Writing & Rhetoric

Courses

197 - Independent Study in Writing & Rhetoric

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
2 or 4 units

201 - The Art of Essay Writing

The Art of Essay Writing:
An introduction to the analytic forms of the essay. Course work emphasizes the writing processes needed to articulate the complexities of thinking about academic subjects: generating theses, structuring arguments, and developing a clear, cohesive style. The class considers conventional and innovative methods to merge content, form and style. Writing assignments consider multicultural and interdisciplinary texts. Not open to frosh.

The Art of Essay Writing: Race, Class and Gender
An introduction to the analytic forms of the essay. Course work emphasizes the writing processes needed to articulate the complexities of thinking about academic subjects: generating theses, structuring arguments, and developing a clear, cohesive style. The class considers conventional and innovative methods to merge content, form, and style. Writing assignments consider multicultural and interdisciplinary texts. This particular section will explore the narrative and visual presentation of social/cultural assumptions about race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Not open to frosh.

The Art of Essay Writing: Documentary Film
An introduction to the analytic forms of the essay. Course work emphasizes the writing processes needed to articulate the complexities of thinking about academic subjects: generating theses, structuring arguments, and developing a clear, cohesive style. The class considers conventional and innovative methods to merge content, form, and style. Writing assignments consider multicultural and interdisciplinary texts. This particular section situates writing instruction in documentary film; close attention will be paid to audience, context, and argument. Not open to frosh.

The Art of Essay Writing: Travel
An introduction to the analytic forms of the essay. Course work emphasizes the writing processes needed to articulate the complexities of thinking about academic subjects: generating theses, structuring arguments, and developing a clear, cohesive style. The class considers conventional and innovative methods to merge content, form and style. Writing assignments consider multicultural and interdisciplinary texts. This particular section analyzes travel writing across the centuries, examining historical conditions, intercultural interactions, and post-tourism. Not open to frosh.

235 - Visual Rhetoric: Communication through Pictures

Visual Rhetoric: Communication through Pictures and/or Words. This course will examine the forms and uses of visual images to inform, argue, and inspire--in order to analyze their effectiveness expressing ideas across the millennia, from ancient civilizations through the present digital age. We will examine codices, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass panels and maps; combinations of words and pictures from scientists, poets, printers, and graphic novelists; as well as digital images such as memes, information graphics, data visualizations, and multimedia arguments. Both the theory of visual rhetoric and the making of images in some of these media will complement our exploration of these genres.
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: FINE ARTS

250 - Writing with the Community

This course encourages an engaged and dynamic approach to writing studies, as it places writing in real-world contexts by partnering Oxy students with community organizations (in Los Angeles and Pasadena). Through these partnerships, students will identify local cultural and social concerns—specifically on the topics of homelessness, poverty, and immigration, which represent the interests of our particular community groups—and will use writing and rhetorical tools for analyzing and addressing these issues. In this class, we will explore a wide range of research and writing strategies common to both academic environments and the work place situations of our community partners, such as: primary or field research, secondary or library-based research, and both individual and collaborative writing projects. This course will allow students to see community nonprofit organizations, plus the cultural, social, and political issues and rhetoric surrounding them, from the inside out. The work of this class is thus both scholarly and practical, motivating student learning by enlivening and enriching students’ approaches to academic work.
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: UNITED STATES and GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

265 - Course title: Feminist Rhetoric and Social Change

This course is an introduction to feminist rhetorical history and criticism, as it foregrounds the study of how women “stand and speak” using rhetorical strategies to address social and cultural issues that impact them. This class positions the study of feminist rhetorics within the larger study of language and discourse theories, as we examine how social relations, power, knowledge, and identities are constituted through private and public rhetorical acts. Through our readings, we will engage a wide range of contributions to a rhetorical critical history by women who, either as practitioners or theorists, advanced their visions of social change and acted to implement them. Course readings will begin in antiquity to provide a foundation for our study, though much of our material will focus on texts from the nineteenth-century to the present to examine the intersections of gender and rhetoric. Through this work, we will challenge the seeming erasure of women from this critical history and interrogate the notion of “feminist rhetoric” as merely a corollary to a masculinist tradition. Assignments will include critical essays and a visual rhetoric project on representations of women in the media and popular culture. Same as CTSJ 265
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: US DIVERSITY

275 - Rhetoric in the Health Professions

This class primarily prepares students to read critically in the multiple contexts necessary for a career in health, as well as guides students in developing a personal statement for post-graduate applications. The course emphasizes critical reading development generally, drawing readings from a variety of fields, and combines those skills with logical strategies for various applications, including communicating with multiple audiences and passing required tests. We will also discuss rhetoric of professional writing in the health professions.
Not open to frosh. 

