The course is designed to train you to read and write thoughtfully. Through the work we do this semester, you will learn new approaches to reading and writing, get comfortable with writing in academia and beyond, and practice useful writing strategies. Since a great deal of writing involves conveying information—and convincing the reader that what you’re telling them is true—we will spend a lot of time examining arguments: how they work, what situations call for what tactics, and how to read and look for these tactics and practices in the writings of others. You will learn about audience awareness, genre, rhetorical tactics, and understand the relationship between content (what is said) and form (how it is said)—things which sometimes seem obvious until we are asked to explain or examine them.

Here, you will produce a weekly blog post, which is frequently a short internet adaptation of your current work or a post about your current plans and process; this is typically due Fridays at midnight. Have fun with these posts–they’re basically an exercise in keeping you sharp (and sane) while we work our way through the more technical aspects of writing–this place is like a practice arena, and you should feel free to experiment with things like the relationship between images, quotes, embedded videos, and the text.

Don’t panic. You’ll do fine.