Writing as Cultural Engagement – ENGL 601

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Theory and Practice of Writing as Cultural Engagement (3 hours) 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 contexts. 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.




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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to submit a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. 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.

Article Reviews (2)

Each Article Review 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. In addition to the main Article Review piece, the student will submit an Article Review Outline Sheet showing the relevance of the piece to the chosen outlet.

Outlet Review

The student is required to write a piece of at least 1,000 words that analyzes an approved outlet’s history to provide a comprehensive overview of its journalistic purpose, thematic recent publications, and publishing standards. The piece must be written in current MLA format.

Engagement Essay Portfolio

1. Rough Draft

These assignments will allow the student to practice the experience and rigorous conditions of submitting an article to an established outlet. The student is required to write three 300–325-word article pitches for an approved outlet. Two of these pitches will be extended into 800–1,500-word final drafts.

2. Peer Review

The student will select 2 of the already-created 300–325-word pitches and extend them each into an 800–1,500-word article. The student will then select 1 of the 2 articles and post it for peer review. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ articles. Each reply must be 250–350 words.

3. Final Draft (Optional)

The student has the option of submitting 1 of the 2 articles for instructor feedback. This is optional, but highly recommended.

4. Final Submission

The student will post all 3 components of the Engagement Essay for final evaluation: a 300–325-word pitch and 2 separate 800–1,500-word articles. Each of these components must be formatted according to current MLA standards.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, have a 20-minute time limit, and contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions, except Quiz 4. Quiz 4 will contain 10 multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions.