Fall 2017: New Themes Announced for Analytical Writing and Thinking!

Published: March 10th, 2015

Category: Featured, Uncategorized

ENC 2305, Analytical Writing and Thinking, is designed to advance students’ critical thinking and writing skills beyond first-year composition. To achieve those goals, students will learn advanced analytical techniques and communication strategies that professors in all disciplines expect them to know.

The texts and assignments in the course will expose students to challenging ideas. The subject matter of the course will be developed in accordance with the instructors’ own studies, with wide-ranging themes in areas such as Languages, Political Science, Anthropology, or Biology. By examining humanistic or scientific theories or principles, students will learn how to read deeply and think critically. As such, the students will be introduced to seminal ideas in specific disciplines and will be asked to engage in in debates important to our time and our culture.

This course challenges students in both writing and thinking:

“I hoped for a class that would expand my mind in areas I had not considered before and teach me techniques to become a better writer. My expectations were blown away. I have been forced to consider ideas and topics that have never been topics of thought for me. The focus of this class, illicit behavior, is something that people are so often taught to accept and not question. I used to be one of those people. Now, I can proudly say I question everything” (UF ENC2305 Student).


“Coming in to this class, I hoped to improve as a writer. However, what I learned in this class went far beyond that. This class taught me a lot about writing–things I am good at and things I need to improve on. It taught me to front load sentences, make topic sentences clear, limit modifiers, have better organization in my papers, and write effective introductions. I also learned so much about critical thinking. For example, the critical definition paper helped me to think abstractly and show me that things can be looked at from many different viewpoints and angles” (UF ENC2305 Student).

Section 005C/092G–Thinking Poverty and Wealth

Examines the burst of the housing bubble in 2008 that wrecked chaos in the lives of many Americans. The over-valuing of homes and subsequent loss of housing yielded important questions about consumer choices. What resources were necessary for a comfortable life? What goods or services seemed like “too much”? Did the acquisition of things lead to a poverty of spirit? Simultaneously, these excesses shed new light on the lives of those who had always been less fortunate. In this course, we will ask how the consumer culture affected the housingmarket? The jobs market? Could poorer people live more meaningful lives than their wealthy counterparts?

Section 13D1/092H–Analyzing Propaganda

Explores the nature of propaganda and how it differs from other forms of persuasive or political communication.  We’ll consider some visual media (film and art), but we’ll mostly deal with texts of varying sorts.  We will focus on identifying, defining and comparatively analyzing propaganda from the 1930s to the present day, and we will ask questions including: Can we agree on what makes a work of propaganda?  How do moral or ethical concerns shape our perception of propaganda, and its effectiveness?


Section: 175A/093C–Activism and Social Media

Explores the interrelationship between media and activism: the collective act of protesting has swept the U.S. and the globe, from Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring, to Black Lives Matter, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Women’s March. Central to these movements is the role that media has played in molding, mobilizing, and mapping activist agendas both nationally and internationally. This course will examine contemporary examples of such mediated activism, that is, movements that specifically employ media and social media to advocate for a specific cause, propose a plan of action, and promote global solidarity for that action.


Section12D3/0926–-The Bad Guys in Film

Examines the character type of the anti-hero in Hollywood cinema. Along with watching Hollywood films with anti-heroes, such as Double Indemnity, The Dark Knight, Gone Girl, Dirty
Harry, and Pulp Fiction, we will read critical essays that examine this character type and why audiences find it so compelling. We will ponder these questions: Why do we gravitate to the bad boys and girls in cinema? How does morality operate in these films? Should bad acts be punished? Good acts be rewarded? And, who decides what is “good” and “bad”?

Section 164F/093A–DNA Whose Property?




Section 1C60/1C64 –-No Place Like “Home”

Examines how DNA has become central to our understanding of who we are and analyze rhetorical uses of DNA in narratives of identity and ownership. DNA is often described as the quintessential “language of life.” This “language” is portrayed as both the “blueprint” of our identity and a material object that we can increasingly manipulate to serve our own purposes. Although it is an inert molecule, DNA is often described as the creative force that brings us into the world as individuals. Our cells also have a history as property, and this history can be in conflict with their role in our narratives of identity. We will read texts that investigate how questions about human identity, physical property, and material utility affect human lives, corporate profits, and genetic potential.

Explores how we define certain places, how places are imbued with a variety of identities, and how we create and use spaces. In order to develop a better understanding of ourselves, our history, and our relationships with the world around us, we will consider what forces influence our understanding, knowledge about, relationship to, and behavior in a particular place.



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