The gesc proposes that first year students read a

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The GESC proposes that First Year students read a common book or a selection of essays as a way of introducing them to membership in a learning community. This could also be organized by having a common topic with different selections. Whichever organizational method is used, the selections shall be examples of good writing, show the significance of ideas, and generate community dialogue that crosses disciplinary boundaries. For example, the work could be a philosophical reflection by a physicist, an essay on the human condition by a biologist, a discussion of an important technology such as genetic engineering by an ethicist, a portrait of a scientist by a novelist, an examination of global or international issues by world leaders, the impact of infectious diseases in the 21 st century, or other topics. It might be a classic piece of literature that has multiple ramifications for our community today. It might involve multiple perspectives on a single perspective on an important issue. While ideally it would connect to contemporary issues, it is not intended to be a study of a “current event”. It would introduce all students to UNH as a community where intellectual work, reading, thinking, and discussion, matter to all. Although focused on First Year students, all students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to participate in this year long dialogue. The common reading and discussion would become an integral part of orientation; it would also become a touchstone for the campus for the academic year. At least one major speaker would be invited to UNH during the year to lecture on a theme related to the reading. Majors and specific courses, especially the first year English 401 and Inquiry Courses, could incorporate the required selection and perhaps related ones into their own teaching. MUB Films could be shown related to the same theme. First Year students would meet in small, seminar-sized groups during orientation or the first part of the semester to discuss the readings with a faculty member. They would meet again during the year, in the same groups, to continue their discussions of the themes. These meetings together would count as a one-credit (pass/fail) course. We hope that all students, faculty, administrators, and staff would read the selection each year, so as to create throughout the campus community a simple, but important, common bond among all members of the university community. In the spring, the community would be encouraged to come together in a series of "town meetings" to discuss the implications of the dialogue for all of us. A faculty committee advisory to the Discovery Program Committee would be responsible for the selection of the topic and readings. Writing The existing English 401 is a national model that currently includes three types of writing, (1) writing from the student’s own experience, (2) writing analytically about a
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piece of literature, and (3) writing a research paper using the library as a resource. Central to this course are the stages of writing, conferencing, and re-writing. We endorse these
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  • Spring '11
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  • The Republic, Academia, Undergraduate education

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