English 134 Stretch: Writing & Rhetoric—A Workshop
Office: Jesperson Hall Bldg 116 – Office 107
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 12:30 – 2:00 pm
“Who will teach me to write? a reader wanted to know. The page, the page, that eternal blankness, the blankness
of eternity which you cover slowly, affirming time’s scrawl as a right and your daring as necessity; the page, which
you cover woodenly, ruining it, but asserting your freedom and power to act, acknowledging that you ruin
everything you touch but touching it nevertheless, because acting is better than being here in mere opacity; the
page, which you cover slowly with the crabbed thread of your gut; the page in the purity of its possibilities; the page
of your death, against which you pit such flawed excellences as you can muster with all your life’s strength: that
page will teach you to write.”
~ Annie Dillard,
This course acts as the extension of our previous quarter together in English 102, and we will continue to
lean in and improve our writing together. Along with the sum total of what we accomplished together last
quarter and all that we’ll achieve this quarter, we will have accomplished these expressed goals (as agreed
to by all 134 instructors at this university):
To understand the writing act as a means of exploring and expressing ideas.
To approach the act of writing as a recursive process that includes drafting, revising, editing, and
To develop and apply rhetorical awareness of audiences and to use this awareness to assess
audiences and to adjust utterances to the audience at hand.
To understand the major organizational strategies and to apply these strategies effectively with
reference to specific audiences.
To become aware of the major stylistic options such as voice, tone, figurative language, and point
of view and to apply these options with rhetorical appropriateness.
To apply the above objectives so as to write essays that are unified, coherent, and free of
significant grammatical, usage, and spelling errors.
To read critically in such a way as to understand and to derive rhetorical principals and tactics
that can be applied both in writing and in critical reading of other students’ papers.
To apply all the above principles in in- and out-of-class original writing of not less than 4000
our texts & supplies
Richard Johnson-Sheehan (excerpted & available on Blackboard)
Celebrity Writing in America,
William Vesterman, ed.
Fresh Voices: Composition at Cal Poly 2010 - 2011,
Brenda Helmbrecht, ed
The Writing Life
, Annie Dillard
A Writer’s Reference,
A variety of additional articles available on our class Blackboard site
Four manila folders & one journal