General Education Courses

Not all WRIT General Education courses are offered every term.

WRIT General Education Course offerings for 2016-2017

AP/WRIT 1700 9.00 Writing: Process and Practice

Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities.

This course considers a wide range of written expression including fiction, nonfiction, poetry and other genres, with an emphasis on the theory and practice of writing.

This is not a technical writing course; the focus is on developing critical reading, writing and thinking skills through a close and thoughtful consideration of readings and other resources. Students will explore and practice a variety of writing methods, such as how to write persuasively for different audiences and how to write collaboratively. Students will also read and practice different forms and genres of writing, such as argument, personal essay, blog post, journals and short (no-pressure) writing experiments.

Writing in ways we are not necessarily familiar with strengthens writing skills in general. By becoming more aware of how and why different texts are written, we become more aware of out own writing practices and of what is needed to improve such practices. An important aim of the course is to help students develop greater confidence when writing in different contexts, whether academic, professional or personal.

Course Credit exclusions: AP/WRIT 1980 9.00 (prior to Fall 2012). PRIOR TO FALL 2009, AS/EN 1980 9.00, WRIT 1701 9.0, 1702 6.0, 1703 6.0

WRIT 1700 is offered in fully online and  blended formats.

AP/WRIT 1702 6.00 Becoming a Better Writer: Methods and Models

Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities.

This course combines practical strategies for writing improvement in academic and professional contexts by having students study the diverse social, political and cultural challenges writers face. The course emphasizes transferable skills via writing academic essays, film criticism and professional projects.

Writing is a crucial, transferable skill that can be improved by conscious awareness of process and ongoing practice. We benefit by being able to clearly express our thoughts to the world, whether that context is in an academic essay, through digital media, or via a convincing project proposal. Accordingly, WRIT 1702 will carefully explore the principles of essay writing, and help students develop effective methods for composing university papers. By completing portfolios on Academic Criticism and Life Writing, students will receive feedback on summarizing sources, using secondary sources to interpret primary texts, and conducting effective research for composing convincing essays in multiple genres. The course also illustrates (and requires) professional standards in e-mail and report writing, and includes a substantial group work component where, working together, students complete a substantial piece of film criticism.

But students taking WRIT 1720 can also expect to learn about the composing struggles and strategies of successful writers. Writers such as Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Gloria Anzaldúa have much to teach us about writing from the margins; others, like George Orwell, Michael Goulish and Ursula K.LeGuin have helpful advice for clear, resonant writing. The course also explores the persistent challenges all writers must face, as censorship, propaganda and conflict rhetoric hamper their ability to express their ideas.

Course credit exclusions: AP/WRIT 1700 9.0,  AP/ WRIT 1701 9.0, AP/WRIT 1703 6.0


WRIT General Education Courses not offered during the 2016-2017 Academic Year

AP/WRIT 1701 9.00 Writing as Cultural Practice

This course emphasizes practice, offering students opportunities to develop the writing strategies and skills they need for a broad range of academic situations. The course uses canonical as well as more contemporary cultural texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and film. Lectures, tutorials, and assignments encourage students to respond thoughtfully and effectively to a broad range of ideas, opinions, and arguments and stories, situating themselves as writers in the world.

Students learn critical approaches and strategies which they can use both in engaging with other texts and in improving their own writing. Throughout, the course emphasizes connections between reading, writing, and critical thinking, using multiple assignments and exercises, some collaborative, to strengthen these skills.

Course Credit exclusions: AP/WRIT 1700 9.0, AP/WRIT 1702 6.0, AP/WRIT 1703 6.0

AP/WRIT 1703 6.00 Writing Process: Invention, Originality, and Ethics

Writing is commonly conceptualized as a process of “writing up,” the act of documenting fully formed ideas, arguments, and conclusions. However, scholarship in writing studies shows that writing is normally a recursive process of knowledge production. Writers inevitably find themselves “writing through” ideas and issues and landing somewhere unexpected. Writing is also a process of knowledge production in a larger sense. As writers engage with what others have said before them, they contribute to social constructions of knowledge. Underestimating the complexity and power of the writing process can cause writers to become frustrated and even defeated by the exercise.

In this course, students develop a critical understanding of the roles writing process plays in the production of knowledge. Using ethnography and discourse analysis, students study the processes writers rely on. Are ideas originated, developed, found, borrowed? What principles, beliefs, and motivations govern the ways they work? In this social science-oriented study of the writer, students engage with theories of authorship, invention, originality, plagiarism, intellectual property, and the social construction of knowledge.

Students develop social science research, critical thinking, and writing skills through course subject matter and assignments. In particular, this course helps students grapple with what it means to “write in your own words,” as university-level assignments invite them to move beyond imitation and repetition to contribution and “originality.”

Course Credit exclusions: AP/WRIT 1700 9.0, AP/WRIT 1701 9.0, AP/WRIT 1702 6.0