Advanced Composition Classes
Course Offerings for Fall 2013
Grammar and Style for Writers
Students will study the aspects of grammar that are most relevant to punctuation and to clear writing, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, phrases, clauses, gerunds, participles, infinitives, and complete sentences. Students will also study prose style as a way of achieving rhetorical effectiveness through arranging and rearranging sentence elements. Students, through frequent writing, will learn to apply principles of clarity, concision, and coherence with more consciousness. Sentence imitation, sentence combining, and sentence invention techniques will be used to help students become more flexible in their syntactic fluidity. Several tests and three short papers.
William Marderness WRT 200.04
TUTH 10:00 AM-11:20 AM
MaryAnn Duffy WRT 200.05
Honors Business Ethics Thesis Workshop
This course is designed to aid students as they write a 30–50-page honors thesis on an ethical topic in their specialization. In addition to learning how to research and organize a document of this length, students will also work to improve the quality of their writing and ultimately develop their voices as writers. The finished thesis will be a document students can present to prospective employers or to graduate admissions boards as evidence they are prepared for graduate-level research. Students who successfully complete the Honors Ethics Program will earn an honors designation on their diplomas.
TUTH 4:00 PM-5:20 PM
Worlds within Worlds
While Lewis Carroll’s Alice says of Wonderland, “I almost wish I hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole,” readers haven’t agreed: countless narratives, from the Alice books to The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, the Harry Potter series, and even Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to films including Spirited Away, The Matrix, Pan’s Labyrinth, Sucker Punch, and Inception, feature characters who travel from their own world into another realm, often one contained within the first. Why are such “rabbit hole” stories so common? What pleasures and insights do they (and the subgenre “crosshatch fantasy,” into which some fit) provide readers—especially adults, who are sometimes told that such story elements and the genres that feature them are only “for kids”? How can they enable us to see ourselves, and our world, in new ways—perhaps inspiring us to believe, as the best literary fantasy and sf can, that things could be different? In this class, we’ll consider these questions and many others by examining familiar “rabbit hole” texts/films, such as the Alice novels, C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Stardust, and less familiar ones, such as Gene Wolfe’s Tolkien-meets-Christopher Nolan series The Wizard Knight, Mark Z. Danielewski’s bizarro post-modern haunted house novel House of Leaves, and Margo Lanagan’s disturbingly dark fairy tale novel Tender Morsels. You’ll also be free to bring relevant works you know from outside class (books as well as films, television shows, and video games) into discussions and papers. Coursework will include at least 20 pages of researched literary analysis in the form of one long or two medium-length papers.
MW 2:30 PM-3:50PM
International Literature: Writing the World
This course invites students to develop their skills as writers by formulating various kinds of responses to literary texts by writers from throughout the world. By not limiting our readings to texts by writers living exclusively in the West and writing in English, we open ourselves to the possibilities of responding to the problem of being human in ways other than those conditioned by first-world assumptions formed by American and European culture, media, and politics. Readings will include Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children; Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Leaving Tangier; Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits; and Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things. There will be three major textural analysis writing assignments.
MWF 12:00 PM-12:53PM
Writing for the New Media
In this course we will explore online networked reading and writing practices. We will examine the social, cultural, educational, and ethical dimensions of digital texts. The topics we cover, the readings we do, and the discussions we have should help us to understand digital spaces as deeply rhetorical spaces, become more sophisticated navigators of the information available to us in digital spaces, and become more effective writers and communicators in print and digitally mediated spaces. Digitally mediated spaces to be explored may include, but are not limited to, blogging, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, networked video games, and Neal Stephenson's Metaverse in Snow Crash. Students will write reading responses and several shorter essays, and have the opportunity to engage a specific issue in depth through a final project with a multimodal component.
TUTH 1:00 PM-2:20PM
This course is an introduction to the history of rhetoric that highlights its relationship to reading, writing, and speaking in modern contexts. Emphasis will be placed on defining rhetoric—its traditions, forms, and enduring realms of influence. The course provides a foundation in the principles of classical rhetoric that will be explored in order to understand their application to contemporary circumstances. Students will write and revise a series of short essays focused on the application of rhetorical theory to contemporary culture.
