SUPA: Writing 105

WRT 105 is an introduction to composing and its relationship to cultures and communities, identities and ideologies and technologies and media. In this class, writing is both a subject of inquiry and the primary activity. Students will write, revise, edit and reflect with the support of the teacher and peers. They will also engage critically with the opinions and voices of others, as they develop a greater understanding of how their writing can have an effect on themselves and their audiences.

The course will engage students in analysis and argument, practices that carry across academic disciplinary lines and into professional and civic writing. These interdependent practices are fundamental to the work students will do as a college student and in their careers and civic life.

Required Text

The following texts will be provided by the school:

Required Supplies

  • 3-inch binder
  • Five to seven index tabs
  • Lined paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Laptop (if available)

Course Format and Procedures

The course meets daily for 42 minutes and students are expected to make full use of class time. There will be some periods of lecture, but most of class time will be spent reading, writing or conferencing in groups, pairs or with the teacher. Students are expected to participate in discussions and share select pieces of their work with their peers and teacher and, on occasion, with a larger community audience.

Grading Procedures

Students will receive many different kinds of feedback during this course. Some will come from fellow students and some will come from the teacher. Both are important; they tell students in various ways how their readers are responding to their writing. This feedback will also help them learn how to assess their own work.

There are three units in the course; each will lead toward a piece of revised, polished writing as well as a collection of informal work and a critical reflection.

Major course units and assignments

Unit 1: Genre & writing situation

  • Unit Final Essays: 10%
  • End of Unit Reflective Essays: 10%

Unit 2: Analysis 

  • Unit Final Essays: 20%
  • End of Unit Reflective Essays: 10%

Unit 3: Argument

  • Unit Final Essays: 20%
  • End of Unit Reflective Essays: 10%

Invention work and other informal writing assigned throughout the course:

  • Unit Final Essays: 20%

Student and Parent Resources

  • Students: The instructor is available every day after school until 2:25 p.m., and during free periods by prior arrangement. Also, Google Classroom.
  • Parent Resources: Email is the best way to the instructor, who will respond within 24 hours. In addition, the Google Classroom page has all readings and assignments listed and up to date.

Course Outline (tentative)

Unit 1: Genre, Audience, Persona (Weeks 1-5)

This unit focuses on genre and how genres circulate all around us. Students will categorize types of communication (a scholarly article or a newspaper editorial or a personal blog post) and anticipate what they will be engaging in. Students will also recognize that genres are also subject to change, as the values of communities shift, as new technologies come into being and as composers experiment and innovate.

Unit 2: Analysis (Weeks 6-13)

This unit will consist of analyzing readings, having discussions and homing in on a particular site of analysis. This unit is largely about disrupting the habit of what is considered normal to society, so we will practice looking at our visual texts and seeing them in new ways. Images make arguments, sometimes explicitly but, more often than not, implicitly as well.

Unit 3: Argument (Weeks 14-20)

We will extend the practices and approaches of Units 1 and 2 by composing public arguments, with appropriate and persuasive personas, drawing on sound rhetorical awareness. Students will compose the argument and present their findings to the class using visual aids, rhetoric and formal mannerisms. The central purpose in the argument they write for Unit 3 will be to persuade their audience to adopt the position that they recommend—a position the student comes to after involving themselves in all sorts of invention activities: reading, researching, analyzing, brainstorming, talking, etc.

Note: This schedule is subject to change based on the students’ needs.