Writing Program

Courses of Study

WP111f    Communication in Context Offered in the fall for international students who are not yet taking their first-year writing (W1) course. Introduces students to the needs and expectations for written and oral communication in American academic English. Students will read and reflect on a variety of nonfiction texts. Includes classroom discussions, reflective journals, essays, and an oral presentation. Students will write three multi-draft papers that focus on different topics. Thus, the primary goal is to hone students' communicative skills in English — both spoken and written. Previously listed as "Expository Writing Workshop." Three credit hours. Gherwash
WP112fs    Writers' Workshop An individualized, weekly tutorial session with a trained peer writing tutor from the Farnham Writers' Center. Meets weekly for 1 hour during the time of your choice for a total of (at least) 10 hours per semester. Open to students from first-years to seniors. Students usually take WP112 with a W1 (first-year writing) , senior thesis, or other writing-intensive courses. Meetings may focus on writing assignments, reading assignments, grammar, professors' feedback or anything else related to writing or research for any courses. May be repeated for credit. Nongraded. One credit hour. Gherwash, Harrington
[WP113]    Conversation Hour for International Students This one-credit course is designed for students who wish to practice/hone their oral academic English. Discussion based, which uses different texts and visual materials to prompt oral discussion. Students are expected to prepare for class discussion by reading texts, writing reflections, and viewing visual materials ahead of time. International students, and others with multilingual backgrounds are especially welcome. This course may be repeated twice for credit. Non-graded. One credit hour.
[WP114]    Global English: Contemporary Expository Writing across Media An examination of "global English" to gain a better understanding of successful written communication, especially expository writing. We will review grammar, with a focus on the most common linguistic differences from other language groups; examine traditional rhetorical forms, from argument to advertising and from polemic to parody; study new media forms such as blogs, websites, Facebook, tweets, and graphic narratives; and explore these questions: How does language construct, reflect, limit, and transcend cultural meaning? How does usage change and why? What are the arguments for and against such changes? Students with working knowledge of more than one language especially welcome. Four credit hours. W1.
[WP115]    First-Year Writing Frequent practice in expository writing to foster clarity of organization and expression in the development of ideas. The assigned reading varies, but all Writing Program 115 courses discuss student writing. Students should select their first-choice course and submit alternate preferences via the Web page provided. Four credit hours. W1.
[WP115A]    First-Year Writing: Rhetoric, Writing, and Social Change Focuses on effective writing, rhetorical analysis, and communicating with different audiences—including the Colby community. Writing projects will include three analytical essays and a final, public writing project in which each student identifies an issue in the Colby community, researches the situation, and develops a realistic proposal to improve it. Each week, we focus on a different aspect of college-level academic writing (e.g., paragraph development, sentence-level editing, analyzing research sources, making sound arguments, etc.) Readings are diverse and include non-fiction essays, newspaper journalism, videos, and scholarly writing on rhetoric, identity, and literacy. Previously listed as English 115. Four credit hours. W1.
[WP115B]    First-Year Writing: Truths and Fictions Poem. Short Story. Essay. As we read materials from these domains, we will ask what kinds of truths fiction can tell and what sorts of fictions may pass as truth. Ongoing and sustained focus on writing forms the backbone of the course. Closely tied to the readings, frequent writing assignments—formal, informal, and creative—are directed toward developing critical thinking, persuasive argumentation, and a mastery of grammar and style. Previously listed as English 115. Four credit hours. W1.
WP115Cfs    First-Year Writing: Reimagining the Essay Reconsiders the essay's potential for self-expression and analytical argumentation. Students read powerful essays of the past 70 years, write five essays, and reimagine their relationship to the genre. Of particular emphasis are clarity of expression, development of ideas, logical organization, and effective and correct use of research to support claims—both to prepare for future writing assignments and to appreciate the form as a means to express ideas complexly, gracefully, and persuasively. Previously listed as English 115. Four credit hours. W1. Ketner
WP115Ds    First-Year Writing: Food for Thought The food we interact with is an expression of our humanity, our many cultures, our selves. This peer-review and process-oriented course combines reading across genres with the development of writing skills that can be applied in all disciplines. Students will practice personal narrative, argument, synthesis, and research-based writing and read work by both new and established authors. Four credit hours. W1. Stokes
WP115Es    First-Year Writing: Writing through the Multicultural Lens We will use the theme of multiculturalism/multilingualism as our framework to analyze a multitude of non-fictional texts that are composed by writers from a variety of cultural/linguistic backgrounds. The primary goal is to encourage students to question, interrogate, and challenge the stereotypes that have prevailed in the news and social media, aiming to foster cross-cultural communication. Students will write four papers that center around a topic of their choice. Students from underrepresented contexts, domestically and globally, as well as those with a functional knowledge of an additional language(s) are especially welcome. Four credit hours. W1, I. Gherwash
WP115Gf    First-Year Writing: The Face of Poverty in American Literature Invites students to explore American writing (fiction and narrative non-fiction) through the lens of poverty, with a special focus on depictions of homes and homelessness. We will investigate how writers construct "the face of poverty" in such works as Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives, Stephen Crane's Maggie; A Girl of the Streets, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, and Matthew Desmond's Evicted, and reflect critically on notions of class in today's era of income inequality. Assignments will include short essays, a Colby Museums writing assignment, a research project, and a reflective blog. Four credit hours. W1. Harrington
WP115Hf    First-Year Writing: Writing about Writing Covers writing theory by inviting students to explore their own and scholars' conceptions of how writing gets things done, what "good" writing is, and how writing tasks and genres are defined by specific contexts, rhetorical situations, and communities. Students will think about themselves as composers—what processes work best and how their past experiences shape their writerly identities. Major assignments include a definition paper on a writing concept, an autoethnography exploring students' writing processes, a research paper on the ways in which a discipline of interest circulates knowledge through writing, and a remediation project that transforms a previous work into a digital medium for a new audience. Four credit hours. W1. Hancock
WP115Ifs    First-Year Writing: Landscape and Place Reading fiction, essays, and poetry, we will explore the nature of place and landscape as physical, social, and intellectual and consider what it suggests about American culture and ideas. We will consider how place and landscape, both real and imagined, influence writers as well as how these concerns influence our own lives as readers, writers, thinkers, and dreamers. In this first-year writing course, students will write personal narratives, argument, and synthesis as well as develop their critical reading skills. Four credit hours. W1. Megan
WP115Js    First-Year Writing: Non-fiction and the Imagination The focus for our reading and writing will be the creative non-fiction essay. This form draws upon the skills of fiction, poetry and expository writing to arrive to the writer's unique perspective of the world. Incorporating diverse elements such as research, dialogue, description, characterization, rhythm and sound, the writer imagines, questions, contradicts and complicates subject matter. Students will write personal narratives, argument, and synthesis as well as develop their critical reading skills. This course does not count as a worksop for the English: Creative Writing major. Four credit hours. W1. Megan
WP120As    Language, Thought, and Writing: Literary Conversations Individual works of literature take part in a larger literary conversation that transcends time and space. Writers join the conversation by replicating existing literary forms and conventions. They also respond to perennial themes that have sparked writers' imaginations. Literary scholars also engage in ongoing conversations about the purpose and meaning of literary texts. We will enter these conversations by reading, writing about, and discussing literary texts. We will have regular opportunities to respond creatively and analytically, in speech and writing, to some amazing poems, plays, and novels. Previously listed as English 120. Four credit hours. W1. Ketner
WP151Af    Reading and Writing about Literature: Dark and Stormy Nights Why do we love ghost stories? Why do haunted houses and castles and secrets and scary things fascinate and thrill us? We will trace the origins and patterns of the Gothic in literature and explore the human appetite for the sublime and the supernatural. This peer-review and process-oriented course combines reading across genres with the development of writing skills that can be applied in all disciplines. Four credit hours. W1. Stokes
WP214s    Tutoring Writing in Theory and Practice Listed as English 214. Four credit hours. Harrington
WP310s    Professional Writing How to respond to rhetorical situations in the professional world. Emphasizes principles that can be adapted to any professional context. Students will learn how to assess the needs of rhetorical situations in the professional world, how to develop an understanding of the purposes and audiences of professional genres, how to prepare for the complexities of working in group settings, and how interrogation of issues of privilege, prejudice, and access to information allows us to design professional documents that are more inclusive. Prerequisite: W1 course. Four credit hours. W2, U. Hancock