WRT 205: Critical Inquiry and Researc
Welcome to WRT 205, a 3 credit course focusing on rhetorical strategies and practices (building upon the analysis and argument of WRT 105), and advancing these skills with critical research. In WRT 205 students develop an extended inquiry project that integrates materials from varied sources and includes writing in multiple genres. Students compose, revise, edit and reflect on their writing with the support of teacher and peers. Through applied practice and ongoing reflection, students learn to distinguish academic contexts, develop positions in relation to research, purposes and settings, and attribute sources according to genres and situated conventions. Polished compositions might assume a variety of forms, including but not limited to presentations, reviews, proposals, essayistic arguments, or multi-media and web-based projects. Students will also use digital technologies to network, compose, and/or critique and disseminate their work. The course will use an electronic portfolio for purposes of learning and assessment.
1. Research Writing as Situated Process
Students will recognize and act upon the ways methods, processes, and contexts shape research and writing.
2. Researching and Evaluating Sources Rhetorically
Students will develop reading strategies for invention, rhetorical engagement with sources, and critical dialogue. 3. Research Writing Within and Across Genres
Students will recognize the role genre plays in determining research forms and practices.
4. Reflecting on Ethical and Rhetorical Choices
Students will analyze and reflect on how rhetoric and issues of ethics (e.g., respect for and representation of research, engagement across differences of perspective, etc.) affect research across a range of situations within and beyond the classroom. Our Topic of Inquiry
WRT 205 has an extended inquiry, but the development of knowledge within the inquiry area is ancillary to the primary goals and purpose of the course. The inquiry provides an opportunity to further hone students’ rhetorical attunement.
We will take up the topic of Writing and Science with a focus on how psychiatry and psychology are often referred to/thought of as “soft science”. We will consider questions such as “how do we know what we know”? How does writing impact science and how does science impact writing? How does science work rhetorically? Who/what determines credibility and how is this authority granted? What impact does this have on issues of audience, context, genre, purpose, medium, and persona? What “real-world” consequences result when one way of knowing is privileged over another? How are perceptions perpetuated? What are examples where science helped mankind and examples where science is lacking?
We’re going to look at a variety of texts from different disciplines and genres, with very different audiences and purposes. You will use a range of approaches—discussion forums, collaborative work, and individual assignments—and produce a variety of texts. Your learning will continue outside of the class, as well, with primary research that you will complete as part of your work in this course (and as another kind of critical inquiry). This public interaction will complement our topic of inquiry: we’ll be looking at public discourse, at the conversations held in various forums, focusing particularly on the oft-mentioned but perhaps poorly understood issues of mental health/illness, ability/dis-ability, etc.--issues that get airtime, but perhaps less consideration than they actually deserve.