Intermediate Composition

Narrative as Argument: Composing the Stories of People and Places Around Us

This course is founded on the idea that stories/narratives have immense force in our daily lives. They persuade, move, inspire, teach, make us laugh, and make us cry. Our goal in this class is to learn how to use stories in order to serve our purposes as communicators. We believe that learning how to write better narratives will help us in all aspects of our lives — writing for school, writing for job/scholarship applications, writing for work, and writing for ourselves.

Our goal is to begin the course by exploring our own stories, and then to use that knowledge of how storytelling works in order to gather and make arguments about the stories of others and those around you. We would like you to consider how the influences in your life impact the choices you make as writers and researchers. While research is often considered objective and neutral, this class will offer you experience in reflecting upon the role of the personal in the experience of conducting and compiling research. We will conclude the class by finding a critical need within a community and applying the skills of narrative argument you learn throughout the semester in order to find a solution to the problems you investigate.

See the syllabus and calendar for more info.

This syllabus was co-authored by Annika Konrad and Anna Floch Arcello.