We will begin by working with the notion that writing is like a conversation. Public issues take the shape they do because of the way they are talked or written about. As critical members of society, it is important that we take responsibility for understanding what people are saying about important issues in society. We also need to be responsible for analyzing why people are saying what they are and ultimately work toward participating in the conversations that affect our daily lives.
To become accountable members of the conversations we hear around us, we will begin by developing critical reading and responding skills. We will then research at the university level, engage ourselves with the texts we encounter through our research, and analyze the texts produced by other writers about a particular issue. Our final major assignment will be a source-based argument targeted toward an audience of your choice.
As we learn about public issues and how they are discussed in our society, we will also work with skills and strategies you will need to effectively write for an academic environment as well as for situations you will encounter in everyday life. Throughout the semester, you will learn how to most effectively reach your audiences and accomplish your purposes by making the most effective choices about the claim (thesis), focus, development, and organization of your writing based on your context or writing situation.