21W.730: Expository Writing - Writing About Social and

Ethical Issues - Spring 2002                           


      COURSE CALENDAR (subject to minor changes)


Unit One: First Essay: Writing Focus: Personal Narrative


Tues 2/5                Intro to the Class as a Writing Community

                                 Writing About Social and Ethical Issues

                                  Distribute: Syllabus, Course Calendar,

                                  Writer’s Letter assignment

                                   Exercise 1.1 ; Essay Assignment #1


Thurs. 2/7            Reasons to Believe: The Roots of

                                 Ethical and Social Values

                                 READ/DISCUSS: In Writing for Change

                                 Marion Wright  Edelman, “A Family Legacy,”, p.24-29.

                                 Due:: Exercise 1.1, Notebook Exercise

                                 Introducing Personal Essays

                                 DISCUSS: sample student essay


Tues. 2/12  -         Reasons to Believe and Act:

Thurs.2/14            Developing and Sustaining

                                 Ethical and Social Values

                                 READ/DISCUSS: In Writing

                                           For Change

                                 John F. Kennedy, “Inaugural

                                  Address,” p. 89-92.

                                 William F. Buckley, “A Call to Arms,”


                                 Martin Luther King,Jr.,”A Letter From

                                   Birmingham Jail,” p.285-299.

                                 P.W. Alexander, “Christmas

                                   At Home,” p.100-103.

                                Jeremy Taylor, “Service Learning:

                                  Education with a Purpose”, p.193-199.

                               Due:2 Notebook Exercises; Writer’s Letter (2/12)        




21W. 730 :Expository Writing – Writing About Social and Ethical Issues – Spring 2002 


Note: Tues. 2/19- No Class- Monday Schedule

Thurs. 2/21-   Reasons to Believe, Act and Write

                           Discuss:Assigned Readings

                            Bring in Introductions, Essay 1


Fri. 2/22         Draft Essay 1 (2 copies + cover letter) due at my office (14N-214)

                            by  noon.


Tues. 2/26     Writing Workshop, Draft Essay 1;The Craft of Revision


Unit Two: Second Essay; Writing Focus: Investigative Essay/Comparative Analysis


Thurs. 2/28      Representing Social Issues and Problems

                              In Different Perspectives in Fiction and Nonfiction:

                              Attitudes Toward and Images of Poverty

                               Selection, Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

                                Film Clip, A Christmas Carol


                                 In Writing For Change:

                                 Peter Marin “Helping and Hating the                                                                                                      

                                     Homeless…”, p. 270-283.

                                  Jonathan Kozol, “Are the Homeless Crazy?”


                                 Due: Notebook Exercise: comment on the power of

                                                 Marin’s and Kozol’s essays (1 pg.).

                                 Distribute: Essay #2 assignment



Tues. 3/5          The Writer as Witness, Participant and Investigator:

                                Probing the Faces of Social Problems--

                                Poverty and Low-wage Labor

                           Film Clip: America and Lewis Hine

                                READ/DISCUSS: Excerpt, Barbara Ehrenreich,

                                    Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting  By In America (handout)

                                Due: Topic proposals for Essay #2 with bibliography- bring 5 copies



                                    21W. 730 :Expository Writing – Writing About Social                and Ethical Issues – Spring 2002 



Tues.3/5(cont.)     Notebook assignment : how does Ehrenreich’s

                                  approach to her topic influence(a) her style of writing

                                  (b) your response as a reader?

                                   Introduction to Community Research


Thurs. 3/7          The Writer as Interpreter of Social Issues: The Value

                                      Of Comparative Analysis: Research Strategies

                                    READ/DISCUSS: In Writing for Change :

                                     James Q. Wilson, “The Family Values Debate,”p.59-72

                                     Elizabeth Marek, “The Lives of Teenage Mothers,”


                                     Small Group Workshops: Proposals #2

                                     Due: Notebook Exercise: Marek

                                     Handouts: Comparative Analysis;Interviewing


Fri. 3/8                  Revision, Essay #1(2 copies, cover letter and marked-up                                  

                                       draft) due at my office (14N-214)


Tues. 3/12              Writers Engage with Contemporary Debates:

                                           Race, Ethnicity and Issues of Equality

                                      READ/DISCUSS: In Writing For Change

                                       Ronald Takaki, “Breaking Silences:

                                            Community of Memory,” p. 219-232.

