Composition I

This course is designed for students in the UHM Honors Program/Selected Studies
program and has a focus on issues related to the environment and sustainability. Our primary tasks will include drafting, revising, editing, and responding to papers in a variety of academic and popular genres that you will encounter at UHM and in your daily life: blog entries, critical reviews and reflections, argumentative and interpretative papers, and collaborative research projects. My assumption is that any piece of writing can be improved, and the process of learning to write is ongoing for all of us. Expect to spend
time with other classmates and me discussing your writing. Throughout the class, you will become familiar with research methods and sources, especially those available only at this university or in Hawai‘i. By the end of the course, you will have both developed a set of strategies for representing your ideas on paper to diverse audiences and learned to attend to language, your own and others, with greater precision and rhetorical power.

Our focus on sustainability will involve a consideration of the many definitions of
the term in a range of fields and the complex sets of discourses, problems and ethical issues it entails: environmentalism, economics, social relations, modernity, development and tourism, agriculture and food security, health care, disasters (natural and manmade), technology and communication. Through the course readings and our discussions of them, we will think and write about the social and cultural implications of the above mentioned and other related issues.


  • Blog entries (15%)
  • class presentation (15%)
  • 4 short (4-5 pages) papers (40%)
  • collaborative research project including approx 12-15 pages of writing from you (30%)

Required Texts will be ordered through Revolution Books in Puck’s Alley, or can be procured on your own. Additional course readings will be available through our Laulima course site.

  • Apio, Alani. Kamau, Kamau A‘e
  • Howes, Craig and Jon Osorio. The Value of Hawai‘i
  • Weber, Karl. Food, Inc.