English Composition 121
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Fall ’17/Spring ’18 ENG 121

Course description:

Though I have taught this course twenty-five times, every semester is inevitably different. This semester, we will be focusing on reading excerpts from larger works of non-fiction. This might not seem like an important detail, but because so much of the work we read now comes from online news sources and anthologies that attempt to create a clear beginning and ending, it is absolutely important. We will be reading chapters from books that try to convince us addiction is an illusion. Then, with only a chapter in front of us, we will have to figure out what additional work the author needs to do to convince us. (And then, if we’re truly interested, we’ll get a copy of the whole book and see if the author has actually done the work!). This semester I am also interested in public writing. Of course, all writing in some way is public. If there’s an audience of one (your instructor), you’re writing for an audience. What happens though when your audience is larger and perhaps more anonymous? We will talk about the layers of self-consciousness and critical engagement that come from writing in a public digital space like an online forum.

Below you will find the objectives of the course and methods/strategies we will use to achieve these objectives.

  • Student will be able to read and listen critically and analytically
  • Students will be able to write clearly and coherently in varied academic formats using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ text.
  • Students will develop research skills required to complete academic assignments
  • Students will be able to write thesis statements, well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

More about readings: https://english121.commons.gc.cuny.edu/readings-updated-every-semester/

What went on inside the classroom: https://english121.commons.gc.cuny.edu/inside-the-classroom/

More on summarizing: https://english121.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2017/09/04/summarizing/

More on close readings: https://english121.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2017/09/04/what-does-it-mean-to-perform-a-close-reading/

More on Chasing the Scream conversation: https://english121.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2017/09/04/chasing-the-scream-notes/

Student writing from this semester: https://english121.commons.gc.cuny.edu/public-writing/

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