All Courses

CW R4B - Reading, Composition, and Research

Summer 2018

This writing seminar satisfies the second half (Part B) of the Reading & Composition Requirement. It offers students structured, sustained, and highly articulated practice in the recursive processes entailed in reading and composing, as well as critical analysis. The seminar affords students guided practice through the stages involved in creating a research paper. Students read five thematically related book-length texts, or the equivalent, drawn from a range of genres, in addition to various non-print sources. In response to these materials, students craft several short pieces leading up to two longer essays—works of exposition and/or argumentation. Students also draft a research paper, developing a research question, gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing information from texts and other sources. Elements of the research process, such as proposals, annotated bibliographies, an abstracts, "works cited" lists, and the like, are submitted, along with the final report, in a research portfolio. Students write a minimum of 32 pages of expository prose during the semester.

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

Available in 
Satisfaction of the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and the first half (Part A) of the Reading & Composition Requirement
Units and Format 
4 units – Seven and one-half hours of seminar/discussion per week for six weeks (Session D)
Grading Option 
Must be taken for a letter grade for R&C credit
Reading & Composition: 2nd half (Part B)





Class Number: 15157
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 1:00pm - 3:30pm @ 115 Kroeber Hall
Section Theme: Our World Today: Global Issues, Local Contexts
Instructor: Ben Spanbock
Section Description:

With a focus on current events at both global and local levels, this class teaches students how to be rigorous and effective investigators. To better frame the concept of “our world,” we will begin with a brief history of place, taking UC Berkeley as a case study and discussing the role that the university and its research has played and continues to play in public life. This history will be complimented by close examinations of primary sources and discussions on finding and utilizing primary sources effectively. Tracking this history to the present moment, you we then map our conversations onto current events for a larger discussion on writing research papers using primary and secondary sources. Some of the issues that we will cover in our readings and discussions will include: how and where we find our information, what types of information and what sources of information we find valuable, and what we do with the information we have access to. Over the course of the semester, students will embark on a process of discovery related to a key issue within their chosen topic, to determine where, how, and why their research holds particular relevance to our world today.

Book List:

Course Reader (available online)

The Craft of Research, 3rd edition (Booth, Wayne C.)

Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era (Levitan, Daniel J.)