Writing department professional writing programme



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YORK UNIVERSITY

FACULTY OF LIBERAL ARTS & PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

WRITING DEPARTMENT

PROFESSIONAL WRITING PROGRAMME
WRITING 1300.03

THEORIES OF WRITING
COURSE SYLLABUS

Winter 2013

COURSE DIRECTOR:

John Spencer

S329Ross

jspencer@yorku.ca


TEACHING ASSISTANTS:

Angela Meyer Sterzik

S329Ross

ajms@yorku.ca


Sadia

S329Ross


shraboni@yorku.ca


LECTURES AND TUTORIALS
LECTURES:

Wednesdays 12:30–2:30

Vari LH D
TUTORIALS:

01: Wednesdays 3:30-4:30

S136 Ross

Tutorial Leader: John Spencer


02: Wednesdays 2:30-3:30

VH 1016


Tutorial Leader: Sadia Banerjee
03: Thursdays 12:30-1:30

S128 Ross

Tutorial Leader: Angela Meyer Sterzik
04: Thursdays 1:30-2:30

HNE B10


Tutorial Leader: Sadia Banerjee
05: Thursdays 11:30-12:30

HNE B10


Tutorial Leader: Angela Meyer Sterzik


COURSE OBJECTIVES
Together we will study some of the major contemporary writing theories and theorists, with particular emphasis on those from the social sciences. The course is divided into three main sections. In the first section we will examine some of the dominant understandings of language and its role in human activities. We will then learn how the study of written language is organized in the academy, while concluding with a review of the main theories related to the process of writing, focusing on the various phases of that activity. In this way we will seek to become knowledgeable about the act of writing as an academic discipline, and apply these theories to our own writing.

COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
CLASS PARTICIPATION:

Reading Presentation: 20%

Class Participation: 15%

RESEARCH ESSAY: 25%

(assigned February 6; due March 27/28)


EXAMINATIONS:

Mid-term Examination: 20%

(in lecture February 27)

End-term Examination: 20%

(in lecture April 3)

REQUIRED READINGS:

All the assigned readings, as listed below under the course lecture schedule, are bound together in a Writing 1300 Course Kit available in the York Bookstore.



LECTURE SCHEDULE AND COURSE READINGS
SECTION ONE: WRITTEN LANGUAGE
JANUARY 9:

Course Introduction

Brief Overview of Epistemology

Social Science Research


JANUARY 16:

Language Theory

Language and Thought

Written Language


Reading:

Emig, Janet. “Inquiry Paradigms and Writing.”


JANUARY 23:

Communication Triangle

Reading Theory
Readings:

Emig, Janet. “Hand, Eye, Brain: Some Basics in the Writing Process.”

Rumelhart, D. E. “Schemata: The Building Blocks of Cognition.”

JANUARY 30:

Genre

Audience
Readings:



Lunsford, Andrea and Lisa Ede. “Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked: The

Role of Audience in Composition Theory and Pedagogy.”

Devitt, Amy J. “Generalizing About Genre: New Conceptions of an Old

Concept.”


SECTION TWO: RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION STUDIES
FEBRUARY 6:

Discourse Communities

Classical Rhetoric

Current Traditional Rhetoric


Readings:

Blakesley, David. “Reconceptualizing Grammar as an Aspect of Rhetorical

Invention.”

Barrit, L.S. and Barry Kroll. “Some Implications of Cognitive-Developmental

Psychology for Research in Composing.”
FEBRUARY 13:

The New Rhetorics

Basic Writing
Readings:

Nelms, Gerald. “Reassessing Janet Emig’s The Composing Processes of



Twelfth Graders: An Historical Perspective.”

Bartholomae, D. “The Study of Error.”


FEBRUARY 20:

Reading Week


FEBRUARY 27:

Mid-term Examination


SECTION THREE: THE WRITING PROCESS
MARCH 6:

The Writer

Writing Process Theories
Readings:

Flower, Linda and John Hayes. “A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing.”

Murray, Donald. “Writing as Process: How Writing Finds its Own Meaning.”
MARCH 13:

Invention

Research

Composing


Readings:

Flower, Linda, and John Hayes. “The Cognition of Discovery: Defining a

Rhetorical Problem.”

Perl, Sondra. “Understanding Composing.”

MARCH 20:

Revision


Arrangement
Readings:

Eden, Ruth and Ruth Mitchell. “Paragraphing for the Reader.”

Elbow, Peter. “The Music of Form: Rethinking Organization in Writing.”
MARCH 27:

Grammar


Editing
Readings:

Noguchi, Rei R. “The Limits of Grammar in Writing Improvement.”



Beason, Larry. “Ethos and Error: How Business People React to Errors.”
APRIL 3:

End-term Examination


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