Writing as Cultural Engagement – ENGL 601

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

Instruction, practice, and evaluation of writing for publication in various mediums (blogs, op-eds, popular journals, online news outlets, etc.) with an emphasis on diverse audiences, rhetorical strategies, and cultural context. Through assessing the procedures and principles that govern 21st century writings, students will examine the process of engaging various societal outlets and apply that knowledge towards cultural artifacts.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Writing is an essential skill for purposeful, effective cultural engagement. From addressing local issues to national or global issues, writers must continue to develop the ability to express and defend their ideas in a manner which enlightens and motivates their audience. Analyzing cultural artifacts and trends and applying learned skills to their own compositions will enable students to synthesize “academic knowledge and worldview” and develop “values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world.”

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze the form and content of past and present cultural artifacts, taking into consideration the work’s historical context, political bias, and other criteria.
  2. Evaluate the form and content of cultural artifacts through the lens of a Christian worldview.
  3. Write expository and persuasive essays about cultural trends by employing principles of rhetoric, logic, and style while examining the role of theology and religion in the public sphere.
  4. Exercise steps in the publication process, including querying, pitching, commenting, and publishing in a variety of media and forums.
  5. Survey key interdisciplinary (theological, philosophical, rhetorical, etc.) works as they relate to interpreting 21st century writings.
  6. Evaluate personal progress and growth as a writer.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview. 

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to submit a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 250–350 words.

Outlet Review Assignments (2)

Each Outlet Review Assignment will be at least 1,000 words and analyze an approved outlet’s history to provide a comprehensive overview of its journalistic purpose, thematic recent publications, and publishing standards. The pieces must be written in current MLA format.

Pitch Assignments (2)

The student is required to write two 325–350-word article pitches for an approved media outlet. The pitch must follow the specific submission guidelines for the outlet selected by the student. If submission guidelines are not provided on the outlet, as is the case for The Washington Post, students are to use the requirements outlined on Christianity Today’s website.

Article Submission Assignments (2)

The Article Assignment will be a feature-length essay of 800–1,500 words. The specific parameters of the piece will be determined by the student’s selection of outlet from the approved publication list. The piece must follow current MLA format.

Cultural Engagement Portfolio Assignment

The student will submit a portfolio with their revised article pitches and article submissions. Current MLA formatting must be followed.