As this is a writing class, you'll be writing. A lot. Some of this writing will be formal, revised projects. Other writing will be brief, low-stakes assignments designed to help you think through the more formal pieces. We'll also write during class time, so be prepared by bringing something to write with. In this class, we'll use the word writing expansively. That is, writing will encompass not only typed, essayistic prose but also a wide range of genres and media—professional writing, social media posts, infographics, web content, and translations, to name a few.
Formal writing projects will go through a drafting and revision process. During drafting, you'll shape your ideas and experiment with ways to best communicate this work. You should expect to put significant time and effort into the revision process and for projects to shift, change, and develop as you revise. You should also assume that you will be sharing your writing with others (your instructor and peers) as part of the revision process. Revision can mean a lot of things, but in this class, I assume that revision involves a true reimagining of the project. Revision is not simply polishing up a few stylistic errors at the end of the writing process.
This is a seminar rather than a lecture course. Thoughtful discourse is an essential part of this class, and you will frequently work in groups of various sizes, which means you will need to be considerate of and attentive to others. It is your responsibility to keep up with the reading, to contribute to class conversation in the form of analytical comments or questions, and to attend class regularly and on time. There will be many ways to participate if speaking in front of the whole class is not something you like to do often, but engagement in the course through active listening and contributing to activities is essential. For more about how participation will factor into your grade, see "Participation," under Classwork, and the attendance policy for this course.
One key element of the First-Year Writing curriculum at UConn is the concept of active learning. Active learning means that you learn by doing rather than memorizing things that an expert tells you. Active learning can feel uncomfortable if you're used to more traditional classes; it may feel like more work compared to listening to a lecture. But research shows that people learn more and are challenged more when engaging in active learning practices—even when those practices feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable.
Throughout this course, we will rely on each other during processes like peer review and class activities. In addition, the largest project of the semester, the Community Partner Project, will be a collaborative writing assignment. We will devote some time to developing collaborative writing strategies to prepare for this work.
ENGAGING WITH TEXTS
Although English 1010 is a writing course, the writing you do here has a very close relationship to reading texts. "Reading" and "texts" are conceived broadly here, however, and may include engaging with videos, podcasts, graphics, and other media. The process of writing often begins with careful reading of a situation, written text, or various media. You will be reading to find ways into the conversation in which an author or text is participating. In order to engage substantively with these texts, you will need to go over them more than once.
English 1010 provides the first stage of the University’s Information Literacy competency. You should expect to use outside sources and scholarly research to inform your work throughout the semester. While all assignments will provide opportunities for developing Information Literacy skills, we will have at least one assignment that will be built with this specific purpose in mind.
As part of the First-Year Writing program's pilot curriculum, this course will include special attention to digital literacy—how to use digital tools for writing, research, and collaboration. In particular, the corequisite Studio attached to this course will help you develop familiarity with a variety of software and techniques for creating digital projects.
Reflection happens throughout the semester, usually in ways that complement writing projects by providing opportunities for a writer to imagine alternatives or trace lines of thought or activity. Reflection is intended to help you step back from the writing you've done and articulate what you've learned so that you can apply that learning to future writing situations.