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Degree Courses - Writing Courses

WR120: The Word and the World
The World and the Word course is an introduction to academic writing at the college level. Students will engage in an intensive practice of critical reading, thinking and writing through the examination of a variety of topics and genre in a collaborative atmosphere. Students will create a written self-assessment at the end of the semester.

In this course, students will use writing as a means by which to improve their ability to read meaningfully and to understand the profound connection between oral and written language and the world in which they live. Four parts of the writing and learning process are stressed: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Students will read and write about subjects both academic and non-academic, and explore the various ways writers engage their audiences in particular contexts. In doing so, they will learn to see and evaluate their own rhetorical choices in a range of writing situations. Through the course of the semester, students write often and in many forms: in journals, online, formally and informally. Further, they will practice all steps of the writing process, including researching a topic, assessing the context and audience of a particular assignment, and developing early drafts into refined essays.

Speaking and listening are just as fundamental as reading and writing to the student-centered activities that form the core of this course. Students will practice articulating their ideas in class discussion and attending closely to those of their peers, further developing their own perspectives. Through workshops and writing groups, students will analyze one another’s writing and practice revision and editing. Students also participate in small group work, collaborative writing, conferences, and research. These activities stress how writing can be practiced in communities as well as on one's own; they will demonstrate that writing, like learning, is simultaneously solitary and social, private and public.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): None


WR200: Critical and Creative Forms
Critical and Creative Forms is an intermediate-level writing course that focuses on writing as a creative and critical form. Students will explore the formal qualities of a variety of “texts,” including visual and online texts, and expand their experience of writing analytically and creatively. It is an intensification of the processes introduced in WR120 with further emphasis on visual as well as verbal rhetorics and critical thinking.

In WR200, students will develop their ability to read and assess communication in various forms and genres, to write analytical and critical essays, to perform increasingly sophisticated research, and to experiment with communicative form themselves. WR200 focuses on the theme of “environments,” examining the idea or condition of “environment” through a variety of possible progressive lenses, including ecological, natural, cultural, sacred or built environments.

WR200 emphasizes writing-in-process and students are challenged to take progressively more individual responsibility for all phases of the process, from journaling to the composing of final manuscripts. Students will be expected to identify, research and articulate points of view with increasing sophistication and ease in order to engage in critical conversations. Students participate in writing workshops, writing groups, small group discussions and collaborative writing as well as complete individual writing assignments. Throughout, students will be required to demonstrate evolving critical judgment and self- reflection. Self-directed research and working proficiently with primary and secondary sources is also emphasized through assignments highlighting the research process and the creation of an annotated bibliography.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): WR120 or WR111


WR300: The Creative Professional in Context
In The Creative Professional in Context, students explore the process of constructing a professional, public identity through written and verbal communication about their work in Fine Art and/or Design. They refine their skills in writing, speaking, and listening, and use writing as a means to examine the conceptual, critical, philosophical, and historical foundations of their emerging creative work within the broader contexts of their chosen fields and of visual culture broadly conceived.

In this course students learn to use writing as a means of effectively communicating ideas and information about their emerging professional identities. To these ends, students will write, edit and revise often; engage in self-directed research; analyze different rhetorical situations within the professional sphere; and refine their professional selves through both oral and written assignments. Instructors in WR300 employ frequent use of writing workshops and writing groups as well as individual writing assignments. Because the course is conducted in seminar fashion, students are expected to assume considerable responsibility for course materials and processes.

WR300 emphasizes the composition of polished, substantive written work, including description of studio work and processes, critical analysis of art/design texts, reflective writing, and communication with colleagues and peers. Assignments foster the development of a professional identity by engaging students in critical reading and discussion of key texts in visual culture and their major field, and identifying personal, cultural, and professional influences and connections that impact the student’s work. The course work will culminate in the creation of a substantive document representing a professional self, conceived in relation to these critical contexts.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): WR200


WR400: Senior Writing Seminar
Senior Writing Seminar is an intensive capstone writing course run as a seminar examining the making of meaning through narrative; specifically, exploring forms of Life Writing. Students will study the various forms of “life writing” including: autobiography, memoir, new journalism and creative nonfiction. Through weekly written explorations, students will explore and practice the different forms that the genre of “life writing” may take. Within the context of a growing public popularity of autobiographical writing and memoirs, students will explore possible social, political and rhetorical purposes for writing from life and will compose a final, capstone life writing project individually as means for practicing this form of writing.

WR 400 is a capstone writing course that introduces students to emerging hybrid and intermodal forms of personal writing and causes them to analyze the contexts within which it is occurring. Through formal and informal written exercises, students will explore the capacity of language to help shape and give meaning and form to personal experiences, influences, individuals, achievements or landscapes. This writing should provide a reflective springboard for looking backward or for facing the future and determining larger contexts and meanings for experiences. It should also cause students to continue to develop more sophisticated skills as writers.

The nature and form of the writing that students produce will be various –individual writers will complete intensely reflective responses to readings and to one another’s writing. In an effort to identify past memories and influences, material choices and intentions, important events and people, composing short and long pieces about those issues and individuals.

Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite(s): WR300 & Senior standing


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