English | Advanced Expository Writing
W350 | 12804 | Joan Pong Linton

Joan Pong Linton

PREREQUISITE:  Completion of the English Composition requirement.

12804 - 11:15a-12:30p TR (25 students) 3 cr., IW

TOPIC:  "Going Public with Our Writing—From Academy to Community"

Most of us are familiar with the conventions and requirements of
writing and research within our academic disciplines, over time
developing proficiency as communicators. How do we adapt these
skills in the service of others, relocating the writing self from
the academy to the community? How do we reorient ourselves from
being professionals in training to being engaged citizens,
addressing public audiences on public issues in public venues? What
new responsibilities come with citizenship, and how do we develop a
voice that goes beyond our individual and academic needs and
interests to address larger public issues? This Service-Learning
course invites students to practice and expand the skills of
writing, critical analysis, research, and persuasion through
community service. The required service is 30 hours total, and
service opportunities include helping clients at a community writing
center, working at an afterschool program, and working with at-risk
youth. While community service provides real-world situations in
which we may apply our academic skills and knowledge, analysis of
that experience will allow us to reflect on our roles as public
writers, and for research into a related social problem. Through
readings and reflection, we shall see (1) how our life experiences,
socio-economic status, and other visible or invisible kinds of
differences shape our perceptions of each other and the people we
serve; (2) how larger social structures operate beneath the apparent
randomness of social interactions and autonomy of our choices; and
(3) how knowing this constitutes the first step toward devising a
means to participate in our communities and respond to the social
problems that concern us as citizens.

In addition to Thomas Deans’ Writing and Community Action, readings
will include a number of essays, stories, and critical/theoretical
writings (available from oncourse website). Students will be
responsible for leading class discussions of readings, sharing
reflections on service experiences, and listening to invited
speakers on community concerns and ways of “relocating the personal”
in moving from academic to public writing. In keeping with the
expectations of an Intensive Writing course, there will be frequent
in-class writings, along with peer reviews of writings and
revisions. Formal writing assignments will include:
•	Two 3-page descriptions and analyses of: (1) the service
site as physical, interpersonal, and communal contexts for service
and putting our writing in the service of others; (2) the classroom
as a physical interpersonal, and institutional contexts for academic
learning and writing.
•	Based on a comparative analysis of (1) and (2) above, an
assessment of what is needed to move from one to the other.
•	Analysis of a social problem related to your service, in
terms of its impact (which is often most acutely felt on the local
and personal level), and its structural causes (which are often
social and global).
•	A research project, including: a proposal (1 page); a
working bibliography, with annotations (2 pages); first draft (5-6
pages); peer review; presentation (1-page handout), and final draft
(8-10 pages).