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.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of this class is for students to develop proficiency in textual analysis and academic writing.
Instruction simultaneously focuses on writing strategies, such as revision, summarizing, structuring, as
well as the usage of academic English.
Upon successful completion of this course:
1. Students will be able to apply strategies for the developing and revising of their academic
a. create an outline or plan of ideas for an academic essay.
b. show evidence of idea development through peer review and collaboration.
c. demonstrate successful revision strategies.
2. Students will be able to produce clear writing that employs appropriate conventions for
a. produce clear and effective organization, paragraphs, and transitions.
b. demonstrate mastery of syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
c. choose evidence and detail consistent with the purpose of the essay.
d. follow MLA formatting instructions.
e. understand the audience for whom they write and employ appropriate diction and tone.
3. Students will be able to locate, identify, and integrate primary and secondary material into
their own writing and cite it accordingly.
a. locate and identify primary and secondary sources relevant to their topic.
b. summarize the argument of a primary or secondary text accurately.
c. quote from and integrate citations from literary or cultural texts and from literary criticism or
other secondary sources accurately into their own writing.
d. create a Works Cited page in MLA format that includes all primary or secondary works cited.
4. Students will be able to demonstrate mastery of academic argument structure, i.e., developing
a significant set of ideas (a thesis) through a logical sequence of claims supported by
appropriate evidence and analysis.
a. create a clear and debatable thesis
b. incorporate alternate views or counterarguments.
c. provide the necessary background information on the topic.
d. present a logical sequence of claims about the topic.
e. identify and use appropriate evidence to support their claims.
f. craft a conclusion that summarizes and offers new reflections.
g. indicate a specific approach to the topic and account for why this approach is important to
Essential Employability Skills
• Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
• Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
• Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
• Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.
• Interact with others in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and goal achievement.
• Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.
• Take responsibility for one's actions, decisions, and consequences.||en_US