The Craft of Writing
R1B 003 | CCN: 24062
Instructor: Michael Dalebout
Location: Dwinelle 209
Date / Time: Tu/Th 5:00pm - 6:29pm
Course Problematic, Goals, and Activities
We use language in all sorts of ways. When it comes to reading, writing, and research, however, we often limit ourselves to accounting for the world in terms of our knowledge of it. As such, we routinely overlook and exclude experiences unfamiliar to our own ways of making sense of things.
In this course, we will consider alternatives to the assertoric and propositional uses of language that normally guide our understanding of the world. Beyond identifying and accounting for the truth, for example, in our reading, writing, and researching, we will articulate how language does things that we initially can only imagine. Inevitably, we will concern ourselves with magic.
Only alternative uses of language will allow us to articulate unacknowledged experiences of everyday life without subordinating them to pre-existing, learned accounts of the universe. Reading, listening, writing, and speaking in unfamiliar ways are a foundation for developing a political voice that can justly acknowledge and respond to others in our shared world.
The goals of this course are for students to be able to:
Develop reading and composition (R&C) skills necessary for college-level education.
Develop the practical research skills to enter into ongoing conversations.
Develop the speaking and conversation skills to collaborate with others in writing, face-to-face, and online.
Refine key R&C skills, including interpretation, criticism, analysis, and argument.
Understand relevant concepts in rhetoric, philosophy, and political theory.
Independently and collaboratively practice close-reading and writing.
Pursue college-level research guided by the prior contributions of others.
Write original, thoughtful arguments that are sensitive to multiple viewpoints.
Acknowledge and articulate experiences that arise from the culture in which they live.
Learning activities include:
Engagement with class texts, discussions, videos, and lectures;
A series of essay assignments;
Collaborative and peer coursework;
Independent scholarly research.
This course fulfills the second half of UC Berkeley’s Reading and Composition requirement.