There are two purposes for this class. One is to learn writing techniques that carry over to other courses or work tasks. The other is to learn about the power of language, for good or for ill: how it can dazzle and delight us, but also, if we don’t question it, how it might manipulate us.
To learn about the power of language, we’ll read a series of essays on language: language and advertising, language and media, language and prejudice, language and gender, and so on. You will be expected to understand and react to the essays: by occasionally writing summaries, passing quizzes on vocabulary and content, and contributing to oral discussion about the ideas. For your papers, you will be generating ideas within the current language topic, developing your own thesis, organizing, writing rough drafts, and rewriting. Students will create about six 2-3-page papers and a research paper of 3-5 pages (using library print and online sources). We’ll read drafts aloud to peers.
A Course Reader will be available from Professional Image. The one book, Lester Faigley’s LITTLE PENGUIN HANDBOOK: MLA UPDATE, will be available from Revolution Books.