Sample Courses

Although all WCI courses have the same basic requirements, instructors design their own sections around specific themes and include various versions of the main assignments that reflect their own areas of expertise and interests. Below, you will find a selection of themes and topics that our instructors are using to frame their WCI classes.

Dr. Evelyn Baldwin ~ Through the act of writing, we simultaneously document the existence of ideas and occurrences in the world and create new ideas in meaning through the method we choose to write. In this class, we study American consumerism and the way that it shapes our culture. We will write about over-consumption as it takes a variety of forms, but all ones “on the edge” or problematized by modern American life. Through the writing methods of analysis and argument, we are able to unpack the ideas behind a country that can eat an 800-calorie Big Mac and is torn over the marijuana debate. We will ask the how and the why, and then call for the should and the must.

Ms. Amanda Giracca ~ This course is loosely centered around the theme humans, nature, and place. Over the course of the semester, students will write a personal narrative that incorporates research about the place they consider home, they will write an analysis of a film, and they will write an argumentative essay in which they conduct scholarly research to explore a social phenomena. The course theme allows students to consider both their own place in this world, as well as gives them an opportunity to learn about other communities and cultures. Emphasis is on revision and the writing process; student work is frequently shared and workshopped by the entire class. At the end of the semester students will give group presentations on what sort of writing, critical inquiry, and analysis they will be doing in their own disciplines. 

Ms. Lisa Arrastía ~ As writers, we will explore and model different forms of writing through an interdisciplinary, critical inquiry into young people and their response to the contemporary world. We will investigate and explore various sides of a guiding question: How are young people responding to the social, political and economic conditions of their lives? We will ask open-ended questions (e.g., who, what, why, where, when, and how) and look for connections between seemingly disparate ideas, problems, and issues. Finally, we will write in class, out of class, and across my WCI sections–always with the purpose of processing our questions, challenges, sources and, ultimately, our thinking. The class readings and writing will focus on three broad areas, and we will use case studies as exploratory tools.