All Courses

CW R1A - Accelerated Reading and Composition

Spring 2017

This intensive, accelerated course satisfies concurrently the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and the first half (Part A) of the Reading & Composition Requirement. It offers students structured, sustained, and highly articulated practice in the recursive processes entailed in reading, critical analysis, and composing. Readings include imaginative, expository, and argumentative texts comparable in complexity to those encountered in the lower-division curriculum. Texts are chosen to represent views and perspectives of authors from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Students read five thematically related book-length texts, or the equivalent, drawn from a range of genres, in addition to non-print sources. In response to these materials, they craft numerous short pieces leading up to three to five essays—works that include elements of narration, exposition, and argument. Students write a minimum of 40 pages of prose during this semester and they compose an annotated portfolio that showcases their best work.

Note: Specialized sections are available for multilingual student writers.  These sections are marked (MSW) below.

Available in 
Fall and Spring
Placement by the Analytical Writing Placement Examination
Units and Format 
6 units – Six hours of lecture/discussion per week
Grading Option 
Must be taken for a letter grade for R&C credit





Class Number: 13849
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 8:00am - 10:00am @ 247 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: Gender: Beneath the Surface
Instructor: Caroline M. Cole
Section Description:

We often divide gender into two neat categories—male and female—and ignore many questions. Is gender constant or fluid? Is it biologically determined, socially constructed, or both? If gender is at least partially constructed, who or what constructs and maintains the categories, and how fluid or fixed are those categories? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being perceived as male or female, masculine or feminine? And, what happens when people explicitly or implicitly blur the boundaries? This section of College Writing R1A focuses on the ways gender plays out in various areas, such as biology, language, current events, advertising, novels and more.

By reading texts representing various disciplines and perspectives, students will examine and critique the way gender impacts our understanding of ourselves, others, and our world. More importantly, student will learn a range of rhetorical strategies to write about these topics in ways that engage their readers. 

Book List:
Class Number: 13850
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 122 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Witness and Testimony
Instructor: Ben Spanbock
Section Description:

Understanding subjectivity is an essential part of the writing process. When we express ourselves, make an argument, or tell a story, we do so from a position shaped by who we are and where we are, our background and experiences, our thoughts and beliefs, and even how we are feeling in that moment. Subjectivity also plays a foundational role in how we understand and interpret others and the world around us. It shapes our opinions and makes us unique. This class asks students to consider subjectivity through two distinct but related paradigms: witnessing, an act of seeing or otherwise experiencing an event, and testimony, an act of self-expression meant to share or convey opinions on what has been witnessed. The purpose of this class is to introduce practical methods for reading “texts” (print, visual, auditory, social, etc.) and to activate both thought and writing processes to engage with the dynamic issues they raise. Together we will examine a number of short and long texts that draw from and speak to discourses from across the academic disciplines and raise questions concerning subjectivity in acts of witness and testimony. Operating under the premise that our community stands to benefit from a diversity of perspectives and opinions, we will explore different techniques for self-expression and different types of writing with a goal of better understanding our own subject positions, as well as those we encounter.

Book List:

The Well Crafted Sentence (Nora Bacon); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon); Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (Seth Holmes); Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White (Linda Quintero Weaver); Course Reader (on bCourses)

Class Number: 13854
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 80 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: The 1950s in Literature, Media, and Film
Instructor: Jonathan Lang
Section Description:

Whereas the 1950s is often considered a golden period of American prosperity and peace, in reality, it was a period of tremendous social and political unrest. Men and women found themselves alienated by increasingly regimented familial roles; African-Americans fought for basic civil rights; and Cold War tensions simmered: American became involved in foreign conflicts that left the nation divided. We will focus on understanding the historical character of this period of time through literature, film, and the non-fictional essay. The course will also review the fundamentals of expository writing, with an emphasis on process and in revision especially.

Book List:

Mechanical Brides (Ellen Lupton); Things They Carried (Tim O'Brien); This Boy’s Life (Tobias Wolff). Film: Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes, dir.)

