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The College of Arts Sciences

WRIT 1370/80

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Book Appointment

The Writing Workshop offers an alternative route First-Year Writing Seminar, WRIT 1370 (Fall) and WRIT 1380 (Spring) titled "Elements of Academic Writing." This course is designed for students who did not have formal writing instruction in high school, are unfamiliar with academic writing, have serious difficulty with writing assignments, or feel a general lack of confidence about their writing. Some sections of these First-Year Writing Seminars are designed for international students and multilingual writers and include special instruction on developing fluency in academic English and navigating new cultures of writing. Graded S/U only, students receiving a grade of S are granted credit toward their college writing requirements.

COURSE DESCRIPTION for WRIT 1370/80: Elements of Academic Writing

The Writing 1370/80 classroom is a dynamic workspace where students assemble the scholarly tools necessary to explore complex, interdisciplinary questions. Because Writing 1370/80 is designed as a workshop, students develop the analytic and argumentative skills fundamental to interdisciplinary reading, research, and writing by collaborating with peers to pose questions, examine ideas, and share drafts. With small class sizes and two 50-minute class sessions and a student/teacher conference each week, Writing 1370/80 is an alternative route FWS that provides an individualized setting for students to learn flexible and sustainable strategies for studying the essential elements of academic writing and for producing clear, precise academic prose that can address a variety of audiences and meet diverse rhetorical aims.


  • Food for Thought (Carrick) How does the food on your table tell a story about you, your family, your community, your nation? How do we make food choices, and how are these choices complicated by the cultural, socio-economic, and political forces that both create and combat widespread international hunger and food insecurity? 
  • Repetition (Dani) Repetition is a fundamental companion in our everyday lives: we use it in our speech, we endure it in our routines, and it is wielded as the most effective tool of media and advertisement. What is the function of this rhetorical device in literature, politics, and art? What do we want to achieve when we repeat something? Does repetition merely add emphasis to a statement, or does it possess a different vocation? This class will help us in identifying the many ways repetition shapes how we think, speak, and write. 
  • Women and Film (Dani) Since the dawn of film, women have been at the center of the cinematic gaze: their bodies entertain, fascinate, and terrify us regardless of the genres they inhabit. If we look closely, we realize that these depictions reveal pivotal aspects of the cultures that give birth to them. As reflective spectators, we should ask ourselves some fundamental questions: what lies behind these representations? How can they inform us about contemporary gender politics? And what changes when we look at the works of women directors? 
  • Connecting Cultures (Evans) What is culture? How does culture set standards for our behavior?  How do we negotiate the intersections between cultures?  How do the processes of culture determine the politics of assimilation, the power of language, and the spaces we inhabit?  Particularly in writing, how does culture help us determine strategies appropriate for convincing a variety of distinct audiences and purposes? 
  • Public Writing and Rhetoric (Navickas) What does it mean to engage in civic issues in 2016? In an election year, what counts as effective civic writing and speaking in politics? How is civic engagement shaped by identity, those who have access to civic-spaces, and technology? And, what is the relationship between civic writing and change? 
  • Writing Back to the News (King-O'Brien) Students will ensconce themselves in debates raging within the contemporary news media—such as politics, conflicts within higher education, gender equality, international crises, American popular culture—and will write about contemporary controversies to different audiences in a variety of mediums, such as argumentative essays, investigative pieces, and blog posts. 
  • Environmental Problems and Solutions (Sands) Human activities have ever-more serious impacts on our local regions and the planet. How can we think and write about improving public understanding of climate change, water scarcity, environmental health and agriculture and wildlife sustainability? For multilingual writers and international students.
  • Theories of Happiness (Sands) What makes you happy? And how does happiness differ between different people? How do complex factors like genetics, culture, family, education, socio-economic background, and gender determine how happy we are, and how do our life choices can contribute to our own and others’ happiness? For multilingual writers and international students.
  • Metaphor in Art, Science and Culture (Zukovic) Metaphor is the essence of human creativity—a form of thought, desire and the language of the unconscious mind. How does metaphor operate in literature, pop culture, politics, and the thought of theoretical scientists such as Einstein and Richard Feynman? Can we improve our capacity to think metaphorically? 

Book Appointment