Composition I

This course is
designed to help you write clear, focused, coherent and interesting
college-level prose.  We will
progress from descriptive and narrative writing (where we can think about
voice, concrete detail, diction, and vitality), to analytical expository essays
(where we can develop critical thinking skills and strategies, and gain some
facility in a variety of academic discourses).  As the semester progresses, we will be looking at various
ways language figures in all our lives, touching on such issues as the
relationship between language and thought, commercialization of language,
language and gender, visual language, and political rhetoric. You will also be
exploring library resources and writing a research paper. Our final topic will
allow us to apply some of the language issues explored in a major literary
work, George Orwell’s 1984.  This
last section is intended to provide a transition to your sophomore literature
course.  You will have practice
using writing at all stages of the development process: generating ideas,
writing drafts, editing, revising, and polishing.

Students can
expect to complete about ten finished pieces of writing, starting from short
writings (one page) and working toward 3-4 page essays.  For your research essay and final
paper, you will probably write more.

Required texts include a course packet of readings, Hacker’s A Pocket
Style Manual, and Orwell’s 1984. 
Attendance is required.