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“Write, Read,
Rewrite. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as Needed” – Susan Sontag’s directions for
writing in the New York Times
– will be the mantra for our class, in which we will approach reading and
writing as firmly related processes. Learning to write well begins with close
reading. We will read essays on relevant issues, not only for content but also
for form, as possible models for our writing. We will analyze how successful
writers use various rhetorical strategies to convey meaning. The essay
assignments will give you practice in using a range of strategies to achieve
specific purposes – to reflect, to inform, to analyze, and to persuade. You
will learn how to draw on your readings as relevant and reliable sources to be
integrated in your writing, following the MLA style guide. We will work on
planning, drafting, and revising, with an emphasis on revision in order to
produce clear and concise prose. We will also focus on issues of style,
grammar, and mechanics that are specific to your writing. Essential to this
course are our regular one-on-one conferences to discuss your drafts and give
you guidance for rewrites.

Required Texts

  • Course Reader (available at Campus Copy, Campus Center)
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Pocket Style Manual. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. (available at UHM Bookstore, Campus Center)