introduction to writing arts, sum 09

Course Overview

Introduction to Writing Arts introduces you to important concepts in writing and to the Writing Arts major. The course provides a framework for understanding and connecting material throughout your coursework. It is divided into three modules: Issues in Writing; History and Materiality of Writing; and Technologies and the Future of Writing. The class is divided into three two-week modules taught by individual instructors with all instructors attending the opening and closing classes. You can expect the course to do the following:

  • Provide an introduction to the Writing Arts major’s Core Values, goals and objectives
  • Outline the curriculum in the major
  • Introduce writing as a discipline by establishing the sociocultural, technological and theoretical concerns common to all writing
  • Acquaint you with potential careers based on the major
  • Outline the requirements for the major’s final portfolio (completed in Portfolio Seminar)

Each of the three modules stands on its own, yet also speaks to the topics and concepts found in the other two. Brief descriptions of each module follow:

Issues in Writing
During this module, we will look at prominent ideas and concepts that shape contemporary understandings of writing. The module is divided into four units: the writing process; social construction and the rhetorical situation; genre; and academic integrity. In addition to reading the work of experts, we will discuss our own writing processes and how motivation, circumstances, and external expectations shape the writing process.

History and Materiality of Writing
Because the written word is inseparable from the technologies used to produce it, the history of writing and the technologies of writing are discussed together in this module. We will not only look at how aspects of writing changed over time due to sociocultural shifts, but the role technology played in those changes.

Technologies and the Future of Writing
Readings and discussions will introduce students to seminal theories that have contributed to the evolution of the technologies of writing. Students will also gain important hands-on experience with instructional technology tools that they will use throughout the major.

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