In this course we will concentrate on the reading and writing of fiction; you will have the opportunity to improve your own craft, discuss your peers’ short stories, and learn from contemporary masters such as Junot Díaz, Deborah Eisenberg, and George Saunders. In all of the work, we will examine together what makes a piece of writing worth reading—focusing on issues of voice, character, structure, conflict, rhythm, and syntax. You will be expected to participate actively, complete in-class writing assignments, and present your creative writing for workshop. Writing and thinking about writing is hard work, what Fitzgerald called “the moving about of great secret trunks.” Come to this course ready to move.
The Personal Essay
The personal essay is a form that has recently come back into fashion. In this class we will engage the form by writing our own personal essays as well as reading and responding to the work of writers who have come to define the genre: examples include Michel de Montaigne, Charles Lamb and E.B. White, as well as more contemporary writers such as Joan Didion and Scott Russell Sanders. We will explore the differences between shaping experience as truth in a personal essay or memoir and as a work of fiction. As a definition of personal essay evolves, we will consider whether personal writing and essay writing (or “essaying”) have a place in academic writing. Students in this class will also be able to prepare a personal statement for their application for graduate or professional school.
WRT 303.01 TUTH 11:30 AM-12:50 PM
WRT 303.03 TUTH 2:30 PM-3:50 PM
WRT 303.05MWF 11:00 AM-11:53 AM
WRT 303.06 TUTH 1:00 PM-2:20 PM
Writing for Your Profession
Professionals of all kinds consistently attest to the significance of strong writing and communication skills in their field. In fact, a national study shows that about 70% of paid jobs involve writing. This is verified by data from a 2012 survey of over fifty employers of Stony Brook University graduates. So in this course students learn about types of documents, rhetorical principles, and composing practices necessary for writing effectively in and about professional contexts. Coursework emphasizes each student’s career interests, but lessons also address a variety of general professional issues, including audience awareness, research methods, ethics, collaboration, and verbal and visual communication. Students complete the course with practical knowledge and experience in composing business letters, proposals, and various kinds of professional reports. A creative, self-reflexive assignment also contextualizes each individual’s professional aspirations within a bigger picture of his/her life and culture.
TUTH 2:30 PM-3:50 PM
Writing for the Health Professions
This course will enable students interested in a health care career to strengthen their critical writing skills. While learning to gather information and to apply ethical principles in a logical, persuasive fashion, students will explore and write about various types of evidence concerning the health care needs of different populations: a field research project on a health issue affecting a local target population of their choice, a critique of government documents that contain data on that issue and population, and a review of scholarly research on the same issue as it affects the larger national population represented by that local one. Writing assignments will include drafts and final versions of a research proposal, field research results, data analysis, literature review and a 20-30 page project incorporating all of the previous work conducted about that issue and population. Students will also write a reflective paper which can serve as the basis for a personal statement for medical or other health-related graduate school applications. This course will fulfill the second half of the Writing Pre-Med/Pre-Health prerequisite.
TUTH 4:00PM-5:20 PM
Advanced Analytic and Argumentative Writing
Argumentative writing involves making a claim and supporting it with specific, related points and appropriate evidence—in other words, it is thesis-driven writing. Whenever we don’t quite like someone else’s idea and we want him or her to come closer to ours, argumentative writing is the most efficient method for such persuasion, in whatever profession you’re considering. This class, therefore, will focus on learning how to effectively utilize argumentative and counter-argumentative writing strategies. Students will explore an area of disciplinary interest to them through several stages—proposal, preliminary draft, multiple versions, literature review—culminating in a 20-30 page piece of writing in which they make a claim about a particular subject in that area of interest and support it with scholarly research and extensive elaboration. This course will fulfill the second half of the Writing Pre-Med/Pre-Health prerequisite. Also offered as EGL 381.
All 300 level courses will fulfill the second half of the Writing Pre-Med/Pre-Health prerequisite.
WRT 302 satisfies the University DEC G requirement
Writing Center • 631.632.7405