Advanced Composition, or English 1030, is a general education course that most students at Clemson University take as freshmen. This course focuses on writing and critical thinking by using an approach that teaches rhetorical strategies for reading and composing arguments in both print and digital environments. Students will learn to read texts critically and to recognize the different purposes and audiences for arguments. Students will compose five writing projects based on issues and research raised in the reading assignments and class discussions during the semester. The writing assignments will give students extensive practice in thinking critically and writing according to the rhetorical conventions of an argumentative essay using the full range of writing processes—invention, arrangement, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading—for multiple assignments. Students explore the uses of rhetoric as a tool of persuasion in written, visual, and multimodal text and will learn how rhetoric works through attention to persona, audience, and persuasive appeals (such as pathos, logos, ethos, kairos). Rhetoric teaches us how we might persuade others, and whether to be persuaded ourselves. To these ends, this course pays particular attention to cultural and individual assumptions, and how rhetoric and language work to provide effective arguments. These approaches build a foundation for learning strategies of writing about the world in which we all work and live.
This project provides an opportunity to work in a real world setting. While “traditional” academic writing is helpful for learning general conventions, many of you will also need to compose beyond academia. For this project, you will need to assess your plans for your future as well as your areas of expertise. You will need to decide if you plan to go into a primarily academic track or a primarily vocational track. You will compose a resume and, based on your track of choice, either a cover letter or a graduate statement of interest.
This assignment requires students to develop an extended argument using multimodal composition strategies (visual, textual, audio, tactile). Examples of the form your multimodal argument can take are: op-ads, photo-essay, website, remix, collage/montage, video, podcast, mp3 file(s), blog, or other multi-media combinations. It will be important to decide on your topic, create a plan, then organize, and structure your project according to effective argumentative and design principles you are learning in this course. You will therefore need to consider your rhetorical choices in whatever medium you choose.