In my First-Year Writing class “Composing Research”, we focus on perspectives from rhetoric and genre studies to explore the process of research writing. In the first half of the semester, we discuss about the concept of genre as it relates to rhetoric and writing as well as key genre considerations in the use of sources both inside and outside of academic contexts. In the second half, we discuss an array of methods and strategies employed in academic research that you will take up across a number of writing assignments, culminating in a final research essay that will be your major assignment in the course.

Below, you can find links to the major assignments I use in the class, as well key works in rhetoric, composition, writing studies, and related disciplines that inform my pedagogy.

Unit 1

Short Essay 1: Summary

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively summarize a text.
  • Practice the academic writing conventions of quotation and paraphrase.
  • Reflect an awareness of MLA Style in-text citation and Works Cited page conventions.

Description

In this first short essay, you will demonstrate your ability to effectively summarize the key points made in one of the course readings so far (for this assignment, either Roozen or Bazerman). Focusing on that source, you will make use of the strategies described by Joseph Harris in the “Coming to Terms” chapter we’ve read. At a minimum, you will

  • Define the project of the writer by presenting, in your own words, the major argument(s) of the reading.
  • Review the key evidence provided in support of that argument.
  • Quote and paraphrase from the text in order to support your summary of its ideas.
  • Provide in-text citations, in MLA Style, for all quotes and paraphrases of the text. No final Works Cited entry is necessary.

Completion Requirements

This paper should be a minimum of 1-2 pages, double spaced, and conform to MLA Style formatting conventions.

Short Essay 2: Synthesis

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an ability to critically analyze a text.
  • Continue to practice the academic writing conventions of quotation and paraphrase.
  • Reflect an awareness of MLA Style in-text citation conventions.

Description

In this second short essay, you will work to analyze one of our texts by forwarding its ideas and offering critical questions. This essay should focus on a different source from the first one, and you can select any reading not including those from Harris (“Coming to Terms” and “Forwarding”). This essay will require you to:

  • Forward the text’s ideas by considering their uses and value in different contexts.
  • Consider the uses and limitations of the text’s ideas.
  • Select, excerpt, and comment on specific ideas within the text.
  • Ask critical questions about the meaning and uses of the author’s arguments.
  • Quote and paraphrase from the text in order to support all of the above.
  • Provide in-text citations in MLA Style for all quotes and paraphrases of the text.

Completion Requirements

This paper should be a minimum of 1-2 pages, double spaced, and conform to MLA Style formatting conventions.

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