This course overview gives you the "big picture" of CO301a.
Unit I: Text Analysis (approx. 6 weeks)
In the first three weeks of the course, we will read and analyze a number of
pieces. Our goal is to understand how the context in which a text is produced
(author/purpose/audience/subject) affects the final product. Our analyses will
be based on our understanding that the choices writers make are intentional and
influenced by a variety of factors. These analyses will not only serve as a
basis of discussion of some key issues in the arts and humanities but will also
encourage you to develop writerly habits such as reading with a writer's eye and
making informed choices in your own writing.
Our readings will focus on the role of the humanities in education. We will
read selections placed on reserve at Morgan Library. We will practice a variety
of analysis techniques, and you will write 3 assignments based on those
analyses. The first will be a series of posts to the forum, the second a written
exercise, and the third an analysis paper. You will be given detailed assignment
directions for each of these papers. There will be a number of smaller homework
and in-class assignments which will allow you to practice the skills and explore
the ideas upon which you will base these papers.
Unit II: Portfolio (approx. 8 weeks)
This guide begins with your analysis of exploratory research on a topic of
interest in the humanities of your choice. You will create a research
plan identifying the overall issue(s) you will address, the texts you will
analyze, the kinds of analyses you will conduct, and the essays you will write.
Your analyses must include at least one thorough publication analysis. The final
portfolio includes 10 finished pages of final, polished work. These pieces must
represent at least two separate pieces written to at least two different types
of audiences. (No more than 3 pages of work written for another class will count
toward the total.) The portfolio includes a cover sheet indicating the audiences
addressed, the contextual factors considered as you wrote, and the key
differences in context among your pieces. Class time during this portion of the
course will be devoted to workshops, conferences, and lessons on areas of
writing chosen to reflect the needs of the class members.
Wrapping it all up (approx. 2 weeks)
The last three days of class will be devoted to analyzing and responding to
your portfolios. You will read and respond to at least two classmates' portfolios
during this time and write a detailed postscript to your own portfolio in which
you analyze and evaluate it.