Office: Moreland 232
If it doesn't move the plot forward, is it necessary? If it's hard to read, is it worth the effort? If nothing happens, isn't it just a tapestry of words? If there's no emotional release, isn't it just an intellectual exercise? If there's no payoff, will the reader feel cheated? If the author is too smart, will the reader feel stupid? If the reader demands simplicity, would the author be foolish not to provide it? If the reader is invested in the story, should the author leave the ending ambiguous? If the first sentence is not dazzling, should we bother with the rest of the story? If fiction isn't real, why would we want to read about the imaginary lives of made-up characters? Answers to these questions -- and many more -- in ENG 104.
This course aims to increase your textual power by increasing your ability to read, think, and write about ideas and issues in academic and civic conversations. To do this, we will consider what “they say” and what “you say” in response, as well as why (so what? who cares?). You will analyze viewpoints (with a close look at how different authors and stakeholders are situated) and study the elements that go into crafting powerful written and visual arguments in both public and academic realms. Reading contemporary and classic arguments from the textbook and the New York Times provides a sense of our rhetorical tradition over time. You will be responsible for analytical reading, thinking, discussing, researching, and writing. Instructor conferences and peer review as well as consultation with the Writing Center will guide you through various drafts. This classroom is a learning community, so we will show respect for the ideas of all individuals.