Advanced Composition

This course was also “ungraded,” meaning we used extensive feedback and a contract, instead of grades, to respond to student work.

“[M]y experience of theory has mostly been one of valuing ideas, and in particular valuing the ability to identify connections and resonances and distinguish gaps and contradictions between models and proposals.” 

Teresia Teaiwa, “The Ancestors We Get to Choose,” 2014

Rhetoric 233: Advanced level instruction in developing research-based arguments of moderate complexity within a special topics format. Introduction to the use of multimodal or other non-print resources as evidence in written arguments. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement. This course satisfies the UIUC General Education Criteria for Advanced Composition. Credits: 3 credit hours.

In this class, we will explore language to develop our own writing genealogies. All of the writing and reading in this course asks us to think about language—how we use it and why. Together, we will imagine alternate genealogies to those offered by histories of colonization and critique standardized English as a tool that colonizes bodies and mind. By exploring the style and methods of engagement – what we will call expressions – of other writers, we will question the ways we have been taught to use language and learn to employ (non)standardized language strategically in our writing.

Since this is an advanced composition course, we will spend the semester practicing and exploring different ways of engaging with the writing of others toward a final research paper, in which each of you will apply one of the critical frameworks we have read to a primary text of your choosing. The idea will be to learn to engage critically with different texts while developing strategies for adapting writing to different situations and in response to different texts, communities, and object. Throughout the semester, you will be reading, drafting,  writing, speaking, and, most of all, listening in order to more effectively engage with the ideas of others and to express our own ideas clearly. Using imitation as a foundational methodology for writing, you will read and write often, connecting your own ideas to the ideas of others.