Class Number: 13856
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 106 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: TBA
Instructor: Donnett Flash
Section Description:
Book List:
Class Number: 13858
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 2:00pm - 4:00pm @ 80 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: The Pen and The Sword
Instructor: Kim Freeman
Section Description:

Every time a mass shooting occurs, it shocks all over again. Those at schools seem particularly disturbing. We start asking why? How might it have been avoided? How can we stop this from happening again? And yet, it continues to happen. Violence is everywhere in our culture, from state-sponsored wars to domestic abuse to video games and films and, of course, mass shootings.  Reading a variety of texts and genres from difference fields, we’ll focus on some explorations of the causes of violence and some of its representations, with an emphasis on youth and violence—why shoot at school? Why join a gang? How does violence at home affect people? How might other social factors, such as class and gender, affect violence?  While I don’t expect us to answer any of these questions, and I know there are many answers to them, I hope that these texts will provide a rich array of issues for exploration, in ways you might also adapt to some of your own interests. While violence is the theme of the course, the focus is on your writing, so you will work in a variety of genres, practicing techniques for invention, development, argument, incorporating and analyzing texts, and revision.

Book List:

Amin Maalouf In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong 

Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me

Octavia Butler The Parable of the Sower

Gerald Graff and Cathy Berkenstein "They Say/I Say" The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing


Class Number: 13860
Meeting time @ place:
TUTH 9:00am - 12:00pm @ Unit 2 Towle L-11
Section Theme: Happy Happy, Joy Joy
Instructor: Carolyn Hill
Section Description:

Tired of gloom and doom, stress and misery? Let's get happy! We'll explore current psychological research about happiness (centered right here at Cal, believe it or not), engage in activities that make us happy, read happy texts, think happy thoughts, and (yes) write happy papers. From belly laughs to blessings, we'll take the happy road to learning.


Book List:

The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett); The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want (Sonja Lyubomirsky); The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams); Tea with the Black Dragon (R.A. MacAvoy); Easy Writer: A Pocket Guide (Andrea Lunsford); Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace (Joseph Williams); Course Reader (online)

Class Number: 13867
Meeting time @ place:
MW 9:00am - 12:00pm @ Unit 1 L-20
Section Theme: The Use of Space in Gentrifying Communities
Instructor: Chisako Cole
Section Description:

We will explore the relationship between identity and capitalism through an important current issue: Gentrification. Many urban spaces are cultural capitals, but also places of vast social and economic inequality. Key questions guiding the course include: For whose benefit is the rich cultural life of urban spaces? How have residents mobilized culture in the service of more equitable access to urban resources? Do supporters of gentrification justify the transformation of neighborhoods using the language of improvement and civilization? Students will examine a variety of texts- writing assignments will include a literary analysis essay, book review and a multimodal fieldwork essay. 

Book List:

Good Neighbors (Tissot), Space & Place (Tuan), Just Mercy (Stevenson)

Class Number: 13869
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 206 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: Crossing & Straddling Borders
Instructor: Michelle Baptiste
Section Description:

As you develop your voice as a writer in this intensive reading and writing course, we will explore borders—both real and imagined.  We will discuss diverse issues, including identity, culture, law, immigration, and ethics.  You will analyze a novel, a non-fiction book, a film, a short story, cartoons, photos, and scholarly articles as you become an expert on this topic of identifying a perceived border and discussing when, where, how, and why it is crossed—or straddled. 


Book List:

Alexie, Sherman.  (2007).  The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian.  New York: Hatchette Book Group.  ISBN: 978-0-316-01368-0

*Fulbeck, Kip.  (2006).  Part Asian: 100% Hapa. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 9780811849593

*Fulbeck, Kip. (2010).  Mixed: Portraits of multi-racial kids. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 9780811874083            *Buy one or both.

Graff, Gerald & Birkenstein, Kathy.  (2010).  They say, I say: The moves that matter in academic writing.  (2nd edition).  New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN: 9780393933611

Lunsford, Andrea.  (2014). EasyWriter. (5th ed. Spiral Bound).  Boston: St. Martin’s/Bedford. ISBN: 9781457640469

Stevenson, Bryan.  (2014).  Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.  New York: Spiegel & Grau.  On the Same Page (available free on campus)

Class Number: 13872
Meeting time @ place:
TUTH 2:00pm - 5:00pm @ 263 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: Nature, Culture, & Creativity
Instructor: Teri Crisp
Section Description:

A hallmark of humanity is our extraordinary creativity, born and developed within the natural world.  Yet human industry and development have resulted in the loss of wild nature, accelerated dramatically in the last century and a half. Are nature and human culture separable, in opposition, indivisible? What explains biological diversity, how is it being lost, and how is this significant? How do ecological ethicists think about the values underlying our relationship with nature?  Can we “function responsibly and gracefully as citizens of the whole earth,” in the words of one writer? We will consider the perspectives of diverse writers: social thinkers, scientists, farmers, artists, activists, and others, all seekers after nature’s secrets and ways of living 'lightly' on the planet.  And you will share your ideas and writing in a highly collaborative, talkative class.

Book List:

To be announced.