All Courses

CW R1A - Accelerated Reading and Composition

Fall 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
Reading & Composition: 1st half (Part A)





Class Number: 13474
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 50 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: TBA
Instructor: Donnett Flash
Section Description:
Book List:
Class Number: 13477
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 100 Wheeler Hall (ALC)
Section Theme: Writing in Public—Identity and the Digital You
Instructor: Michael Larkin
Section Description:

Unless you’re writing in a notebook for your eyes only, most writing that you do is a public act—you’re writing for an audience, and this helps influence the way you express yourself. In school, this might seem to be an audience of one (the teacher), though the audience is often bigger than that. Outside school, you’re probably writing for audiences all the time, especially in electronic forms: texting friends, emailing your parents, writing status updates and tweets and blog posts and You Tube comments and on and on. What is it that you’re trying to convey to those audiences? In part, whether you mean to or not, you’re conveying a sense of who you are. In this class, we’ll examine the ways in which the Internet and digital modes of expression have affected the way we write and read, and in particular the way these tools influence us and help us to construct an identity, and to what extent that identity could be said to be authentic. And then, by the end of the course, you’ll have compiled not only a printed portfolio of your written work for an audience outside the class, but also a digital trace of yourself as well.

Book List:

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (danah boyd); Smarter Than You Think (Clive Thompson); Binti (Nnedi Okorafor); They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, 3rd ed. (Gerald Graff and Kathy Birkenstein); Course Reader. More readings/films to be determined...

Class Number: 13478
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 263 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:

The primary text for this section will be course reader, available from a local copy shop. Other books include:

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland: A Lost Feminist Utopian Novel (ISBN 0-394-73665-6)

Graff, Gerald & Cathy Birkenstein. "They Say/ I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 3rd edition (ISBN: 978-0-393-93584-4)

Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism and Achieve Real Academic Success, 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-0226484778)

Class Number: 13479
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 89 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: Border Crossing
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, race, ethnicity, politics, discrimination, and ethics.  You will engage in close reading/viewing and analysis of a novel, a film, a short story, creative non-fiction, cartoons, photos, and scholarly articles as you become an expert on the topic of identifying a perceived border and discussing when, where, how, and why it is crossed—or straddled.  In this course your writing will include a literary analysis, a rhetorical analysis, a film analysis, and a multimodal online publication of a hybrid piece that merges analysis, narrative, and reflection.

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


Class Number: 13480
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 122 Wheeler Hall
Section Theme: Literatures of the African Diaspora
Instructor: Aparajita Nanda
Section Description:

The course material addresses the writings of the African diaspora in a broader definition of the term. It touches on specific themes and ideas from pre-colonial Nigeria to post-colonial Caribbean moving onto the “neo-colonial” New World. The course seeks to define the above terms as concepts and attitudes as exemplified in literature and films. This course focuses primarily on developing your critical thinking, reading and writing skills. It is the first in a two-course sequence that seeks to hone your techniques of expository writing. Basic rhetorical tools such as description, analysis, explanation, narration, speculation and argument are discussed enabling you to share your experiences, information and views with others.  The emphasis all along is on provocative theses, strategies of argument and competent analysis of evidence. 

Book List:

Author: Chinua Achebe  Title: Things Fall Apart, ISBN: 0-385-47454-7

Author: Jamaica Kincaid  Title: Annie John,​ ISBN: 0-374-52510-2

Author: Toni Morrison Title: Sula ISBN: 1-4000-3343-8

Class Number: 13490
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 115 Kroeber Hall
Section Theme: The "Mad" Scientist
Instructor: Kim Freeman
Section Description:

The crash of thunder. The flash of lightening. The call “It’s alive.” Crazy hair. Thick glasses. Intense eyes. Scientists in popular culture are often portrayed as “mad.” Think Victor Frankenstien. Dr. Moreau, and Doc Brown in Back to the Future. This R1A section will focus on popular images of science and scientists in literature, film, as well as in other media. In addition to interrogating these images, we’ll also consider the role of science in our wider culture. In addition to being portrayed as “mad,” scientists are sometimes portrayed as elitist or isolated in their ivory towers. We’ll also consider the ethics of research and ideas of objectivity and subjectivity. Texts likely to include Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, among others.

Book List:
Class Number: 13491
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 54 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Coming-of-Age: Reflecting on the Journey to Adulthood
Instructor: Mary Grover
Section Description:

The expression “coming-of-age” carries provocative associations, such as sexual awakening, disillusionment, and embattlement. This course explores how different cultures and writers make sense of the concept.  Through critical reading, analytical writing, and class discussion, we will examine the values and assumptions underlying constructions of this concept. Our inquiry will be framed by committed participation in all facets of the writing process, including pre-writing activities, drafting, critique, and of course, revision, revision, and revision. 

Book List:

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, ISBN: 9780307887436

Class Number: 13492
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 80 Barrows
Section Theme: Where Do We Go From Here?
Instructor: Kaya Oakes
Section Description:

We live in a complicated historical moment, and writers from many backgrounds are trying to speak to that that moment means for the future. In this section of College Writing R1A, we will focus on ideas about history and justice, in order to understand the legal, moral, and social contexts for where we go from here as a nation. You will write a range of essays, including persuasive, analytical, timed writing and a profile, to help you develop writing skills that will work across the disciplines at Berkeley and beyond. 

Book List:

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy

John Lewis, March Vol. 1

Jeff Chang, We Gon' Be Alright

Course reader, online

Bikerstein and Graff, They Say/I Say

Class Number: 13481
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 2:00pm - 4:00pm @ 134 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: TBA
Instructor: Jordan Ruyle
Section Description:
Book List:
Class Number: 13482
Meeting time @ place:
MW 3:00pm - 6:00pm @ 263 Dwinelle Hall
Section Theme: Witness and Testimony
Instructor: Ben Spanbock
Section Description:

Understanding subjectivity is essential to good writing. When we express ourselves, make an argument, or tell a story, we do so from a subjective 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 (Lila Quintero Weaver); Course Reader (on bCourses)