Composition I

The reader for this course contains excerpts from writings by history’s most influential thinkers in a wide variety of areas: government, justice, social class, intellect, science, religion, gender, and art. We will be studying, among other writers, Lao-Tzu, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Aristotle, Virginia Woolf, Henry David Thoreau, Marx, Plato, Freud, Darwin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nietzsche. We will also look at parts of the Koran and the Bible. Since no student becomes a good writer without first becoming a good thinker, the objective of this course is to enable the student to absorb and evaluate some of the complex ideas that have shaped today’s world and to respond to those ideas in well-reasoned and carefully revised essays. Beginning with short response papers, students will gradually work up to a research project at the end of the semester.

Course Requirements:

Mandatory attendance, class participation, six short essays, three in-class responses, and one final paper demonstrating competence in the use of finding and documenting secondary sources.


(available in the UH Bookstore)

  • Glenn, Cheryl and Loretta Gray. THE HODGES HARBRACE HANDBOOK, 17th Edition. Wadsworth Publishing, 2009
  • Lee A. Jacobus, ed. A WORLD OF IDEAS: ESSENTIAL READINGS FOR COLLEGE WRITERS, 8th Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.