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WRTG 3020 Topics in Writing: Sports in American Culture

Instructor Contact

Peter Kratzke

Peter.kratzke@colorado.edu 

Course Overview

In answering the curriculum of a GT-C03 writing course, as defined by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, CU’s Program for Writing and Rhetoric has formulated the following objectives:

Critical Thinking and Its Written Application

  • See writing as a form of personal engagement, demanding an awareness of the inherent power of language and its ability to bring about change.
  • Pose and shape a question at issue.
  • Locate and use resources when necessary to exploring a line of inquiry.
  • Evaluate information sources for credibility, validity, timeliness, and relevance.
  • Draw inferences from a body of evidence.
  • Distinguish description from analysis and argument.
  • Distinguish flawed from sound reasoning, and be able to respond to and challenge claims.
  • Recognize a thesis, and understand the organic relationship between thesis and support in an essay.
  • As writers, structure and develop points of argument in a coherent order to build a case; as readers, recognize this structure and development within texts.
  • Critique one’s own works in progress and those of others.
  • Recognize that academic and public writing is dialogic, addresses an audience, and anticipates the thinking, the questions, and the possible objections of readers.

The Writing Process

  • Understand writing as an ongoing process that requires multiple drafts and various strategies for developing, revising and editing texts.
  • Understand that revision is informed by critical dialogue.
  • See the critical analysis of others’ work as relevant to one’s own writing.

Rhetorical Situation

  • Exercise rhetorical skills: frame issues, define and defend theses, invent and arrange appeals, answer counterarguments, and contextualize conclusions.
  • Value writing as a collaborative dialogue between authors and audiences, critics, and colleagues.
  • Make decisions about form, argumentation, and style from the expetations of different audiences.
  • Recognize that a voice or style appropriate to one discipline or rhetorical context might be less appropriate for another.
  • Develop “topic”-specific language that is appropriate for the defined audience while also intelligible to a non-expert audience.

Mechanics and Style

  • Convey meaning through concise, precise, highly readable language.
  • Apply the basics of grammar, sentence structure, and other mechanics integral to analytical and persuasive writing.
  • Develop skills in proofreading.
  • Use voice, style and diction appropriate to the discipline or rhetorical context.
  • Use paragraph structure and transitional devices to aid the reader in following even a complex train of thought.”

To meet these many objectives, this particular section of WRTG 3020, titled “Sports in American Culture,” attends very carefully to the merger of critical thinking and literacy underlying one, all-encompassing genre: formal argumentation. By doing so, the course’s overall aim centers on what is known in the field of Rhetoric/Composition as “transfer” (or “transference”), which means that you be able to take what you learn and then adjust to, and succeed in, any writing occasion that you encounter along life’s path. The world of sports provides a ready example of this goal, for it is a place where one sometimes finds athletes who are good in a variety of sports: give such people a ball (as it were), and they can do what needs doing. Similarly, this course is designed so that you achieve the best kind of “jack-of-all-trades” competency, whether writing a successful cover letter one moment, a poem the next, or a stock analysis the next.

Required Texts

The course has no required textbooks, but you shall need:

  1. A good printer
  2. Full access to Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader

Units and Grading

The course is composed of four units. The first unit is a “learning to write” progression of shorter assignments, the whole of which emphasizes a rigorous sense of craft. The second unit centers on the first of the course’s three major writing assignments and explores categories in an expository fashion (“creating a box,” such may be called in an image). Through it, you will apply in a fairly static way, the information from unit one. The third unit moves to contextual analysis (“creating a box and putting something in it,” to continue the image). You will thus move to a more dynamic practice of ideas in action. Finally, the fourth unit culminates the course in the time-honored social goal of argumentation (“creating a box, putting something in it, and judging the whole,” to conclude the image).

Academic Citizenship:

  1. D2L Discussions
  2. Preliminary work (quality and punctuality)
  3. Workshops

In all: 10%

Unit 2: 30%

Unit 3: 30%

Unit 4: 30%

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Hours

Monday – Friday
7:30am to 4:30pm

Location

We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.

Map

1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado
80309-0178