| Last Updated: 5/5/07 | 8:15 am
Because all UW20 sections are theme-based, with their own individualized readings and writing assignments, it's important that you peruse the course descriptions below to find a theme that is of interest to you.
REQUIREMENTS: The following requirements and workload expectations are consistent across all sections of UW20. Students will complete a total of 25-30 pages of finished writing, developed through a process that may include pre-draft preparation, drafts, and revisions based on instructor's advice and classmates' comments. Each student will complete at least three writing assignments of increasing complexity. Papers will be based on assigned texts and often on additional reading; although instructors will develop assignments that reflect a variety of academic writing projects, one paper will require significant research.
SECOND SUMMER SESSION
- Eric Drown - Conspiracy : Theory
CRN 81939 Section 22 | MTWR 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (2020k #21)
- Derek Malone-France - Reading (and Writing) the Constitution
CRN 82667 Section 23 | MTWR 12:00pm - 2:00pm (DUQUES 362)
Summer Distance Learning
SECOND SUMMER SESSION
- Charity Fox - All That Jazz
CRN 82634 Section DE3
- Melinda Knight - All That Jazz
CRN 82299 Section DE
- Caroline Smith - Picture This: Writing About the Visual and Verbal
CRN 81686 Section DE1
CRN 81640 Section DE4
- Robbin Zeff - Political Junkie: Writing about Politics in the Nation's Capital
CRN 81687 Section DE2
- Megan Siczek - Writing Seminar for Summer Scholars
CRN 82690 Section M1 | MTWR 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM (ACAD 303) & F 9:00am - 10:15am (ACAD 303)
CRN 82692 Section M2 | MTWR 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM (ACAD 303) & F 10:45am - 12:00pm (ACAD 303)
Writing Seminar for Summer Scholars helps students hone critical thinking and analytic writing, skills essential for academic discourse in any college environment. With Washington , D.C. as a thematic focus, students will engage in an exploration of the rich history, culture, and politics of the nation's capital. A major project of the course will be a research essay and digital presentation, on which students will collaborate with their peers. Required foundation course for the Summer Scholars Program.
Charity Fox & Melinda Knight - All That Jazz
University Writing 20 aims to enhance first-year students' abilities to
read, think, and write critically, as well as to equip them with
university-level research and project-management tools. In these sections,
we'll meet these goals by studying conspiracy theories and the people who
create them. On first glance conspiracy theory hardly seems worth studying.
What, after all, can be learned from reading the writings of paranoid
crackpots given to delusional accounts of the world? But, as you will see,
conspiracy theory is a form of thinking to which most Americans subscribe at
one time or another to explain some aspects of their lives. Moreover, it is
a form of writing with some significant parallels to university writing.
Both academics and conspiracy theorists conduct extensive research, use
elaborated arguments to convince others to see things their way, and
circulate their work in highly critical public arenas. By developing
sophisticated analytical methods and conducting first-hand research in
conspiracy communities, you'll learn to see conspiracy theorists as astute,
if eccentric, observers of society. More importantly, you'll learn how to
use academic research and writing to formulate and answer questions that are
more than merely academic. Writing assignments include a close reading of
Theodore Kaczynski's "Industrial Society and Its Future," a research report,
a research essay, peer reviews, and presentations. Other assignments as
Jazz has often been described as the most American of all musical forms to evolve in this country. Certainly, it has permeated popular and elite culture for more than a hundred years and has proven to be hugely popular abroad. This version of UW20 will explore the origins of jazz, including the social and historical factors that contributed to its success. Students will conduct research on jazz music, using audio recordings, film, autobiography, archival materials, and criticism, among other possible sources. The joint purposes for this course are to strengthen every GW student's ability to write clearly and effectively at the university and in other arenas and to emphasize the importance of strong writing for success in all academic, public, and professional enterprises that require critical thought and communication. The course will focus on framing feasible research questions and problems, setting clear and measurable objectives, analyzing audiences, formulating communication strategies, structuring arguments, using and citing sources appropriately, rewriting to achieve intended outcomes, and enhancing editing and proofreading skills. Students will listen to and critique jazz music, participate in online discussions, write and revise essays on specific topics to varied audiences and for different purposes, review each other's work, and use digital technology to facilitate the process of reading, writing, and research. Artists to be studied will include Louis Armstrong, Bennie Moten, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Mary Lou Williams, George Gershwin, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Albert Ayler, among others.
Ever since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, American's have debated the proper scope and nature of judicial activity and its relationship to this foundational document: How should judges read the Constitution? As an immutable bedrock of stability, the development of which is the sole province of the legislative branch and the amendatory process? Or as an evolving document, whose ambiguities allow for each new generation to adjust its meaning to fit changing circumstances and social norms? To what extent should judges “make law,” as opposed to merely “applying” it? And is it always possible to clearly distinguish between the two?
In this course, we will examine such questions through the lens of two leading statements on Constitutional interpretation by two of the current Court's senior justices. We will read Justice Antonin Scalia's articulation of the conservative or ‘originalist' position in A Matter of Interpretation and Justice Stephen Breyer's articulation of the progressive position in Active Liberty . We will compare the perspectives of these two texts—along with those of other documents by leading figures in American law—to the positions outlined by the influential Constitutional framers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in The Federalist (and to the anti-Federalist arguments in the letters from ‘Brutus'). Students will undertake a series of writing projects that will draw on the issues and questions raised by our readings and class discussions to develop their capacities to produce strong college level research and writing.
Have you ever noticed just how much of an impact images have on our lives today? Each morning, we may wake up, turn on the news, eat our breakfast and flip through the newspaper, glancing at the advertisements on the pages in between. On our way to work or school, we may pass a flyer or two, each decorated with a catchy image and a few phrases. From television to advertisements to paintings to the Internet, it's hard to escape this infiltration of images! In this class, we will explore the intersections between critically seeing and critically reading. For instance, how is “reading” a painting different from “reading” an essay? How is it similar? Does knowing more about an artist's life change our perceptions of his/her work? How does knowing background information about an author affect the reading of his/her text? While our course will be grounded in the study of “classic” works of art (painting, photography, sculpture), we will also use the critical reading skills we develop to analyze pop culture creations (product packaging, advertisements, music videos, movies), examining how, in many of these mediums, the visual and verbal often work together. For example, how do designers incorporate effective text and images into a product's packaging? The visual and written texts we look at will, in turn, serve as the starting points for our writing assignments, as we experiment with our own methods of argumentation. Writing assignments for this class are as varied as the texts we will consider. Students will write response papers, short essays, and longer, research based essays. At the conclusion of the semester, students will produce an illustrated, personal narrative exploring their development as a writer over the course of the term. As a class this semester, we will explore – through observing, reading, researching and writing – the ways in which both the visual and verbal affect our everyday lives and shape our culture.
Washington, DC, is the ultimate political town-where national politics is local. This writing-intensive course will explore the exciting world of contemporary American politics by monitoring how political issues are debated and observing how national policy is made. Students will conduct original research on a topic of their choice that will have them digging deep into the inner-workings of the library's database holdings and doing fieldwork into the hallways of Congress. Both short and long writing assignments will be used to learn the rigors and expectations of academic writing. Course reading will cover the craft of research and writing as well as contemporary political issues and events. In addition, students will be required to monitor daily news sources to stay on top of the current political landscape. A significant amount of work for this course will be conducted online; students will participate in online class discussions, use content management software, and use digital technology to facilitate research, writing, and revision.