Introduction to College Writing

I took Introduction to College Writing as part of the general education requirements for the degree program that I am in. Overall, I thought the course was really well done, with useful and helpful information.

I particularly liked how each week built on the previous. Instead of trying to cover a big topic in one week’s lesson it was spread over 2-4 weeks. I also thought the instructor did a good job, often providing meaningful and timely feedback.

Here’s what was covered during the twelve weeks.

Week 1 – “Getting Started/The Basics”, Apr 2 – Apr 8
Introduction, Meet and Greet, Writing and Speaking in Different Contexts, Words That Are Commonly Confused, Discussion 1.1: “Everyday I Write the Book” and “Everyday” Lyrics, Workshop: Commonly Confused Words, Editing Commonly Confused Words, Workshop: Proofreading, Writing a Basic Letter, Basic Letter Example, Workshop: Basic Letter Practice, Workshop: Week 1 Terms, Guidelines for Assignment Posts, Assignment 1: Letter Introduction, Recap

Week 2 – “Writing Contexts”, Apr 9th – Apr 15th
Introduction, Understanding Different Rhetorical Contexts, The Five Components of “Clueless”, Discussion 2.1: “Clueless” Analysis, Applying These Rhetorical Elements to Written Texts, Discussion 2.2: Taylor Swift Letter, Generating Ideas, Exercise: Letter Response, Understanding the Components of a Sentence, Practice Exercise: Sentence Completion, Organizing and Drafting a Response, Practice Exercise: Outlining Your Letter, Workshop: Week 2 Terms, Assignment 2: Letter Response, Recap

Week 3 – “Recording and Developing Ideas”, Apr 16th – Apr 22nd
Introduction, Recording Ideas, Discussion 3.1: Recording Your Ideas, Diaries, Anne Frank’s Diary, Discussion 3.2: Journal or Diary, Workshop: Start a Journal or Diary, Concision vs. Lengthiness, Exercise: Diary Excerpts, Understanding Commas, Quiz 3.1: Using Commas, Understanding Verbs and Subject-Verb Agreement, Workshop: Verb Practice, Workshop: Week 3 Terms, Assignment 3: Letter Response Writing, Recap

Week 4 – “Exploring Personal Narratives”, Apr 23rd – Apr 29th
Introduction, Key Elements of a Personal Narrative, Workshop: Starting Your Journal, Analyzing a Personal Narrative, Darryl McDaniels Interview, Discussion 4.1: DMC’s Story, Understanding Pronouns, Pronoun Challenges, Workshop: Pronouns, Grammatical Tools to Best Express Ideas, Workshop: Using Pronouns, Coordination and Subordination, Workshop: Coordination and Subordination, Workshop: Week 4 Terms, Assignment 4: “Moth” Story Hour Assessment, Recap

Week 5 – “Writing a Personal Narrative”, Apr 30th – May 6th
Introduction, Opening Sentences, Survey: Opening Lines in Films, Organizing a Personal Narrative, Basic Narrative Structure, Exercise 5.1: Journal Excerpt for Personal Narrative, Developing Paragraphs, “This Is How Music Can Change Your Brain”, Exercise 5.2: Personal Narrative, Opening Paragraph, Connecting Paragraphs, Workshop: Article Analysis, Choosing the Right Words, Figurative Language, Discussion 5.1: Favorite English Idioms, Workshop: Week 5 Terms, Assignment 5: Personal Narrative, Recap

Week 6 – “Talking about Literature”, May 7th – May 13th
Introduction, Literary Vocabulary, Exercise 6.1: Literary Devices of “Believer”, Editing Sentences, Workshop: Fixing Faulty Lyrics, Reading a Text, Quiz 6.1: First-, Second-, or Third-Person Narrators, Analyzing a Text, Analysis and Structure of “Skin”, Discussion 6.1: BBC Story and “Skin”, Analyzing Literature Interview with Michelle Sterling, Discussion 6.2: Creative Non-fiction, Workshop: Week 6 Terms, Assignment 6: Personal Narrative Analysis, Recap

Week 7 – “Thesis Statements”, May 14th – May 20th
Introduction, What Is a Thesis?, Quiz 7.1: Thesis Statements, Analyzing a Text, Structure of “The Last Leaf”, Discussion 7.1: Literary Techniques of O. Henry, Analyzing Literature Interview with Victoria Large, Quiz: Victoria Large Interview, Developing a Thesis Statement, Exercise: Create a Thesis Statement, Writing a Literary Analysis, Workshop: Week 7 Terms, Assignment 7: Thesis Statement and Outline, Recap

Week 8 – “Exploring Poetry”, May 21st – May 27th
Introduction, Poetry, Quiz 8.1: Poetic Terms, Analyzing Poems in Verse, Poem Structure, Workshop: Stanza Analysis, Analyzing Poems in Verse, Part 2, “Caged Bird” Analysis, Word Choice, Discussion 8.1: “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes, Poetry Writing Interview with Beth Platow, Workshop: Poem Types and Visual Presentation, Quoting, Inserting a Quote into Your Work, Parenthetical Citations, Workshop: Quoting Practice, Workshop: Week 8 Terms, Assignment 8: Thesis Outline to Essay, Recap

Week 9 – “Making an Argument”, May 28th – Jun 3rd
Introduction, Elements of Argumentation, Workshop: Ella Fitzgerald Radio Story Analysis, Analyzing a Text for Argumentation, Analyzing a Text for Counter-Arguments, Discussion 9.1: College Scorecard Article, Finding Sources, Quiz: Source Evaluation, Applying the Concepts, Analysis through the C.R.A.P. Test, Discussion 9.2: College Scorecard Analysis, Workshop: Week 9 Terms, Assignment 9: Thesis Essay Versions, Recap

Week 10 – “Finding and Documenting Sources”, Jun 4th – Jun 10th
Introduction, Finding Sources Part 1: Keywords, Maximize Your Search, Discussion 10.1: Web Searches, Finding Sources Part 2: Databases, Workshop: Searching the Databases, Style Guidelines, Practice Exercise: Cite the Article Practice, The Chicago Manual of Style, Quiz 10.1: The Chicago Manual of Style, Workshop: Week 10 Terms, Assignment 10: Studying Music or the Arts Essay, Recap

Week 11 – “Other Texts: The Critique”, Jun 11th – Jun 17th
Introduction, Art Criticism, Review Example: Forrest Gump, Discussion 11.1: Movie Review, Paraphrasing, Paraphrasing Examples, Workshop: Paraphrasing Practice, Critiquing a Recorded Cultural Product, Writing Your Critique, Wonder Woman Critique Example, Exercise 11.1: Movie Review Summarization, Critiquing a Live Cultural Event, Observation, Rolling Stone Review, Workshop: Recent Experience Review, Critiques Interview with Rob Hochschild, Workshop: Week 11 Terms, Assignment 11: Revised Thesis Statement and Final Essay First Paragraph, Recap

Week 12 – “Other Texts: Proposals and Reports”, Jun 18th – Jun 24th
Introduction, The Proposal, Proposal Plan, Clear and Persuasive Text, Review Carefully, Exercise: The Proposal Review, Discussion 12.1: Project Need and Description, The Report, Quiz: Jazz Standard Workshop, The Abstract, The Abstract: Important Tips, Practice Exercise: Abstract Article on an Artist of Your Choice, Grant Proposals and Reports Interview with Danielle Parillo, Exercise: Future Projects Ideas, Bringing It All Together, Moving Forward, Discussion 12.2: Writing Skills Self Reflection, Workshop: Week 12 Terms, Assignment 12: Final Essay, Recap