Program in Writing and Rhetoric Stony Brook University Spring 2017 Advanced Writing Courses



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Program in Writing and Rhetoric Stony Brook University

Spring 2017 Advanced Writing Courses


Grammar and Style for Writers Eugene Hammond/ Kevin Clouther

WRT 200.01/ WRT 200.02 MW 2:30-3:50 pm/ TuTh 11:30 am-12:50 pm

In this course we will concentrate on grammar as it applies to both student writing and published writing. Although we will consider individual grammatical issues, such as subject-verb agreement and pronoun case, our larger concern will be locating these issues in the context of actual sentences, paragraphs, and complete works. With each grammatical issue, you will dissect and create sentences, using published material as models. You will be expected to participate actively, complete in-class assignments, and present your own formal writing for workshop.


Rhetorics of the Hero Wilbur Farley

WRT 302.01 MW 2:30-3:50 pm

This course will examine the political, cultural, and economic factors which shape popular American understandings of the terms ‘hero’, ‘heroic’, and ‘heroic ideal’. We will trace out the constantly shifting character of American identity (on both national and local levels) in relationship to these terms by interrogating our understandings of the hero’s significance and value through the lenses of race, class, and gender. Texts will include Sturges’ The Magnificent Seven, Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon, and Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. Three 4-5 page essays as well as an 8-10 page research-based final essay are required.
Rhetoric and War Roger Thompson

WRT 302.02 TuTh 2:30-3:50 pm

This course focuses on the complex relationship between language and armed conflict. By discussing recent writing about the Iraq War, with special focus on Iraq War memoirs, we will examine the interaction between rhetoric, war, and cultural concepts like justice, honesty, honor, and patriotism. Students will be required to write 2-3 response papers and a research paper.
African American Rhetoric Safet Dabovic

WRT 302.03 MW 5:30-6:50 pm

This course is an overview of African American rhetoric from the Revolutionary War period to the present, exploring important themes, topics, argumentative strategies, and stylistic markers that African Americans developed in response to slavery, prejudice, and discrimination. Students will explore how the development of a public voice helped African Americans claim their right to citizenship and affirm their sense of black collective consciousness, which was rooted in their distinct culture, heritage, and memory. Students will analyze and evaluate various textual readings, including essays, slave narratives, speeches, poetry, and newspaper articles. Readings for this course will include works by David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack H. Obama.
Advanced Playwriting Kenneth Weitzman

WRT 302.04 TuTh 10:00-11:20 am

A writing workshop focused on the one-act play. Students will write and revise two original one-acts that, together, comprise a full-length evening of theatre. This class is the next level of Playwriting Workshop. The class is comprised of in-class and take-home writing assignments, assigned readings, in-class reading and analysis of students’ original plays.
Creative Non-fiction Jennifer Albanese

WRT 302.05 TuTh 1:00-2:20 pm

In this course we will explore a series of different Creative Non-Fiction sub-genres, including memoir, biography, travel writing, and science writing. In each unit, students will read and explore a series of short essays and excerpts from larger texts in order to analyze and cultivate strategies for their own writing projects. In addition to published work, students will also be exposed to blogs and other Creative Non-Fictional media to consider future opportunities for public writing. Students will be required to write three papers over the course of the semester.
The Personal Essay Thomas Tousey

WRT 303.01 MWF 12:00-12:53 pm

The personal essay is a form that has recently come back into fashion. In this class we will engage the form by writing our own personal essays as well as reading and responding to the work of writers who have come to define the genre: examples include Michel de Montaigne, Charles Lamb and E.B. White, as well as more contemporary writers such as Joan Didion and Scott Russell Sanders. We will explore the differences between shaping experience as truth in a personal essay or memoir and as a work of fiction. As a definition of personal essay evolves, we will consider whether personal writing and essay writing (or “essaying”) have a place in academic writing. Students in this class will also be able to prepare a personal statement for their application for graduate or professional school.

The Personal Essay Cathleen Rowley

WRT 303.02 MW 2:30-3:50 pm
The personal essay has a long literary history and can take many different forms but always tells a story about its author in some way. This course will involve writing personal essays and examining the works of professional writers to use as examples and inspirations. We will read personal essays from the past from writers such as Virginia Woolf and Henry David Thoreau, and more recent examples from writers such as Joan Didion and Richard Rodriguez. We will also consider the new forms the genre of the personal essay has taken in the 21st century. Writing assignments will include journals, short essays, and a longer multimodal final project which will include a digital story. Students in this class will also have the opportunity to prepare a personal statement for their application for graduate or professional school.
The Personal Essay Rita Nezami

