Writing 2: Origins

Instructor: James H. Donelan
Email: donelan@writing.ucsb.edu
Office Location: 
3619 Girvetz Hall 
Office Hours
: Monday and Tuesday, 10:00-11:00 or by appointment.
Enroll Code: 
Class Meetings: MW
1:00- 2:50, Girvetz 2120
Instructor Home Page: 

Course Description: The course will explore the fundamental forms and styles of academic writing across the disciplines. Students will research and write a series of exercises and essays in three areas: literature, anthropology, and geography.

Course Outcomes:
Students who complete the course successfully should be able to:

McKibben, The End of Nature
Darwin, Norton Critical Edition
Heaney, Opened Ground
Hacker, A Writer’s Reference

The course requires regular attendance, active participation in class discussion and activities, and timely completion of all assignments, including outlines and preliminary drafts as well as the final draft of each assignment. In addition, please note:


I: Writing, Literature, and Origins: Heaney’s Opened Ground

1/4       Introduction: Academic Writing and Logistics

9/26     Reading: Heaney, “Digging” 3, “Follower” 10, “The Forge” 20; Hacker,
            “A” and “G”
            Writing: 250-word description of writing process and environment
            In-Class: Reading poetry; literary criticism

9/28     Reading: Heaney, “A New Song” 58, “Bone Dreams” 104, “The Grauballe Man” 110, “Punishment” 112, “Strange Fruit” 114, “Kinship” 115; Hacker “S” and “P”
            Writing: Explication of a poem
            In-Class: Developing an idea into a working topic and thesis.

10/3     Reading: Heaney, “Act of Union” 120, “The Birthplace” 209, “Station Island” 224, “Sweeney Redivivus” 247  “Clearances” 282; Hacker, “C”
            Writing: Outline of critical essay
            In-Class: Framing a quotation; developing a reading

10/5     Reading: Online Heaney criticism here; and here; (link through course web site); Hacker “MLA”
            Writing: First paragraph of critical essay
            In-Class: Argument and logic

10/10   Reading: Online Heaney essay here; Interview here; Hacker “W”
            Writing: Complete draft of essay—be sure to bring a hard copy to class.
            In-Class: Revision workshop

10/11   Essay in Literary Criticism Due

II: Writing, Evolution, and Anthropology: Darwin

10/12   Reading: Introduction, 1 and Beagle, 67; Hacker “APA/CMS”
            Writing: Personal response: 250 words on science and truth
            In-class: Principles of scientific argument; research in science

10/17   Reading: Origin of Species, 95; Hacker, “R”
Defining four major terms
Ideas, conjectures, theories, and proof

10/19   Reading: “Scientific Method,” 289; “Evolution as…Fact,” 373
            Writing: From evidence to argument
            In-Class: Inductive reasoning; acceptable arguments

10/24   Reading: Descent of Man, 175; Review Hacker “C”
Applying a theory
Developing a scientific essay; ideas and organization

10/26   Reading: “Cooperation and Competition” and “Nature and Nurture,” 387
            Writing: Prospectus and outline
            In-Class: Evaluating your plans; improving an outline

10/31   Reading: “Darwin and the Literary Mind,” 631
            Writing: Draft of social science essay
            In-Class: Draft workshop

11/1 Essay in Social Science Argument Due

III: Writing, Science, and Plate Tectonics: McPhee

11/2     Reading: McKibben, 3-39; review Hacker “S”
            Writing: 250-word response on style
            In-Class: Improving your writing style: sentences

11/7     Reading: McKibben, 40-80; review Hacker “W”
            Writing: Issues in geology
            In-Class: Choosing a topic; scientific questions

11/9    Reading: McKibben, 81-117; review Hacker “G” and “P”
           Writing: Essay proposal
           In-Class: Judging proposals; responses and modifications

11/14  Reading: McKibben, 118-end; review Hacker “R” and “APA/CMS”
           Writing: Essay research list
           In-Class: Evaluating sources

11/16  Reading: Sources
           Writing: Outline
           In-Class: Scientific arguments and paper structure

11/21  Reading: Sources, continued.
           Writing: Draft of science essay
           In-Class: Peer review of drafts

11/22   Essay on Science Due      

IV:      Revision Week

11/23   Workshop

11/28   Workshop

11/30   Revision Due; Conclusions