LSTD 1113 and 1133 – Composition I and II
Why is it cool?
The basic practices of English Composition prepare learners to write effectively and to think critically. When you learn to write well, you learn to think well, and you learn to read well. In every facet of life, thinking clearly and expressing ourselves in ways that are engaging and not demonizing of others is critically important. One of the basic tenets of a university education is the ability to think and write in ways that engage others, ways that communicate our point of view without being threatening but rather inviting, and becoming an involved citizen and contributor to the society of which we are a part.
This class approaches writing beginning with what you already know. You have the opportunity to share some of your story, your academic history and journey. In addition to beginning with your own experience, each week we work on “low stakes” writing assignments that allow you to practice without being penalized if you don’t write grammatically perfect sentences. By the time you get to the larger essay assignments, you have more confidence and security in your writing.
The other reason this class is cool is because you can always revise what you submit. Even when you submit a final paper, you have the opportunity to rewrite the assignment if you’re not pleased with the grade. Through low stakes writing practice and opportunities for continuous revision, you will gain confidence in your own writing ability.
“I hope students realize that writing is a skill that can be learned…just like riding a bike or solving a math equation,” said current instructor Rhonda Dean-Kyncl. “We aren’t born good writers; we learn to be good writers. I hope students leave this class knowing they made progress in their ability to engage an audience and communicate with that audience by writing clearly, effectively, and persuasively. I hope every time a student sits down and sends an email to her boss, a letter to the editor, or a memo to a colleague, they do it with confidence. I also hope they learn to always revise: write, rewrite, and rewrite some more. I hope they never again think you can just pour sentences and paragraphs onto a page that are perfectly constructed. I also hope students will view writing as a communal process. We all need the feedback and input of others.”
This class teaches you that through critical reading and an openness to others, we can always learn more, and that writing can become a practiced and practical skill. By learning writing practices that help us imagine new possibilities for our workplaces and communities, we can then enact those possibilities through the written word, inspire others, and perhaps even enact change.