English | Advanced Expository Writing
W350 | 5455 | John Schilb

Advanced Expository Writing

11:15a-12:30p TR (25 students) 3 CR.

PREREQUISITE:  Completion of the English Composition requirement.

College intensive writing section.

TOPIC:  “Writing about authority”

This section of Advanced Expository Writing will focus on what’s
involved when, as writers, we seek to establish our “authority.”
The term “authority” can mean various things, depending on our main
purpose, our target audience, and the basic situation that we’re
addressing.  Furthermore, even when we know the kind of “authority”
we are aiming for in a particular writing project, we need to
determine what techniques will help us gain it.  Throughout this
course, we will explore various definitions of writerly “authority”
and practice strategies for achieving it.

To grasp how “authority” works in writing, we will examine how it
operates in our society at large.  Therefore, in our readings and
class discussions, we will consider (1) the power that officials use
to command their subordinates; (2) the claims to wisdom made by so-
called experts; and (3) the sway of certain performers over their
fans.  Moreover, the course’s three major papers (each approximately
4 pages long) will deal with these three topics in turn.  Each paper
will focus on a specific case study, chosen by the student.  In
addition to the papers, there will be several small, informal
writing assignments, designed to help us develop a better
understanding of how “authority” functions in our own work as
writers as well as in other realms.