                                       Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue,”p.144-149,

                                  Due: Notebook Assignment:Takaki

                                        Approaches to Comparative Analysis


Thurs. 3/14               Writers Address Contemporary Issues: Gender Equality                                                      

                                          READ/DISCUSS: In Writing For Change

                                          Susan Faludi, “Blame It on Feminism,”p. 238-250.

                                           Due: Notebook Assignment :Faludi


Tues 3/19                 Writers Confront Contemporary Issues:

                                             Educational Inequality, Past and Present                                                                                                               .                                        Maya Angelou, “Graduation “,p.155-164.

                                          Jonathan Kozol, “Corla Hawkins”, p.176-181.

                                          Mike Rose, “I Just Wanna Be Average,”p.165-175.

                                          Due:Notebook assignment: Angelou, Kozol ,Rose

21W. 730 :Expository Writing – Writing About Social and Ethical Issues – Spring 2002 


Thurs. 3 /21               Draft, Essay #2 Due; Oral Presentations   

                                          Bring multiple copies for workshop members


          SPRING  BREAK     MARCH 25-29



Tues. 4/2                   Writing Workshop, Draft, Essay #2


Thurs. 4/4                    Writers as Investigators and Advocates:
                                          Classic Works in the Literature of Social
                                         READ/DISCUSS: (to be distributed in class):
                                          Excerpts from:
                                          Betty Friedan,The Feminine Mystique
                                          Rachel Carson, Silent Spring       

                                          George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (online at:


                                          Due:Notebook Exercise on Friedan or Carson

                                          Distribute: Essay #3 Assignment                                     


 Tues. 4/9         Writers Define Contemporary Issues and Advocate Solutions:


                                          READ/DISCUSS:  In Writing for Change

                                          E.D. Hirsch, “Cultural Literacy,” p.188-193.

                                          Due: Notebook Assignment : Orwell and Hirsch


Thurs. 4/11        Writers Explore Contemporary Issues:  Mental Health

                                        READ/DISCUSS: In Writing for Change

                                        Tracy Thompson, “The Wizard of Prozac,”p.347-356.

                                        Due: Notebook Assignment:Thompson

                                        Oral presentations


Fri. 4/12              Revision, Essay 2 due at my office(14N-214) .                      

Thurs. 4/18         Writers as Investigators and Advocates

                                   READ/DISCUSS: In Writing for Change

                                   Randy Fitzgerald, “Owls Are Not Threatened,

                                     Jobs Are,” p. 419-423.

                                   Cynthia Hamilton, “Women, Home and Community:

                                     The Struggles in an Urban Environment,”p.412-418.


21W. 730 :Expository Writing – Writing About Social and Ethical Issues – Spring 2002 


Tues. 4/23             Research and Writing Strategies for More

                                    Complex Investigative Essays

                                  READ/DISCUSS: assigned readings

                                 Workshop Proposals, Essay #3


Thurs. 4/25         Writers as Visionaries: Fiction as a Laboratory for

                                       Utopian Ideas and Dystopian Critiques

                                 READ/DISCUSS: In Writing for Change

                                  Ernest Callenbach, “Ecotopia”

                                  Notebook Exercise: your own vision of utopia



Fri.  4/26              Drafts, Essay 3 Due


Tues. 4/30            Draft Workshop, Essay 3


Thurs. 5/2        Writers as Visionaries and Advocates

 Tues. 5/7            READ/DISCUSS:Excerpts,

                                George Orwell, 1984

                                Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

                                 Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to


                                 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

                                  Notebook Exercise: Your own vision

                                  Of  Dystopia; Comparison to two of the

                                     Above writers


Thurs. 5/9        Advanced Revision/Publication Workshop

                                          Course Evaluations


Tues. 5/14       Course Overview: Oral Presentations


Thurs. 5/16        Last Class: Celebration;Oral Presentations

                              Final Portfolios due by 5 to my office with

                                   Revision, Essay #3.