|Instructor Comments||Back to Goals of the Assignment|
A Note on the Topic for this Course: We're intersted in how our experiences with language, as a group, are similar and different. We want to get you to recognize that, although each of us has had important experiences with language, those experiences vary greatly across a group of people. Some of you will share similar experiences, while others will have had experiences that are unlike those of your classmates.
We also want you to discover that you already know a great deal about the topic that we're going to explore throughout the semester: language and culture. You may be skeptical about studying one topic for a semester-long writing class. However, language is the subject of this course, just as biology or history or sociology would be the subject of other courses that you take at the University. Our decision to focus on the topic of language is based on our understanding that, to improve as a writer, writers need to understand how language and culture shape the decisions they make about the texts that they write.
Many writing teachers present writing as a "topic-free" discipline, that is, as simply a set of skills. However, writing instruction has its roots in rhetoric, which has been practiced and taught for millenia. CO150 builds on this rhetorical tradition by treating language itself as an area worthy of careful study.