The Working Writer 
Writing 400.01: Advanced Rhetoric & Research

What do professional writers do all day? And what might your own life entail if you become one? This course is designed for you to find out. Together, we will research writers we value, discover conversations they’ve participated in and trace the research they’ve done to get there. We will examine their methods, styles, habits, and obsessions. Along the way we’ll expand our own boundaries as writers—utilizing new research methods and rhetoric to produce projects of our own with power and authority. (3-credit, fulfills ULWR)

Writing in the Sciences
Writing 400.002: Advanced Rhetoric & Research

Communicating scientific information calls for a keen awareness of audience expectation. Writing in the Sciences intends to prepare students interested in science to write in a variety of professional disciplines. Students in this course will write in at least two formsof science communication, an academic article and an independently-designed public-facing communication project,in order to build skill identifying and targeting a specific audience. Class discussions will focus on the structure of these forms and their intentions as well as elements of scientific style on the sentence level. Students will practice writing and revising in these two situations, as well as deliver a brief oral presentation at the end of the term.The course will also help students to strengthen their research skills in scientific disciplines by finding, reading, and interpreting quantitative scholarly information. Students will gain experience working collaboratively through structured peer review. (3-credit, fulfills ULWR)

Writing with Digital & Social Media (3-credit)

And now for something completely different! Our Writing 200 and 201 courses with topics such as blogging, podcasting, photo essay, and social media, are among the most popular Sweetland courses. 

Writing 200.001: Democracy & Your Voice: The Art of Podcasting This three-credit digital media course introduces students to the genre of podcasting with a focus on civic story-telling and political podcasting. We’ll explore engaging podcasts to examine what makes them tick. We'll practice the art of interviewing, asking questions and close listening, and we'll write scripts and learn how to package episodes. We also will explore useful campus resources available for support, equipment and spaces to record. Everyone will create a trailer in a class collage. Each student will draft and design their own vision for a podcast and then deliver it as the final project for the course.

Writing 200.002: Creating Narratives in Augmented Reality In this course we focus on how narratives in augmented reality participate in the rhetoric of social discourses, and thus we attempt to become active readers and composers in this new medium. This course will start with introducing students to recent literature in virtual and augmented reality, to set up a discursive context. We will also read seminal texts in multimodal rhetoric, to apply a disciplinary lens to the more technical readings. Then, the course will shift to becoming familiar with platforms that allow users to design augmented reality experiences without having to know how to code: similar to what Wix or Wordpress do for websites.

Writing with Digital & Social Media Mini-Courses (1-credit)

Writing 201.001: How Not to Be an Online Troll: The Rhetoric of Online Commenting “Don’t read the comments.” We’re going to ignore the advice of this digital day aphorism. Online comment culture reveals a lot about our contemporary conceptions of the public sphere. Comment sections in response to content can serve as a civic participatory space for differing perspectives, and, at their best, allow users to interact with diverse and differing perspectives. However, comment culture can quickly become uncivil and derogatory. In this course, we will focus on understanding and analyzing the rhetorical strategies of online comment culture, from places like that strive to have civil participatory spaces to the strategies of the subcultural troll. We will identify some of the rhetorical conventions of civil (and uncivil) commenting, and question what constitutes normative online communication. We will complete weekly short (1-2 page) writing assignments to analyze online commenting culture, reflectively participate in comment culture ourselves, and gain a broader understanding of what it means to engage “below the line.” 

Writing 201.002: Fake News While the term originated more than a century before, “fake news” became a major factor in our understanding of the last Presidential election cycle, and promises to continue to affect the pending one. In this course, we will consider the rise of fake news, including some of its historical origins in yellow journalism, propaganda, and satire. We will examine fake news stories that spread via the internet and consider how and why they are created, how to identify them, and how to counteract them. And we will study the rhetorical use of the term “fake news” as it is used to discredit journalists and challenge mainstream media sources.

For International and Multilingual Students

Writing 229 Editing & Style for International and Multilingual Students This course runs on a discussion and workshop format, in which students explore the rhetorical effectiveness of stylistic elements commonly found in American academic and professional writing. In each class, students will work individually on editing exercises and collaboratively in stylistic discussions. Students will have a chance to bring their own essays and editing questions to workshops with their classmates and the instructor. Additionally, students will identify and practice styles of writing in different contexts, such as writing in science, business, and psychology.  (1-credit)

Writing 240 Professional and Technical Presentation for International and Multilingual Students This course is designed to prepare future engineers, scientists, business persons, architects, etc. who need to present professional and technical information in international contexts. Students in this course will design presentations for experts and lay audiences. Students will give presentations to different hypothetical audiences and play the role of a particular audience to help a presenter evaluate the presentation. (1-credit)

Transitional Writing Courses

Transfer undergraduates and other upper-division undergraduates who feel they may need additional support in upper-level writing can enroll in Writing 350: Excelling in Upper-Level Writing. This course can be taken at the same time as a ULWR course. Operating in a workshop and discussion format, it provides an opportunity to identify writing strengths and issues, set personal goals, and practice writing in a collaborative environment. The course uses the writing that students produce in other classes as the basis for workshops. (1-credit)

New students at Michigan can warm up for the First-Year Writing Requirement by taking Writing 100: The Practice of Writing in their first term. This course emphasizes an intensive one-on-one approach to teaching writing, including frequent student-teacher conferences. It addresses key features of college writing including: analysis in addition to summary; revision for focus and clarity; development and generation of ideas; and style built on a solid grasp of conventions of grammar and punctuation. Students gain confidence for writing assignments typical of college classes. Activities include discussion and analysis of readings, explanation and modeling of writing strategies and techniques, along with peer review workshops. (3-credit)

Writing 120 College Writing for International and Multilingual Students This three-credit course is designed to prepare international and multilingual students for their first-year writing courses. It will guide students in typical university writing practices, including an emphasis on developing well-researched, properly cited papers. Students will develop written fluency and improve their command of grammatical, textual, rhetorical, and multimodal conventions common in a variety of academic disciplines. Students will also work towards the aim of developing a rhetorical perspective on multilingualism as it relates to writing and communication. (3-credit)