Composition I

Why is Freshman
Composition the one course required by almost every discipline at every
university? Why is writing so important? Is texting writing? What about when we
update our Facebook pages? Our work in this course will involve engaging
questions exactly like these. We will explore the role writing plays not only
in academic studies but also in our lives outside of school—the ways writing
shapes how we perceive and construct the world. We will examine rhetorical
strategies (audience, context, use of language, etc.) as they are used in the
multitude of texts that we are exposed to every day, focusing particularly on
issues that are relevant to you at this very particular time and in this place.
In class, we will discuss current events on a regular basis, and our texts will
include selected short stories, electronic texts, advertisements, as well as
academic essays (all of which will be available online or as handouts).

You will write
three short (3-4 page) papers, and the semester will culminate with a formal
research project for which you will produce a research paper (6-8 pages) and a
Powerpoint presentation. Each final paper will be the result of revisions, a
required component of all formal papers. 
You will also keep a journal and freewrite frequently throughout the

completion of this course will result in an understanding of the rhetorical
situation surrounding various writing tasks: how to use writing to clarify and
articulate your thoughts in ways that are appropriate in specific situations
and for particular audiences. You will also become accustomed to, if not
comfortable with, the writing process—and work towards identifying a specific
process of writing that works for you.

Required Texts:

  • Hacker, Diana. A
    Pocket Style Manual,
    ed. New York, Bedford: 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0312593247

(can be bought from UHM’s