Introduction to Writing Studies (3) This course introduces students to the most salient issues and theories in writing studies. Students explore contemporary theories and issues about writing in order to understand writing as a skill and a complex object of study in various professional contexts.
ENGL 211W Introduction to Writing Studies (3)
Most students know that writing is something one does; they are less aware that writing is something one studies, and that doing so is a challenging and fascinating intellectual endeavor. In this class, students explore the multifaceted nature of writing. As the list of major topics indicates above, students study a broad range of contemporary theories and issues, from the socially-constituted self in the act of writing, to plagiarism as it is variably defined in professional settings, to the role of the writer in social change.
The course is designed for both breadth and depth. Breadth is achieved through the many topics described above. The exams are designed to encourage students to make connections from one topic to another, to see how each builds on and intertwines with others. For example, early semester study on a writer’s individual agency is later complicated by issues of power determined by race, class, and gender. Writers’ ethical choices are made more challenging when confronted with questions of ideology and social justice.
Depth is achieved through the written essays. Each essay requires that students examine a narrow topic in depth, building on an assigned reading with limited and manageable primary and secondary research. For example, students may study their own writing as intertextual, drawing conclusions about originality and creativity in the process.
Throughout the course, students are encouraged to apply issues and theories to real-world situations, in such realms as professional settings, politics, media, and social justice. Several speakers come to class throughout the semester to expose students to the many kinds of writing professional writers do, the expectations and standards required of professional writers, and the avenues to success as professional writers.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.