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Fall 2014 Course Offerings

WTNG 100

WTNG 102

WTNG 102 Honors
WTNG 200

WTNG 220

WTNG 270 Travel Writing
WTNG 299 Writing on the Law for Non-lawyers
WTNG 305 Writing the City (Ireland)
WTNG 330 Writing for Business Organizations
 

All Courses

WTNG 100--INTRODUCTION TO ACADEMIC WRITING
Focusing on the connection between reading and writing, this first-year course emphasizes the understanding and production of academic arguments.  In a series of increasingly complex assignments, students cultivate rhetorical and writing process knowledge as well as an understanding of the general expectations of the academic discourse community.  Assignments focus on summary and analysis of academically oriented texts.  Students must write a series of compositions, submit a satisfactory portfolio, and earn a C- or higher in the course to enroll in WTNG 102.

WTNG 102--EXPOSITORY WRITING: HOW WRITING WORKS
This first-year course helps students develop a conceptual map of how writing works by building their rhetorical and writing-process knowledge and by fostering genre and discourse community awareness.  Students draft a minimum of four revised essays and complete a course portfolio.  Students must submit a satisfactory portfolio and earn a C-or higher in the course in order to enroll in 200 or 300-level writing courses.

WTNG 200--CRITICAL WRITING FOR THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
This theme-based course focuses on introducing students to the production of academic, public, and/or professional arguments that synthesize multiple sources and emphasize discourse community standards. It teaches students the habits of mind necessary for inquiry-based learning. Students learn to develop a question-based problem, critically investigate that problem, advance a well-defended argument to address the problem and, where appropriate, to present their findings to a public audience. Prerequisite:  Successful completion (C- or higher) of Expository Writing.

WTNG 220--CRITICAL WRITING FOR THE PROFESSIONS

Critical Writing for the Professions is a research-based course that focuses on persuasive writing used in commerce and the professions.  This could include writing for specific professional audiences in letter, memo, and formal report formats, choosing appropriate style and visuals, all to help achieve a document’s purpose.  Various types of reports may be assigned, including but not limited to proposals, feasibility studies, and analytical reports.  Prerequisite for WTNG 220 is the successful completion  (C- or higher) of Expository Writing.

WTNG 230 – Rhetoric of Film: Writing about Film
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program

This theme-based course focuses on critical analyses of films that explore issues of social justice and ethics. Students will be introduced to contemporary rhetorical problems filmic text pose, such as identification, signification and representation, and will write essays centered on these problems to gain further knowledge about persuasion and greater experience with the conventions of scholarly communication. (3 credits) Fall

WTNG 250 – Advanced Composition
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program

Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration
This course provides writers with advanced practice in drafting, revising, and editing non-fiction prose, with particular emphasis placed on questions of voice and style. Students will experiment with invention strategies and editing techniques as they plan, draft, and revise essays for a variety of purposes and audiences. In addition, they will read and respond to their own and their classmates’ writing in order to propose ideas for revision and editing. (3 credits) Spring

WTNG 270 – Travel Writing
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and Minor

This course familiarizes students with some of the typical genres that make up the field of travel writing. Students will gain experience adapting to various professional and public writing situations as they focus on the rhetorical distinctions between these genres and on the challenges of writing about a place responsibly. The course emphasizes the ways in which effective travel writing depends on the study of rhetoric. Students will learn how to assess the rhetorical situation and to make genre decisions based on issues of exigence, purpose, audience, and kairos. Bristol, RI will serve as the site of exploration and inspiration for travel pieces that inform, persuade, and reflect. Students will become fluent in genre analysis and writing with clarity for different purposes to different audiences. (3 credits) Special Offering

WTNG 299 – Special Topics in Writing
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

Special topics are initiated by student demand, interest of the instructor, or timeliness of offering. Readings and written
assignments are appropriate to the Special Topic designation. This course may be repeated for credit, but students may study a single topic only once. (3 credits) Special Offering

WTNG 300 – Rhetoric in a Global Context
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

At the heart of this course is the problem of rhetoric: the famous rhetoric and philosophy split whereby the nature of representation is called into question. The history and theory of travel writing provides the means by which students investigate the implications of the split for communicators in the global era. Studying the rhetorical evolution of travel writing, students consider the relationships among situation, audience, purpose and text across time and place. The course emphasizes the interaction between close reading and critical writing. (3 credits) Fall

