New ULWR Courses!

Writing 405: Contemporary Topics and Multidisciplinary Writing
Everything Matters: How to Integrate Everything We Know and Write Into Our Climate Emergency

This class focuses on how writing works in and across disciplines when a complex issue demands an integrated response - in this case, the issue is global heating. Students will create writing portfolios that draw on their own majors and those of their peers to represent a holistic understanding of this vital issue and communicate it to general readers. No specific disciplinary knowledge is required; all majors are equally welcome. (3-credit. Fulfills the ULWR.)

Writing 410: Quantitative Analysis and Writing in the Disciplines
Understanding Water Crises

In this class, we will explore the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to water crises from around the world.  Through course readings and class discussions, we will seek to answer the following - What are the drivers of water crises and how do they differ across time, space, and human populations? Who is affected by these crises and how? What factors contribute to water crises and what can we do about them? This course will foreground our exploration of water issues as we use writing to document, synthesize, analyze, and communicate about water issues.

Writing with Digital & Social Media

Writing 200: Writing with Digital & Social Media (3-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 - Art of the Video Essay

This course is an inquiry into the video essay as a form. We will explore the interplay within text, image and sound as we investigate how to evoke a feeling and to build a narrative through image. We will examine and analyze video essays and mini-documentaries — including work by John Bresland, Claudia Rankine, Tony Zhou and Ursala Biemann.You will have the opportunity to create an image EPortfolio, as well as make video essays. We will explore campus resources that can assist in the creation of our video essays. The course will culminate with a final individual video essay project of your own design.

Writing 200.003 - The Art of the Photo Essay

The Art of the Photo Essay welcomes students interested in exploring visual alternatives and complements to traditional textual narrative and argumentation. In this course, students will develop skills of visual composition and presentation through creating, editing and curating a portfolio of photo essays. Technically, this course will introduce students to elements of visual composition such as selecting and framing a subject, choosing a background, understanding light (both natural and introduced), and using Photoshop. Using these skills, students will compose photo essays that make arguments and tell stories. Throughout the course you will keep a blog that documents the evolution of your projects as well as your development as a photo essayist. The photo essays you create will be workshopped by your peers; while this process is aimed at improving your technical skills and rhetorical vision, you will also draw inspiration from seeing how others in class are handling the assignments.

Writing 200.004 - New Media for Non-Profits

This service-learning course offers students the opportunity to see digital media through the eyes of people who work for non-profits and other philanthropic/social justice organizations, which may use digital media to promote their mission, to attract volunteers, and/or to raise money. In this course, you’ll work with a local non-profit organization to gain hands-on experience with digital and social media as it relates to the organization’s goals. In addition, you will practice thinking strategically about 21st-century communications and get some practice in various digital media forms, including blogs, web pages, podcasts, videos and social media platforms. Though digital media communications are constantly changing, this course will provide you with new ways of thinking about writing and a variety of tools and resources you can take with you into your future digital media writing projects and/or your work with nonprofit organizations.

Writing 200.005 - Social Media Lifecycles: Problems, Predictions, and Breakthroughs

Is this online universe burning you out? Does checking your phone feel more like an addiction than a tool-based technical action? Are you feeling less, instead of more, trusting of news and relationships the more you use social media? Is it difficult to recall a time when it wasn’t like this? Would you like to?In this course, we will trace the history of social media through a user-based perspective to learn and analyze the ways specific platforms have died, grown, and evolved. We will also consider social and cultural dynamics that underpin these social media technologies and track our own social media habits. Reading for this course will be wide-ranging and include work from theorists, platform developers, social scientists, and essayists. The primary goal of this course is to promote the critical thinking and media literacy skills needed to effectively use and navigate social media spaces in purposeful, human ways.

Writing 201 Writing with Digital & Social Media Mini-courses (1-credit)

Writing 201.001 - How to Ask Strangers for Money on the Internet: The Rhetoric of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has gained exponential popularity on platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and Only Fans in recent years. In this course, we will explore what makes or breaks a crowdfunding campaign, and how language, framing, design, and multimedia affect campaign success. We will analyze the rhetorical effectiveness of both effective and ineffective campaigns, consider the relationship between creator and backer, and try our hands at composing our own crowdfunding campaigns. This class will provide you the tools to be an informed consumer and potential backer of crowdfunding campaigns, as well as compose your own.

Writing 200.02 The Rhetoric of Infographics

A well-designed infographic can capture a reader’s attention and effectively convey its message by conveying complex information using good design and rhetorical choices. As the popularity of infographics grows, so does the need to critically analyze how data is being visualized and what kinds of rhetorical strategies are being used. 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 201.003 - Digital Media and the Arts

Are you a visual artist, slam poet, performer, creative writer, musician, or arts activist? Have you always wanted to explore digital platforms to curate and promote your work, and collaborate with other artists in similar or complementary genres? This mini-course will consider the role that digital media has played in promoting artists, transforming museums and other in-person spaces, and building arts communities and activism. Students will write an artist’s statement and create their own digital arts projects on a platform of their choice.

Writing 201.004 - Collecting Stories // People You Know

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 from people you know well--stories you may not have known they had to tell until you asked. We will examine the art of interviewing and of storytelling, as we explore how to find a story that shows the essence of another.We also will look into campus resources that can help us to produce our own story collections. Along the way, we will study Story Corps and other forms of ethnographic story collection. You will take an original photograph to accompany the collected story. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to an on-going campus story archive.

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)