to technologies not available in the traditional classroom. Half of our class periods will be held in the LAN, a local area network, where you will each have access to a computer. You will also be able to use the computers for word-processing your essays and written work in this class, too. (Computer-Integrated section: see http://depts.washington.edu/engl/cic/).
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading