WRPR 101A 01,02 Finding A Voice: Identity, Environment, and Intellectual Inquiry
This course considers students fluid relationship to identities that they examine, explore, and take on through course materials. We begin by examining how difference is perceived/obscured/challenged and/or bridged in constructions of identity. We then consider how identities exist in the physical environment and how environment affects these identities. In particular, we will look closely at the debate concerning hydraulic gas fracturing, or fracking. Haverford Colleges location in Pennsylvania, home of the Marcellus Shale and location of many fracking sites, makes this topic especially relevant. The different positions that experts have taken in the debate about fracking serve as a model, finally, for students to enter another scholarly debate within an area of interest in a possible prospective major. In this later stage of the course, students try on the identity of a major and examine how to think and write like someone in that prospective major. This course involves significant reading, writing, and research. You will learn how to move between several different kinds of writing: from writing to express yourself to writing to communicate with an audience, to take a position on a written text, to create arguments and counter-arguments, to learn scholarly research skills, to learn interview and presentation skills, and to develop your own voice through your writing and speaking in order to participate more fully in the work of intellectual inquiry. This is a first-semester course with individual tutorials that prepares students for a second semester writing seminar.
WRPR 102A001, 002 The Internet and Participatory Culture
This course aims to introduce first year students to the challenges and rewards of academic writing, and to develop the self-awareness that is necessary in order to navigate and participate in academic discourse. Through a variety of course materials, assignments and in-class exercises, you will sharpen your annotation and critical thinking skills, recognize the elements of a rhetorical situation and explore the best methods with which to present well-constructed arguments to your audience. This semester, we will read and write, critically and purposefully, on what is considered the new public sphere: the internet. We will do this by investigating three major areas of internet culture: Cancel or Call-Out Culture, Meme Culture and the Culture of Web Activism (sometimes referred to as Slacktivism). As we progress through the materials, you will see that all of these categories tend to overlap and push a larger conversation as to how we negotiate the new participatory nature and culture of the internet. Through informal writing assignments, we will reflect and track how our attitudes and opinions on a given topic or idea have developed and evolved over the time we have spent with it. We will also explore critical/creative thinking strategies, database research, and ways of writing your ideas with which you might be less familiar. For instance, you will learn and practice persuasive strategies, descriptive writing, and methods for engaging an audience all of which are crucial to a well-written and effective argument. In addition, you will develop an understanding of just what it takes to present your ideas authoritatively, to accept accountability for your positions, and to face up to your ethical responsibility to an audience.