New Course Topic!
Why (and how) We Fight: Origins of Conflict and Interdisciplinary Writing
Writing 405: Contemporary Topics and Multidisciplinary Writing

This upper level writing course assumes that the most important topics are often the ones that are best understood via the multiple disciplinary approaches. In this case, the important topic is Conflict: how does it arise, how should we understand and manage it, what are the limits of what we can hope for in mitigating it, and what can we learn from how we conduct and experience it. Students will examine different aspects of conflict through various academic lenses ranging from chemistry, biology, and neuroscience to anthropology, sociology, history, and psychology, as well as perspectives from literature, philosophy, fine arts, and even a few professional disciplines like law and public policy. During this whirlwind tour we will examine how each field constructs knowledge and imagines and deploys writing, and consider ways the disciplines can usefully complement each other as well as how we can translate their insights for general readers. If we have to fight, we should know what we’re doing and why. (3-credit. Fulfills the ULWR.)

Writing 340: Professional and Technical Writing and Communication in International Contexts 

This advanced writing course is designed for all students who will write and communicate professionally in international contexts, where different cultures interact. We will learn and practice how symbols (e.g., text and visual) can be used to mediate knowledge, values, and actions in international professional communication. To achieve this goal, we will study the rhetorical elements of writing and communication, including audience, purpose, and exigence; we will practice different genres, such as e-mails, memos, proposals, reports, resumes, and cover letters; we will create clear, readable, and persuasive documents; we will study and apply intercultural communication theories to designing professional documents; we will discuss how persuasive strategies differ in different cultural contexts; we will compare globalization and localization strategies in professional communication; we will learn how to work in a multicultural team.

Writing with Digital & Social Media (200: 3-credit, 201: 1-credit)

And now for something completely different! Our Writing 200 and 201 courses are among the most popular Sweetland courses with topics that include photo essay, podcasting, technical writing, and rhetorical analysis of social media platforms, infographics, blogging.

Writing 200.001 - Democracy & Your Voice: The Art of Podcasting This three-credit digital media course introduces students to the genre of podcasting with a focus on civic story-telling and political podcasting. We’ll explore engaging podcasts to examine what makes them tick. We'll practice the art of interviewing, asking questions and close listening, and we'll write scripts and learn how to package episodes. We also will explore useful campus resources available for support, equipment and spaces to record. Everyone will create a trailer in a class collage. Each student will draft and design their own vision for a podcast and then deliver it as the final project for the course. Voice your voice this semester, and create a vehicle for others to share their voices too. Discover your story, their story, and the value of public discourse in our civic space.

Writing 200.002 - The Rhetoric of Infographics In this course, we will examine how a range of infographics tell visual stories from a rhetorical perspective. You will learn how to break down complex information, thoughtfully combine different modes (texts, numbers, images) with informational honesty, consider elements of good design and rhetorical persuasion, and use relevant technological tools. You will also have several opportunities to apply this knowledge to your own infographic compositions.

Writing 200.003 - Technical Writing This writing course welcomes anyone who is interested in technical writing and communication that communicate complex information to readers or users who need the information to solve problems or complete tasks. You will be introduced to audience and rhetorical analysis, technical writing and editing principles, plain and persuasive styles, various genres of technical writing (e.g., memos, technical descriptions, technical instructions, and proposals), usability testing, the ethical dimension of technical writing, designing visual information, and writing for the web. Particularly, you will learn how technical writing and communication transform in the digital age.

Writing 201.001 The Art of the Photo Essay is a 7-week course designed to help students take, edit and compose with photographic images. Throughout the semester students will compose and refine three separate photo essays, as well as work collaboratively on one group exhibition.

Writing 201.002 The Rhetoric of Online Dating examines the strategies used by online daters to position themselves within the romantic marketplace – including profile text, images, match questions, and messages. We will consider how different dating sites and apps shape would-be daters’ priorities and choices in the matchmaking experience. No actual engagement in online dating will be expected or required, so this course is suitable both for students looking to improve their active profiles and for those curious to study the phenomenon from the sidelines.

Writing 201.003 Collecting Stories Do you love stories, especially getting other folks to tell theirs? This one-credit digital media course will introduce you to conducting field research interviews in order to collect valuable stories. We will examine the art of interviewing and of storytelling, as we explore how to find a narrative arc to a story that may feel shapeless or rambling. Ultimately, we’ll be working to find and shape those stories that best represent the person doing the telling. We’ll think about how voice, inflection, pacing, and even background sounds can contribute to meaning.

Writing 201.004 The Rhetoric of Instagram will bring various classical rhetorical lenses to bear on the photographic image in general and the multimodal hyper text of Instagram in particular. Students will put newly acquired perspectives and skills to use in the creation of a new purpose-driven Instagram account, which will be evaluated at the end of the semester.

For International and Multilingual Students

In Writing 229 Editing & Style for International and Multilingual Students, students explore the rhetorical effectiveness of stylistic elements commonly found in American academic and professional writing. In each class, students will work individually on editing exercises and collaboratively in stylistic discussions. Students will have a chance to bring their own essays and editing questions to workshops with their classmates and the instructor. Additionally, students will identify and practice styles of writing in different contexts, such as writing in science, business, and psychology.  (1-credit)

Transitional Writing Courses

Transfer undergraduates and other upper-division undergraduates who feel they may need additional support in upper-level writing can enroll in Writing 350: Excelling in Upper-Level Writing. This course can be taken at the same time as a ULWR course. Operating in a workshop and discussion format, it provides an opportunity to identify writing strengths and issues, set personal goals, and practice writing in a collaborative environment. The course uses the writing that students produce in other classes as the basis for workshops. (1-credit)

Students who have yet to fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement who want to improve their ability to express ideas and arguments in writing can enroll Writing 100: The Practice of Writing. This course emphasizes an intensive one-on-one approach to teaching writing, including frequent student-teacher conferences. It addresses key features of college writing including: analysis in addition to summary; revision for focus and clarity; development and generation of ideas; and style built on a solid grasp of conventions of grammar and punctuation. Students gain confidence for writing assignments typical of college classes. Activities include discussion and analysis of readings, explanation and modeling of writing strategies and techniques, along with peer review workshops. (3-credit)

Writing 120 College Writing for International and Multilingual Students is a three-credit course is designed to prepare international and multilingual students for their first-year writing courses. It will guide students in typical university writing practices, including an emphasis on developing well-researched, properly cited papers. Students will develop written fluency and improve their command of grammatical, textual, rhetorical, and multimodal conventions common in a variety of academic disciplines. Students will also work towards the aim of developing a rhetorical perspective on multilingualism as it relates to writing and communication. (3-credit)