WTNG 301 – The Rhetoric of Narrative
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This course explores storytelling as a rhetorical act that functions to persuade others, build knowledge, fashion identities, and create audiences. Students learn to use rhetorical concepts like ethos and identification to interpret a variety of narratives – such as fables, fairy tales, and parables; white papers, constitutions, and other claims to political autonomy; testimony taken from war crimes trials,  tribunals, and truth commissions; literacy narratives; and their
own family stories. Throughout this course of study, students have opportunities to critically reflect upon and write about narratives that have shaped their own identities and/or moved them to action. (3 credits) Alternate Spring

WTNG 302 – Art of Writing: Forms of the Essay
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This course broadens students’ understanding of the essay as a genre, with emphasis on analyzing and writing the personal essay. Through a socio-cultural perspective, students investigate why the personal essay is persuasive discourse that parallels pathos in argument. Readings proceed from the historical to the contemporary in the arts and
sciences. (3 credits) Fall

WTNG 303 – Environmental Rhetoric
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102 and at least sophomore standing or consent of instructor
Fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and Minor

This course will examine important writers and thinkers from Henry David Thoreau to William McKibben for ways in which arguments about human/nature relationships have evolved. The tensions in these relationships, this course argues, have forged environmentalism into a counter-hegemonic discourse that challenges fundamental assumptions about the centrality of man, the role and value of “progress,” and the utility of nature. (3 credits) Fall Alternate Years

WTNG 305 – Writing the City
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102 and at least sophomore standing or consent of instructor
Fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and Minor

In this course, students analyze and write about the city – a complex, multilayered environment that includes densely textured landscapes, platforms for creativity and innovation, sites of systemic injustice and political struggle, as well as homes, haunts, houses of worship, etc. Built upon the metaphor of the city-as-text, the course prompts students to explore – physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and rhetorically – the discourse communities of the city;
the situatedness of knowledge; concepts such as nostalgia and homesickness; the relationships between design, identity, and power; questions of displacement/dislocation, representation (e.g., mapmaking), tourism, and globalization; and the creation of publics and counter publics. Readings include sections such as Paula Mathieu’s
Tactics of Hope, Virginia Woolf’s “Street Haunting,” and Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life; and students write reflective essays, local histories/ethnographies, and walking tours. (3 credits) Fall Alternate Years

WTNG 310 – Advanced Writing (Sciences)
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This course moves beyond the introduction to scholarly communications offered in Critical Writing for the Sciences (WTNG 210). In the course, students analyze and produce professional communications in the sciences. Students are expected to initiate new research projects for this course and practice careful revision and editing of their work. Students condense substantial research for a grant proposal, configure texts, present work orally in a public venue,
and compile a professional portfolio. (3 credits) Alternate Years

WTNG 311 – Technical Writing
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two Core Requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course requirement in the minor in Professional and Public Writing

Students will learn how to apply fundamental concepts of effective technical writing that will prepare them for writing in industry, government and other professional contexts. Technical documents help move industry, government and the professions. The technical writer must make judgments about his or her audience, subject, and purposes that go far beyond transferring information. Students will study key principles of rhetorical theory, the idea of genre and its purposes, and the concept of professional audience. Technical documents may include feasibility studies, proposals, and policy statements. (3 credits) Spring Alternate Years

WTNG 320 – Writing for Business Organizations
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This course explores the causes of the success or failure of business communications. The course takes a case-based approach. Students will study the theory and practice of business communications as a pragmatic enterprise to accomplish actual change in the world. The course includes the study of the nature of domestic and global business communication, the causes and effects of communication failures, the social, legal, and ethical nature of professional
communication, and the problems in determining the professional interests of readers. (3 credits) Spring Alternate Years

WTNG 321 – Multimodal Writing in Public Spheres
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and Minor
At least sophomore standing or consent of instructor

This course explores the theory and practice of writing that serves public interests. As writing in public spheres is produced across a variety of media – from blogs to tweets to visual images to print-based texts – students will produce and analyze multimodal compositions meant to accomplish a specific outcome for a particular audience. Students will explore the theoretical, rhetorical, and ethical considerations of writing in public spheres, and produce a variety of
multimodal genres. Note: previous experience with digital or multimodal composing not required. (3 credits) Fall Alternate Years

