WRT 120 Syllabus
LIT 165 Syllabus
ENG Q20 Syllabus
Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds
Notebook for Effective Writing I
Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
Notebook for Basic Writing
Frederick Douglass Excerpt
Assignment: Essay #1
Rough Draft Workshop
Rough Draft Workshop 2
How to Detect Propaganda
George Orwell's Politics and the English Language
Propaganda Analysis Exercise
Weblog for WRT 120
Writing Assistance on the Web
Blackboard at WCU
WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library
Assignment Sheet: Essay #1 ~~
(1) to practice expressive writing, making conscious rhetorical choices;
(2) to practice techniques for generating ideas; (3) to practice careful revision
The readings we discussed in class by Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X both
express a belief in the power of literacy, which is the power to read and to
learn, to write, to speak, to communicate. Becoming literate, these men could
think their way into the deep, rich recesses of language and history and make
sense of the overwhelming chaos of their direct experiences. Through reading
and learning, both men were able to overcome the limitations of their original
circumstances; they experienced a drastic change in perspective, a transformation
of consciousness that changed not only their self-perception, who they felt
they were, but also their perception of their place in the world, what they
could accomplish in the larger society. They both went on, powerfully transformed,
to accomplish great things.
What was true of these American heroes is true for each and every one of us
in our everyday lives. We are also learning all the time; we're in the process
of becoming more and more literate all the time, more and more able to grapple
with large abstractions like "freedom," "success," "identity,"
"power," "wealth," "diversity," "the pursuit
of happiness"-concepts that are central to what we think of as the American
way of life. We also have stories to tell that explain how we came to think
the way we think, how we came to see ourselves in the larger world, how we came
to understand these abstractions, how we came to be the people we are today.
Directions: For your expressive essay, write about an experience (if
not direct, then through reading or observation) that you've had with something
or someone that changed or transformed you in some way, that helped make you
the person you are today. You may choose instead to write about an experience
that helped shape your sense of your place in the world, or an experience that
helps explain why you think the way you think today about some significant topic
of your choice.
for getting started
- Create a mind-map
of character traits that you feel apply to you. Think about how you came to
acquire these traits. Are there any interesting stories behind any of these
- Brainstorm a
list of influential people in your life. Choose the ones that interest you
and freewrite for a short while to discover what you feel their influence
has been. Or write the name of one of your heroes at the top of a piece of
paper and freewrite about why this person is a hero to you. Probe yourself
to discover whether this hero has transformed something about you (your way
of thinking or behaving, your appearance, your goals in life-whatever occurs
- Brainstorm a
list of your prized possessions. For a few that are interesting to you, go
further. Freewrite about why they are prized, how they came to be prized,
how understanding your feeling about them might bring someone closer to understanding
the person you are.
- Brainstorm a
list of groups you consider yourself affiliated with (anything from a religious
affiliation, to a sports team, to a group of friends). Choose one or two that
are most interesting to you. How did you become connected to this group? Is
there an interesting story behind that? What role does this group play in
your life? What would you be like if you'd never become connected?
- Ask yourself
the important rhetorical questions about tone, audience, and purpose.
- After your first
draft, look for or compose a thesis sentence which conveys your paper's controlling
idea-the subject of the essay and an assertion about that subject.
- Are you writing
an essay? Include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- An essay is
built upon paragraphs: Are your paragraphs focused? Do they all support your
- Readers need
sentences and paragraphs to be coherent: are your sentences logically arranged
and connected, making it easy for the reader to follow your train of thought?
- Readers like
detail. Have you included enough? Will a reader sense depth of thought? Use
a variety of developmental strategies like description, narration, illustration
(examples), scenarios, or other rhetorical strategies (such as comparison/contrast,
definition, classification, analogy, cause/effect, process analysis) to make
your paragraphs vivid, interesting, and well developed.
- We've set aside
time in class for the process of revision. Are you taking advantage of it?
Are you looking for ways to improve your draft as the days go by? We've also
set aside time to dedicate to editorial work, correcting and proofreading.
Are you doing your bit? Are you screening for errors you know are errors and
typos that you can fix before you hand your paper in?
In determining your score, I'll consider each of the following categories:
focus, organization, development, mechanics, and style. Each category is crucial
to the essay's success.