Essential Questions:  These are the guiding principles and essential lines of inquiry that will structure our time together.  We will decide on these the first day. 

  1. Why do we write?
  2. How is “good” writing defined in society today?
  3. What makes writing interesting?
  4. Does the perfect piece of writing exist?

From the PSU course catalog:

“Composition is an introduction to the occasions and standards of college writing. Students develop writing abilities through the study and practice of writing processes. Students explore flexible strategies for inventing, generating, drafting, reading, editing, sharing, and presenting their work. The study of ideas, evidence, organization, style, and convention is essential. Coursework stresses the importance of reading and writing for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communication. Students write for varied situations, in a variety of genres, and in response to personal experience, reading, research, argument, and demand. Students examine both the rhetorical and visual impact of the texts they produce. By the end of this course, students are better prepared for the writing they will do in college and beyond.”


This course is conducted using a workshop approach to writing.  Dialog (written, verbal and pictorial) and individual practice are at the heart of it.  This course is formatted to help students feel more comfortable in their writing.  We will explore and discuss different strategies and steps involved in composition that will allow each student to find the system that works best for them.  Writing is not only a product but also a process; therefore, revision will be emphasized and fostered with instructor, peer, and personal comments.

Much of our class time will have a writers’ workshop environment. When we share our writing with each other, we’ll work to give friendly and helpful feedback. Because we are practicing writers, too, we’ll all be able to relate to the demands of writing good essays for a college-level audience. 

In addition to writing, we’ll read other writers in order to help us understand the various components of successful essays. The readings should also help in generating ideas for composed pieces and develop and reinforce critical reading and thinking skills.

Why the Tech Focus?

Everyday you compose writing: texts, Facebook updates, emails and more.  You write more than you think you do.  In this course, I am to help you translate your “everyday” writing to college proficient and beyond.  We will use current technology and Web 2.0 tools (Twitter, WordPress and more). 

As what constitutes composition expands due to technological influence, the kinds of writing in which we engage also change. Everyday writing can often take on greater importance, informing other kinds of composition. This course endeavors to garner greater understanding and awareness of our past, present, and future practices of writing. The what and why of writing is as of much focus here as the how.

Writing outside an academic setting will also be centered in and around technology and computers.  We will explore the whys, hows and so what’s around using technology to further and deepen your writing.  We can not escape technology, but we are able to learn to use the technology to strengthen and improve our writing.