WTNG 322 – Advancing Public Argument
Prerequisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102
Fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and Minor

Equality. Knowledge. Happiness. Freedom. The public sphere is where the meaning and implications of these words are constantly defined, contested and renegotiated. Beginning with readings that offer definitions of rhetoric role in the public sphere itself, students read a wide range of historical and contemporary public discourses that have sought to advance persuasive arguments to the American citizenry. By analyzing a variety of public genres (letters, photographs, speeches, film, statistics, art installations) with attention to the ways authors deploy the rhetorical appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos, students gain fluency as critically engaged citizens, able to participate in the reading, writing, and resisting of on-going public arguments. Writing projects privilege student interest but emphasize the development of visual, cultural, and quantitative rhetoric’s. (3 credits) Spring Alternate Years

WTNG 400 – Writing for Social Change
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a 200 or 300 Level WTNG course (or higher) and at least Junior Standing
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

After forming a partnership with a local, non-profit social service agency, participants in this course will determine which of the agency’s goals can be met by collaborating on research and writing projects. The writing projects will vary, depending on the objectives of the agency and the needs of the people it serves. The purpose of the texts
produced will range from raising public awareness of agency-specific problems and issues to securing resources for the organization. On-going reading and class discussions will center on the potency of texts, the role of the writer in bringing about social change, and the value of civic engagement. (3 credits) Spring Alternate Years

WTNG 430 – Special Topics
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a 200 or 300 Level WTNG course (or higher) and at least Junior Standing
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This course offers an in-depth study of an aspect of writing theory or practice. The specific focus varies from semester to semester and may include such topics as composition pedagogy; advanced argument; rhetorical analysis of modern culture; civil discourse; communitybased writing; and argument in advanced writing for the sciences or
for the professions. As topics vary, the course may be repeated for credit. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

WTNG 439 – Rhetorical Theory
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a 200 or 300 Level WTNG course (or higher) and at least Junior Standing
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This course traces the rhetorical tradition from the pre-modern period to the present, surveying representational, epistemic, performative, and constitutive theories of language while highlighting ways that verbal rhetorical theory may be used to interpret and craft rhetorical performances. Students explore a variety of theoretical concepts—such as the five canons of rhetoric, the stases, copia, kairos, sprezzatura, deduction and induction, dissociation, the Burkian pentad, ideographs, and interpellation—and learn to employ these concepts as tools for understanding how
texts function persuasively and for composing persuasive texts of their own. Course readings are organized around a common theme, and, at the end of the semester, students work collaboratively to develop a colloquium on the course theme. (3 credits) Alternate Fall

WTNG 450 – Composition Theory
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a 200 or 300 Level WTNG course (or higher) and at least Junior Standing
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This course familiarizes writing students with the history of Composition as an academic discipline, conveys the major theoretical approaches that have helped to shape the field, and examines connections between composition theory and practice. Likely topics include criticisms of current-traditionalist approached, tensions between expressivist and social constructionist theories, and the emergence of critical pedagogies influenced by postmodernists, cultural studies, and feminist theorists. (3 credits) Spring Alternate Years

WTNG 460 – Writing Studies Internship
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a 200 or 300 Level WTNG course (or higher) and at least Junior Standing
Fulfills a course requirement in the Writing Studies Core Concentration

This internship will grant academic credit to students who work on a part-time basis with the Writing Studies Department on specially prepared projects. Projects may include professional, disciplinary, or technical writing situations; advanced or capstone projects, courses, or work experiences; or a deeper understanding of college-level
composition and the research required for the field. Students must have completed at least 3 of the 5 writing courses required for a Writing Studies Core Concentration and have maintained a 3.0 GPA in those courses. (3 credits) Fall, Spring

WTNG 470 – The Writing Thesis/Portfolio
Prerequisite: Successful completion of two Writing courses at the 300-level or above. Successful completion (C- or higher) of WTNG 102. At least junior standing or consent of instructor.
This course offers students the opportunity to concentrate on one of two genres – the thesis or the portfolio. If students choose the thesis option, they will select a topic of inquiry related to theory, history, pedagogy, or practice of rhetoric and/or composition. The portfolio option entails assembling, analyzing, and evaluating a body of original
work that demonstrates the students’ ability to apply their knowledge of writing to a variety of professional, academic, and public contexts. (3 credits) Special Offering