ENGL1100: Composition and Rhetoric
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SCW syllabus / YU only
In 1967, as the civil rights and feminist movements continued to make waves, Gerry Goffin and Carole King co-wrote “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and Aretha Franklin turned their song it into a power ballad for the ages. While artists including Celine Dion and Adele have covered this anthem of female agency and self-acceptance, the chorus begs the question: who is the “you”? Why must the “natural woman” rely on another to “feel” authentic in her own womanhood? Although the lyrics imply that the “you” is an individual man, what happens when we read “you” as a collective pronoun? While the selected readings for this class will only scratch the surface in addressing these questions, we will engage with writers who consider how the notion of a “natural woman” is defined in relation to patriarchal order, science and medicine, the media and fashion industries, and other social norms. The premise of this course is that critical thinking and careful reading are the bedrock of successful writing, and we will do plenty of writing. In discussions and assessments, you will examine texts as products of the writer’s decision-making process, and then be given ample practice in applying those techniques in your own work to create a distinctive verbal style, convey meaning, and project identity. By approaching writing as a process involving multiple stages, this challenging course will strengthen English language and grammar proficiency as it trains the student writer to present and develop a thesis-driven argument in a clear, logical, and convincing manner. While I look forward to the intellectual engagement and aesthetic pleasures literature affords, the primary goal of this course is to equip students with analytical tools, writing skills, and heightened self-awareness through humanistic inquiry that will serve you across disciplines and beyond.
Trapedo, Shaina. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, ENGL1100: Composition and Rhetoric, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.