Department of Writing and Rhetoric

Write Here, Write Now.

Writing 102

Course Description:

WRIT 102 (First-Year Writing II) is a theme-based, first-year writing course designed to build on writing skills learned in either WRIT 100 or WRIT 101 and develop critical thinking and research skills appropriate for use in academic writing. The course pays special attention to developing argumentative skills, analyzing texts, and synthesizing information into thoughtful, coherent essays and projects. Students enrolled in WRIT 102 will produce papers that are longer and more in-depth than in WRIT 100/101. The course culminates in a final portfolio of the student’s work. Click here to read the WRIT 102 FAQs.

Course Outcomes:

The objectives of this course are

  1. to develop basic writing skills learned in WRIT 100/101, including the understanding that writing is a process that develops over time
  2. to write for specific purposes and for specific audiences,
  3. to respond critically to different points of view, allowing the student to create effective and sustainable arguments,
  4. to become skilled at locating primary and secondary research from a variety of sources and at evaluating their reliability, and
  5. to become effective researchers and writers of research papers as a member of an active writing, reading, and researching community.

Download the Brochure


Click to expand a theme to read more about it.

Pop Culture

We are surrounded by a constant stream of pop culture from films, music, television, social media, advertising, and many other media. But how often do we stop to ask ourselves what it all means? We could explore such questions as “Why is Glee so popular?” “Is texting creating a distracted and dangerous society?” and “How does the film, Titanic, construct beliefs of femininity and masculinity?” We will write several papers about such topics, culminating in a research paper where students will examine a pop culture phenomenon of their choice.

Required Texts:

  • Maasik, Sonia and Jack Solomon, eds. Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. 7th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference with Writing in the Disciplines. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
Power and Privilege

Systems of power and privilege create more than just acts of discrimination in our culture, and yet these systems are invisible to many people. This course, through a variety of readings, videos, and supplemental material, will attempt to uncover and analyze the ways Power/Privilege manifest in the U.S. through issues of race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, and others. Students will learn to engage this material through rhetorical techniques and strategies in a way that enables them to join these cultural and social justice conversations with conviction and credibility.

Required Texts:

  • Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing.
    10th Ed. Columbo, Gary and Robert Cullen, Bonnie Lisle. Published by Bedford
    St. Martin’s.
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference with Writing in the Disciplines. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011
Food

This WRIT 102 class explores writings and arguments about food in the United States. Among many topics, we may read about the beginnings of food and the politics of the planting, growing, and cultivation of meat and vegetables, exploring such questions such as “should farmers receive corn subsidies?” and “should there be government regulation on genetically modified foods?” We may then study the effects that food has on those who eat it. We may explore such questions as “How and why has our diet changed over time?” and “What has contributed to the obesity epidemic in Mississippi?”

Required Texts:

  • Rollins, Brooke and Lee Bauknight, eds. Food. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2011.
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference with Writing in the Disciplines. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
  • For Spring 2013 only: McMillan, Tracie. The American Way of Eating. New York: Scribner, 2012.
Environment

What is the meaning of ecology and nature? What counts as an environment? How do current issues about our environment affect our daily lives? How do we begin to connect with and investigate the real issues of impacting local ecologies and environments? We will read and analyze a variety of genres—literary, social commentary, cultural analyses, theory, and philosophy that relate to our theme.

Required Texts:

  • Anderson, Lorraine, Scott Slovic, and John P. O’Grady, eds. Literature and the Environment. New York: Longman, 1999.
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference with Writing in the Disciplines. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
Business

How many economic decisions have you made today? From what you had for breakfast to what you decided to wear to class, your choices have been influenced by businesses, both local and global. But there may be some issues of which you are many not even be aware. In this class we will explore a variety of questions related to business, including, but not limited to: is Wal-Mart good for America? Should corporations have the same legal rights as that of an individual person? Is out-sourcing jobs a good idea? What ethical obligations does a business have to the environment? to our health? to the nation?

Required Texts:

  • Gillam, Kenneth M, ed. Money. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2011.
  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference with Writing in the Disciplines. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
  • For Spring 2013 only: McMillan, Tracie. The American Way of Eating. New York: Scribner, 2012.
Engineering
Limited space available. Engineering students only.

LIBA 102 Course Descriptions
LIBA 102 fulfills the same requirements as WRIT 102.