This course aims to help students grow significantly as lively, engaged academic writers and public intellectuals in their ability to grapple with arguments, to integrate experience and research, to experiment with different genres, voices and styles and to craft creative, well-reasoned and vibrant essays. Our approach to writing in the course is to strive for "public scholarship," i.e., writing that engages with the complexity of ethical and social issues by addressing a general readership through dynamic and accessible prose. Throughout the semester, I will encourage student writers to:

  • Address an intelligent, public audience in a graceful style, providing key information necessary to understand an argument;
  • Develop ideas in an interesting, original and coherent manner;
  • Support arguments with appropriate evidence and use and cite sources correctly;
  • Employ clear, concise language that uses the conventions of English grammar, punctuation and word usage;
  • Structure arguments carefully with clear introductions, transitions, middles and conclusions;
  • Title assignments in a thoughtful and engaging fashion.

In addition to regular homework and pre-writing exercises, students will submit three major assignments in two stages: First version and revision. (A first version is a fully written piece submitted to fulfill assignment requirements, not an outline or partial essay.)