2 units

285 - Principles of Journalism I: Newswriting

This course is an intensive introduction to the theories and practices of a trade that is protected by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and yet increasingly under threat. Taught by a team of accomplished reporters and editors (Fall 2008's lineup included 6 Pulitzer Prize winners), this class will introduce nuts and bolts journalistic techniques, explore the inner workings of news media, and encourage students to apply critical thinking skills to communications theories and controversies relevant to all academic disciplines and integral to 21st Century global citizenship.

286 - Principles of Journalism II: Narrative Journalism

Taught by some of California's top magazine and newspaper writers, editors and columnists, in this course students will learn to combine the reporter's craft with creative writing skills to produce lucid, compelling non-fiction. Exploring the spectrum of journalistic expression in newspapers, magazines, books, online publications, television and film, students will grapple with issues and controversies concerning media's role in society. The course will also develop students' reporting and interviewing techniques and focus intensely on the craft of writing. Using narrative devices, students will practice a contemplative form of journalism─striving to present richer views of who we are, how we live and the forces that shape our existence.

287 - Rhetorical Fault Lines: Journalism, Persuasion, and Propaganda

Rhetorical Fault Lines: Journalism, Persuasion, and Propaganda-- This course will inspire critical thinking about the role of journalistic persuasion and its often conflicting relationship with public relations, publicity, marketing, and branding, while probing the effects of increasingly sophisticated communications techniques on individuals and democratic institutions. We will explore ethics and semiotics through scholarly and popular interpretations of communications theory, such as George Lakoff’s seminal Don’t Think of an Elephant, Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent, and A Rhetoric of Motives by Kenneth Burke. Students will write and critique persuasive journalism -- editorials, op-eds, blog posts, letters to the editor -- as well as public relations messaging in press releases, speeches, native advertising, video, visual design, and digital and paid media. Taught by a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has served as an editorial writer, columnist, Opinion page editor and, most recently, Communications Director for the Sierra Club, America’s largest and most effective environmental organization, the course will offer an inside perspective on the forces that shaped public opinion and the decisions behind some of recent history’s most significant issues, including climate disruption, education, immigration, and war

295 - Argument and Rhetoric Across the Disciplines

This class will engage the historical, theoretical, and cultural dimensions of rhetoric in a range of disciplines in the arts, literature, politics, and philosophy. In readings from Aristotle to poststructuralist theory, we will examine all aspects of the rhetorical situation (exigence, audience, and rhetor) and the contexts in which rhetorical acts occur. We will examine how language practices intersect with culture and identity, including class, race, sexuality, gender, and nation, as we consider how arguments are constructed and how writing and narrative transform culture.
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: PRE-1800

301 - Creative Non-Fiction

An advanced composition course, creative non-fiction emphasizes writing for wide, cross-disciplinary audiences. Creative non-fiction shares the characteristics of literature, creative writing, and exposition, encompassing memoir, biography, technological practices, and many forms of the essay. Writing about nature, sports and travel, popular science and history, students will use professional writing and new journalism techniques. The readings will include short non-fiction works from authors such as Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Mary Gordon, Bhanu Kapil Rider, Richard Selzer, Virginia Woolf and Brent Staples. The class will emphasize the particular challenges of several non-fiction genres, encouraging sound writing principles as well as experimentation and exploration. This community of writers will write and rewrite many texts-exploring methods and styles to move from draft to publication. Prerequisite: student must have passed the Core Writing Requirement or taken ENWR 201.
CORE REQUIREMENT MET: FINE ARTS

395 - Theory and Pedagogy of Writing

An exploration of the theory and practice of writing instruction, the class emphasizes rhetorical strategies, audience expectations, and forms of academic discourse. Collaborative techniques and interpersonal dynamics will also be discussed. This class is primarily for Peer Writing Advisors. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.
2 units

397 - Independent Study in Writing & Rhetoric

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
2 or 4 units

401 - Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing Across the Curriculum: Travel Writing
This version of the course will examine tales of many travelers, from eighteenth and nineteenth century voyagers such as Mary Wortley Montagu and Mark Twain to twentieth century travelers like Truman Capote and Paul Theroux. Be it on the “Grand Tour” or with a “post-tourist” as our guide, we will consider the wide variety of this genre as well as compose travel essays and memoirs in text and multimedia. If you plan to study abroad or to visit parts of Los Angeles you have never seen before, this class is for you! May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Must have passed first stage writing requirement This course can be repeated twice for credit.

 

Writing Across the Curriculum: Science Writing
This class offers students opportunities to develop and refine their skills in presenting various scientific topics to a wide range of audiences, and encourages students to critically examine social aspects of the dissemination of scientific information. Readings will include contemporary issues in a number of scientific fields, including environmental and ecological science, cognitive science, medicine and health science, as well as a variety of natural and life sciences. We will delve into important ethical and practical constraints that govern the reporting of scientific information and consider the cultural place of science (in the U.S. especially).  Writing tasks will include short analyses of science writing as students work towards crafting their own articles. Not open to frosh.

  • Phone: (323) 259-2545
  • Location: Academic Commons, Ground Floor