WRT 303.04 MW 4:00-5:20 pm


“Our search for personal meaning is precisely what generates our passion and curiosity for the subjects we research and write about,” writes Maria Torgovnik. She captures the essence of the personal essay, a form of creative nonfiction that incorporates fiction’s techniques to tell a story that is factually true. The personal essay often takes its point of departure from writers’ experiences, puzzlements, or conflicts: identity, serious illness, personal discovery, or the complexities of family conflict. The successful personal essay moves easily and with discipline among fact, reflection, analysis, speculation, and memory. Our readings will reveal how writers use their story to find meaning in untidy experience. We will closely examine the work of Judith Otriz Cofer, David Updike, Cynthia Ozick, David Foster Wallace, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Rodriguz and Michael Bulgakov. Students in this class will also be able to prepare a personal statement for their application for graduate or professional school.
The Personal Essay Cynthia Davidson

WRT 303.05 TuTh 2:30-3:50 pm


In this course, students will study the art and practice of creative nonfiction—in particular, the personal essay. As a writing course, you can expect to do a lot of reading and a lot of writing because these are the two most surefire ways to become a better creative writer. This course will approach creative writing both analytically and aesthetically—that is to say this course will help you develop craft and style in your own writing. The course will roughly be broken up into three aspects: reading and analytical discussions of issues such as truth, memory, and technique; students' own writing of short essays and the revision process; and workshop critique and discussion of peers. Ultimately, students will learn how to begin to shape personal experiences into meaningful and deliberate narrative essays.
The Personal Essay Kevin Clouther

WRT 303.06 TuTh 11:30 am-12:50 pm


In this course we will concentrate on the reading and writing of narrative non-fiction; you will have the opportunity to improve your own craft, discuss your peers’ personal essays, and learn from contemporary masters such as Charles D'Ambrosio, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Mary Karr, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and David Foster Wallace. In all of the work, we will examine together what makes a piece of writing worth reading, focusing on issues of voice, structure, and language. You will be expected to participate actively, complete in-class writing assignments, and present your creative writing twice for workshop. You will submit at least twenty pages—you may submit a personal statement for application for graduate school—and thoroughly revise one piece.
Writing for Your Profession Kristina Lucenko

WRT 304.02 TuTh 10:00-11:20 am

Professionals of all kinds consistently attest to the significance of strong writing and communication skills in their field. In fact, a national study shows that about 70% of paid jobs involve writing. This is verified by data from a 2012 survey of over fifty employers of Stony Brook University graduates. So in this course students learn about types of documents, rhetorical principles, and composing practices necessary for writing effectively in and about professional contexts. Coursework emphasizes each student’s career interests, but lessons also address a variety of general professional issues, including audience awareness, research methods, ethics, collaboration, and verbal and visual communication. Students complete the course with practical knowledge and experience in composing business letters, proposals, and various kinds of professional reports. A creative, self-reflexive assignment also contextualizes each individual’s professional aspirations within a bigger picture of his/her life and culture.
Writing for the Health Professions Robert Kaplan

WRT 305.01 MW 5:30-6:50 pm

This course will enable students interested in a health care career to strengthen their critical writing skills. While learning to gather information and to apply ethical principles in a logical, persuasive fashion, students will explore and write about various types of evidence concerning the health care needs of different populations: a field research project on a health issue affecting a local target population of their choice, a critique of government documents that contain data on that issue and population, and a review of scholarly research on the same issue as it affects the larger national population represented by that local one. Writing assignments will include drafts and final versions of a research proposal, field research results, numerical analysis, literature review, and a final project incorporating all of the previous work conducted about that issue and population. Students will also write a reflective paper which can serve as the basis for a personal statement for medical or other health-related graduate school applications.
Advanced Analytic and Argumentative Writing Robert Kaplan

WRT 381.01 MW 2:30-3:50 pm

Argumentative writing involves making a claim and supporting it with specific, related points and appropriate evidence—in other words, it is thesis-driven writing. Whenever we don’t quite like someone else’s idea and we want him or her to come closer to ours, argumentative writing is the most efficient method for such persuasion, in whatever profession you’re considering. This class, therefore, will focus on learning how to effectively utilize argumentative and counter-argumentative writing strategies. Students will explore an area of disciplinary interest to them through several stages—proposal, preliminary draft, multiple versions, literature review—culminating in a 20-30 page piece of writing in which they make a claim about a particular subject in that area of interest and support it with scholarly research and extensive elaboration. Also offered as EGL 381.
Mentoring Writers Patricia Dunn

WRT 392.01 TuTh 2:30-3:50 pm

This course closely examines the difficulties implicit in mentoring writers, with special consideration for the roles of cultural expectations and social dynamics on both the teaching of writing and writers themselves. In small groups and one-to-one interactions, students explore theories and practices upon which composition instruction and writing center work depend. Building on the understanding that writing is a recursive process (a cycle of planning, drafting, revising, and editing), students also learn to analyze and problem-solve issues that become barriers for effective writing and communication. Designed for those who are, or will be, teaching courses that involve writing, this course is intended to achieve a number of goals.

***All 300 level courses will fulfill the second half of the Writing Pre-Med/Pre-Health prerequisite.



***WRT 302 fulfills the University DEC G or SBC HFA+ requirement


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