WRT 105 Reflection

Being the first-year writing class, WRT 105 focuses on bringing students into the practices of academic writing. I try to do this directly, gradually moving outward from their own literacy background or experience into a particular community and its use of genres that they finally an engage rhetorically.

Unit one, for example, introduces students to rhetoric and approaches to literacy, having them reflect on a particular situation or their own backgrounds, depending on the version of the class. This assignment is meant to be reflective, but it builds analytical skills by having students apply general schema–discussed in class and through readings–to their own situation. I get a range of papers, from students having to “code switch” when the come to school to students learning to navigate different voices and tones as they work with customers or fellow employees at a summer job.

Unit two builds on this assignment by having them look at a community or space–online or embodied–largely through the genres and values members of the community express in writing. Again, this helps teach analytical skills by having students try to make claims based on multiple observations from primary information. It also reinforces the situated nature of writing and the need to modulate their style depending on the medium, purpose, audience, genre, etc.

Unit three has them try to do this themselves, producing an argument that speaks to a particular audience through a particular medium. Here, I am influenced by Jody Shipka, in that I am less concerned with the actual product and more concerned with how they reflect on issues of audience, mode, medium, purpose, etc.. These are terms used throughout the course, but here, they are analyzing their own work, hopefully becoming more skilled and rhetorically self-reflexive, my primary goal for WRT 105.