WRIT 150: Writing and Critical Reasoning–Thematic Approaches: Identity and Diversity in American Contexts

Course Description and Objectives

Most people write to do something—to enter into the “conversations” of a variety of communities, and to share ideas and perspectives that may shape or change what is already known. In WRIT 150, we will analyze and practice the different skills and strategies that writers use to fulfill such writing goals in different contexts. Instead of focusing only on final texts, we will focus on exploring and using the processes of writing, including how to find and develop new ideas that might be of interest and value to certain communities (invention strategies, research strategies, and audience analysis); how to explore the many perspectives and approaches to a particular topic (prewriting); how to explore these ideas and “write to learn,” experimenting with a variety of writing features and techniques (drafting); how to adjust or change our drafts and ideas based on others’ responses to our texts (revision); and how to present our ideas in the forms that our readers expect and value (style, documentation, editing and proofreading). We will discuss and practice each practice and explore how such processes overlap and double back and repeat.

In addition to developing writing skills and process, this course also focuses on the ways in which we conduct critical analysis. As part of a university academic community, we are challenged to delve deep into the issues that we encounter in the world. We will use a variety of approaches for developing critical reasoning skills in this class, including participating in scholarly conversations with multiple sources and perspectives in order to make new knowledge.

Identity and Diversity

The thematic for this course focuses on the ways that identity and diversity are discussed in contemporary settings. We will approach this thematic from the perspective that identity and diversity are able to be understood through systems of social construction and discourse. That is, while we will discuss the physical markers of “diversity,” we will also focus on the ways in which social factors play a role in how we approach and understand diversity. In particular, this course is built around the theme of identity and diversity as understood through hashtags and social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. However, this is not a social media course. The real work of the class will focus on issues of identity and diversity, but you can expect some discussion of how these concepts might be understood or discussed through social media.

Relevant Documents (PDF format):

Syllabus

Writing Project One: Identity and Identifiers: Hashtags and Authenticity

Writing Project Two: Difference and Identity: Defining What We Are Not

Writing Project Three: Multiple Identities: Navigating Academic Conversations for Researched Arguments

Final Portfolio and Writing Project Four: Intersectionality: Identifying Other Conversations that Inform an Issue