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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Third Year Writing Course Descriptions

Spring 2019

Dr. Jason Lovvorn (Section 04S *Service-Learning).  This section of Third Year Writing will explore three broadly connected themes: service, poverty, and literacy. As part of our process, we will examine academic research and narrative accounts that expand our understanding of these key concepts. In addition, throughout the semester, we will engage in a service relationship with a Nashville community partner. This work will enable us to approach course themes from an embodied, experiential perspective and will inform the course's reflective writing components. In addition to reflective writing, the course involves writing in an academic mode, including the completion of an annotated bibliography and a research project. Here, students will be encouraged to pursue research connected to a major or minor field of study or to another personal interest. For all writing efforts, the course will consistently stress ways to make prose clear and graceful through drafting, reviewing, and revising.  If you have questions about the class or the service involved, feel free to contact Dr. Lovvorn at jason.lovvorn@belmont.edu

Dr. Joel Overall (section 9). Composing Experience, Creating Experience. Noted rhetorical scholar Gregory Clark claims, “ideas and arguments bind people together or push them apart, but aesthetic experience does that as well and perhaps to greater effect.” For this course, we will investigate Clark’s description of aesthetic experience by reading about how writers represent their own experiences or use words, sounds, rhetorical forms, and images to create experiences for their audience. To do so, we’ll read works by A.J. Jacobs (My Life as an Experiment) and John Steinbeck (In Dubious Battle), listen to audio stories from This American Life, and interact with digital stories presented on Pitchfork and at the Sundance Film Festival. While the majority of assignments for this course will be written, one assignment will ask students to integrate written text with other modes of meaning such as sound, image, music, or video to emphasize audience experience of writing.

Dr. Eric Hobson (sections 10, 19, 21). Efficient and Effective: Writing to Get the Job Done. By this point in your academic career you control general and discipline-specific knowledge…at least inside your cranium. The challenge, however, is translating that info to audiences that matter: not you (or your teacher…really). Using practical guides and processes (admittedly quirky at times), we follow a structured process to streamline and amplify your writing, while meeting university learning goals. Powerful writing is work (never think it is anything but); yet, it is doable…and, sometimes, not entirely painful.

Dr. Carla McDonough (section 15). Writing with Purpose. At its most basic level, writing is thought captured and shared. This section of Third Year Writing explores the role writing plays in our personal and in our professional lives. We will consider what makes writing matter. How does writing make a difference in our understanding? How can you use writing to accomplish specific ends? To become informed about issues that matter to you? To inform and persuade others? To bring about change? How do you acquire reliable information? What difference does it make if an argument is based on faulty logic or questionable data? And how can a writer or a reader tell?  These questions encourage us to consider the many purposes of researching and writing: to think, to learn, to communicate, to inform, and to persuade.  All of these roles of research and writing extend far outside of the classroom and into our everyday lives as professionals and as people. We will read William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and Charles Fishman’s The Big Thirst—all non-fiction books that provide models of effective writing with purpose, in addition to providing ideas and research worth examining. As part of the research skills practiced in the course, you will be searching for specific articles that we will also read and discuss as a class. Writing assignments include two research projects and some shorter papers.  

Ms. Kimberly Balding (sections 20, 22). In English 3010 we will read and write on an advanced level with the following unifying theme: An Interdisciplinary Look at Ireland.  We will read stories and factual accounts related to Ireland.  We will also read what many of Ireland’s writers have to say about Ireland. Other mediums of discussion will revolve around film, art, and music.  Readings, topics, and discussion will include the Celtic people, the myth and legend of Ireland and her people, An Gorta Mor/The Great Famine, The Easter Rebellion of 1916, and The Troubles. That said, we will spend a great deal of time writing about such both reflectively and purposely. Once we have an understanding of Ireland, we will look at what our individual disciplines look like in Ireland.

Dr. Jayme Yeo (sections 28, 29, 30, 31).  This class explores what it means to live a called life through the concept of “vocation.” Although today the word most often means “career,” in its original Latin it was more closely associated with an invitation or a summons. In this class, we will investigate the things that call to us—from artistic creativity to social justice, from curiosity to human flourishing. We will also look at how a calling is shaped within multiple contexts. Our conversations will roam from the performing arts to the sciences, from nature to technology, from food to sports. Along the way, we will discover how writing enables us to name and answer our own calling through providing us with a vocabulary and a context for better understanding who we are. This class meets on Blackboard.