Academic Writing Seminar

The Academic Writing Seminar is a seminar-format course designed to develop English college-level academic writing skills in all students to prepare them for both academic and other forms of writing they will encounter in later classes (argumentative writing, reflective writing, etc.).

Emphasis on:

  • fundamental writing mechanics
  • argument construction and use of evidence
  • rhetorical thinking/flexibility to address various situations, audiences, and genres.

Each faculty member selects a theme for his or her section(s) to focus students' reading and writing work.

Sample Sections

Rhetoric for Sustainable Food

Faculty: Hilary Hawley

This writing seminar invites us to consider not only the sources of our food, but the environmental, social, and ethical impact of our choices. How are we connected (or not) to the sources of our food? How are social justice and sustainability linked? Students will engage these questions through readings, writing projects, service learning, field trips, and films, developing the ability to present arguments in clear, academic prose, employ writing as a critical thinking tool, and participate in civic discourse.

Questions of Justice/Justice in Question: Debating the Inequities of Public Education

Faculty: Jennifer Schulz

This writing seminar will help you develop as college-level, academic writers.  You will engage, rhetorically, with current scholarly and political debates about public education in the US to develop your abilities to participate in important discourses, understand and respond to the arguments of others, and develop and support your own positions.  As we move through the readings in this course we will also move from the classroom out into the city streets, into Seattle Public Schools in the context of Academic Service Learning, and back again in order to enter into the debates from scholarly, researched, as well as your own experiential perspectives.  Through deep inquiry and argument, this seminar facilitates the habits of critical and creative questioning and thinking to help you become a more proficient and skillful academic thinker and writer.

Sustaining Communities: Writing for Civic Spaces

Faculty: Tara Roth

How do we use language to influence the attitudes, beliefs and actions of others in response to questions about social equity and environmental justice? How do we effectively balance emotional appeals with use of sound evidence to persuade an audience? In this course, you will compose thought-rich academic prose to develop and support your positions about sustaining the communities in which we live.  Through critical thinking, reading, and writing, you will practice the rhetorical skills of inquiry and argument to broaden your perspectives and become more proficient academic thinkers and writers.