Composition I for Transfers

Popular Culture, Media, and Technology


“Media culture,” wrote
American sociologist Inge Bell, in her 1960s campus classic, This Book is Not Required, “creates, for
us, an identity based not on who we actually are but rather on what we are
not.” This composition course will ask you to discuss, research, and write
about media and mass culture, as they shape your life and the world around you.
You will learn to identify and construct different genres of argument, by
writing five papers on different popular culture-, media-, or
technology-related issues:


  • A description paper (“argument of
    fact”), of 500 words or 2 double-spaced pages
  • A conceptual paper (“argument of
    definition”), of 750 words or 3 double-spaced pages
  • A review paper (“argument of
    evaluation”), of 1,000 words or 4 double-spaced pages
  • A social problem paper (“causal
    argument”), of 1,250 words or 4 1/2 double-spaced pages
  • A persuasive paper (“proposal”), of
    1,500 words or 5 double-spaced pages


As you draft the rough
and final versions of each paper–with the instructor’s help and those of your
peers–you will learn these composition, information-literacy, and
critical-thinking skills:


  • Distinguish facts and data patterns
    from stereotypes and generalizations
  • Explore, define, and use abstract
    concepts in your writing
  • Select and analyze information from
    diverse sources
  • Contextualize and evaluate the
    objectivity of sources
  • Build effective arguments and tailor
    them to specific audiences
  • Sharpen technical skills such as
    style and voice, word choice, paragraph and sentence construction, transitions,
    titles and subtitles, and various literary techniques, to improve your writing


A typical class is
structured this way: a short lecture, a writing activity, group work, brief
sharing/informal presentations by groups, and another writing activity.  Each stage of the class session is aimed
towards helping you complete a specific step for a specific paper; the session
will be conducted like a writing workshop, so attendance and participation are
mandatory. Please bring to each class a laptop, tablet, iPad, smartphone, or
electronic writing device, from which you can post to the Laulima website
during writing sessions. There will be no final exam; however, students will
create a final audio-visual/multimedia presentation, using visual and written
arguments, towards persuading the audience to consider their viewpoint on a
selected media issue.


Required Texts:

  • Osbourne, Jeff. Reading Pop Culture. Boston: Bedford/St Martins, 2013. ISBN-13: 9781457606021
  • Lunsford, Andrea A., John J.
    Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s
    an Argument
    , 6th edition. Bedford/St Martins, 2013. ISBN-13: 9781457606069


Grading Basis

  • 60%    Five
    short papers
  • 15%    Final
    audio-visual and/or multimedia persuasive presentation (web, video, PowerPoint,
  • 15%    Weekly
    Discussion Board posts on Laulima course website
  • 10%    In-class group exercises and class