Composition I

Goals, Objectives

course is described in the catalogue as an “introduction to the rhetorical, conceptual and stylistic demands
of writing at the university level [including] composing processes, search
strategies, and writing from sources,” and that is precisely what the class
will be.  But because this section is part of the Selected
Studies Program, it’s structured so that, in addition to refining your already strong writing
skills, you’ll take the initiative in your own learning, rigorously assess your
writing strengths and weaknesses, and argue for the decisions that you make concerning
your own projects and positions.

will be numerous selections on the course website for you to read, and most will
be related to the subjects raised in the best-selling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010). It is a multi-layered, well researched,
highly readable biography.  At the same
time, it’s an investigation into science and medicine along with ethical
problems that have vexed the 20th– and 21st
centuries.  The book also centers on
race, class, and dramatically illustrates why certain patients fare better than
others in the U.S. health care system. 
The book’s investigation medical privacy and journalist practices will
be useful for learning how to write about others and how to position oneself
relative to the biographical subject. In other words, the book will give you
opportunities to think critically about difficult issues and then to choose
writing projects that reflect your own related interests.

modes of writing will be various, but they will increasingly be argumentative
to give you practice for your final researched argument essay.  You’ll participate in a number of visits to
Hamilton Library and become familiar with its resources. You’ll need a
commitment to engage actively in discussions with the instructor and with
your peers, and to discuss and critique one another’s writing.  You’ll be asked to write a series of short
essay (approximately 25 pages in total), presenting sound arguments and using specific strategies and
language choices.

Partial List of Texts

Skloot, Rebecca.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

(Chapters from) Trimble, John R.  Writing
with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing.

Learning Outcomes

compose insightful and well written essays that achieve a specific purpose and
respond to an identifiable audience.

provide evidence of effective strategies for generating, revising, editing, and
proofreading a text in order to produce finished prose.

compose arguments that make use of source material that is relevant and
credible and that is integrated in accordance with an appropriate style guide.