Composition I

Writing the Animal.  Why look at animals, and why
write about them?  Animals are everywhere
in culture and society.  Animals are used
as food and clothing, live with us as pets, function as research subjects in
laboratories, live in zoos as objects of spectacle, face extinction, and exist
throughout contemporary media in literature, movies, commercials, and YouTube
videos.  Why do we consider some animals
family, yet eat others?  What constitutes
our difference from animals?  How does
the animal collide with other social and cultural issues?  How do people write and think about
animals?  Through our primary focus on
animals, students will experience a variety of college-level writing and
explore how a subject changes depending on its written context. Through course
readings, class discussions, research, and writing assignments, students will
think and write about a complex topic in a variety of ways, all in an effort to
learn how to write well at the college level.


This class focuses on
animals not as a body of material to be mastered, but as the starting point for
your own writing.  Through our topic
students will be introduced to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands
of writing at the college level.  This
class guides students through the writing process, search strategies, and how
to incorporate secondary sources into their own writing.  Students will gain experience in the library
and on the internet to enhance their skills in accessing and using various
types of primary and secondary materials. 
Students will learn how to read critically and make use of a variety of
sources in expressing their own opinions, ideas, and perspectives in writing.


Throughout the course
students will write five major papers (narrative essay, informative research
essay, cultural object analysis, argumentative research paper, and a persuasive
essay) on top of in-class writing assignments and shorter writing
assignments.  Students will share their
work with the class in the form of peer review, and will meet with the
instructor for one-on-one conferences. Students are expected to participate in
class discussions, critically engage with our course material and the writing
of other students, share their own ideas and respect those of their peers.


Required Texts:

Linda Kalof and Amy Fitzgerald, The Animals Reader: The Classic and Contemporary Writings

Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing

Richard Bullock and Francine Weinberg. The Little Seagull Handbook