Friday, June 27, 2014

ENG 101 - Fall 2014 - Composition as Critical Inquiry

Welcome to English 101!

Unlike most traditional writing courses, the Composition as Critical Inquiry course at Illinois State follows a Rhetorical Genre Studies (RGS) model.  This often causes confusion because we don't focus on "perfecting" writing - unlike courses you may have taken in the past, we won't try to teach "the one style of essay" that will work for all your classes because that's an impossible goal.  Instead, we examine how differing audiences expect unique genres of writing - as you'll see, every audience will have its own definition of what "counts" as "good" writing, and successful writing requires that we adapt our words to match the specific situations we face.

Using writing research and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory, we'll examine the conventions (i.e. expectations) of each genre, the trajectory of individual texts, and research methods we can use to better target our writing to our intended audiences.  Ultimately, the course will culminate in proof-of-learning reflections - this is a form of metacognitive writing wherein you describe what you've learned, how you learned it, and what you'll do with this knowledge moving forward.

Questions for Consideration:

  • What separates ENG 101 from traditional writing courses?
  • How do we define genre?
  • Why does it matter who the author is?  Or who the reader is?  Doesn't the text just stand by itself?
  • Grammar is important - but whose grammar?


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