Unit+1+Lecture_2016 - Unit/Week 1 Introduction...

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Unit/Week 1 Introduction: Writing/Rhetoric in a Professional Context Objectives: In general , the aim of this Unit is to provide you with an overview of the course, to elucidate some of the assumptions on which the course is predicated, and to introduce you to an historical context within which you can think about the processes and products of ‘writing.’ Following this discussion, we will take a brief look at Chapter 1 of our text, Locker/Findlay, and establish some key terms and concepts. Read : Locker/Findlay, Chapters 1 (and 2) Discussion Topic : In this first Week’s (ungraded) Discussion, introduce yourself to the class, and post any initial thoughts, comments, and questions you may have – both general, and/or as prompted by the Unit 1 lecture. Overview of the course: As you will have read in the section ‘Course Description and Objectives’ on the course syllabus, the general aim of this course is “to introduce you to the basic grammatical and stylistic principles of good, clear, written English within a specific context. That context is professional writing.” This statement of intention is reflected in the sequence of Units (twelve) comprising the course. We begin, following this introductory Unit, with a look at the question of ‘audience’, both in general and specifically within the context of ‘professional’ or business writing ( Unit 2 ). You will write a brief ‘audience analysis’ paper ( Assignment 1 ), which will serve three purposes: to provide me with an initial sample of your writing, to reinforce the basic principles of audience analysis introduced in the Unit, and to introduce you to the use of ‘case studies’ in the course. In the Unit 3 lecture, we will discuss the importance of the grammar and conventions of Standard Written English to writing in professional contexts, and as well begin to consider such questions as the importance of ‘clear’ and ‘cohesive’ sentences, the overall ‘coherence’ of a document, and the role of argumentation. The discussion begun in Unit 3 is continued in two ‘supplements’ that you will find in the Unit 3 Folder, and will also be continued in and through comments on your graded assignments. You will also write a test on ‘Sentence Grammar/Structure’ issues during Week/Unit 7 of the course. Next, in Units 4 and 5 , we examine the basic principles underlying the ‘Writing of Positive and Negative’ messages – messages (memoranda, letters) which communicate a message we expect our reader to react to either neutrally or positively, on the one hand, or negatively on the other. You will draft a document ( Assignment 2 ) that contains a negative substantive message, to which you will try to apply a ‘positive’ spin. Notice
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here the importance, again, of ‘audience’; the substantive differences between these two broadly-defined types of message are determined almost entirely by how we expect our audience to react.
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