University Writing

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University Writing is a Core Curriculum course in which you read polemics, discuss them, and write about them. The course is taught by insecure graduate students who like to assign authors like Bell Hooks, Eric Foner, Susan Sontag, Barbara Ehrenreich, Martha Nussbaum, Jerome Karabel, David Denby and Philip Kitcher.

In the course, students are expected to write four argumentative essays: a lens essay on one reading, a conversation essay involving two authors, a research essay using several authors as references, and an op-ed. Each essay has several drafts, which become increasingly time-intensive as the semester goes on.

In fall 2012, the university introduced new themed sections of University Writing, which focused on readings in American Studies, Gender Studies, or Sustainable Development. This was an attempt to branch out into other disciplines and cater to students who preferred depth over breadth. The initiative is planned to be expanded to other subjects in the coming years.

University Writing replaced Logic and Rhetoric, which wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds.

Absurd professors' comments on UW papers

  • "the way you've defined it here is definately [sic] right to the extent that its [sic] right"
  • "you should add more specificity to your argument by talking about more specific stuff in your paper"