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.
We often divide gender into two neat categories—masculine and feminine—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 these categories, and for what reasons? And how do various forums (re)shape our understanding of what it means to be male or female, and with what effect?
Reading materials from the fields of biology, linguistics, media studies, literature, and popular culture, students will have the opportunity to explore some of the ways gender can influence how we see ourselves, others, and our world; however, the primary focus of this course will be identifying, learning about, practicing, and strengthening various reading, writing, and critical thinking strategies.
To help in these efforts, students will complete various sequenced and scaffolded assignments, which may include annotated bibliographies, extended summaries, critiques, juxtaposition, comparison/contrast, problem/solution arguments, visual analysis, and literary analysis. Individually and collectively, these assignments will help students increase their proficiency in the rhetorical strategies valued both at the university and beyond.