Goals

While the readings and assignments in different sections of Seminar in Composition may vary, this section, like all the others, will require you to:

1.        Engage in writing as a creative, disciplined form of critical inquiry.

In this course, you’ll be asked to use writing as a way to explore and generate ideas as well as explain them.  Through writing, you’ll examine your own experiences and observations, and you’ll be expected to make productive use of uncertainty rather than come to hasty conclusions.

2.        Compose thoughtfully crafted essays that position your ideas among other views.

Rather than merely stating your own opinions, you’ll write essays in which you develop informed positions that illustrate an understanding of the positions of others.  You’ll analyze as well as summarize the texts you read, and you’ll compose essays that pay close attention to choices writers make with form and content.

3.        Address challenging questions about your own writing.

This course approaches the essay as a flexible genre that takes on different forms in different contexts—not as a thesis-driven argument that adheres to a rigid structure.  Much class time will be devoted to considering the purpose, logic, and design of your own writing, and you’ll be given opportunities to revise your work in light of response from your teacher and peers. 

4.        Write with precision, nuance, and awareness of textual conventions.

You’ll work on crafting clear, precise prose that effectively uses a variety of sentence and paragraph structures.  You’ll be required to learn the conventions for quoting and paraphrasing accurately, responsibly, and adeptly, and you’ll be assisted with editing and proofreading strategies that reflect attention to the relation between style and meaning.

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