• Unit 1: What is College-Level Writing?

    We begin this course by refining our ideas about what we are doing when we write. Let's begin by acknowledging that writing is a difficult, complex process. It does not come easily; it takes quite a bit of work and thought. Writing is more than words on a page, but a way to communicate ideas.

    In college-level writing, we say written communication is rhetorical, which means our rhetorical situation (the purpose and audience of our writing) and our use of rhetorical appeals, such as ethos, logos, and pathos, determine our writing decisions. We define these terms in this unit, discuss how to identify them as you read, and discuss how to incorporate them into your own writing.

    Writing is a process, rather than a product. You often need to write your ideas down to organize and clarify what you think about a subject. We discuss ways to use this process to manage your writing, develop your ideas, and make the task of drafting an essay seem less overwhelming.

    Throughout Unit 1, we ask you to complete several activities that will culminate in an essay writing assignment. The topic for these activities and the essay is what it takes to succeed in an Internet-based college course. As you develop your response, come up with at least three activities you should do, or characteristics you should employ, to succeed in this and other courses.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 9 hours.

    • 1.1: Defining the Rhetorical Situation

      • 1.1.1: Identifying Your Audience

      • 1.1.2: Identifying Your Purpose

      • 1.1.3: Identifying Your Medium

    • 1.2: What is a Rhetorical Appeal?

      • 1.2.1: Ethos

      • 1.2.2: Pathos

      • 1.2.3: Logos

      • 1.2.4: Kairos

      • 1.2.5: Avoiding Logical Fallacies

    • 1.3: The PWR (Prewrite, Write, and Revise) Method

      • 1.3.1: Prewriting

      • 1.3.2: Just Write – Freewriting

      • 1.3.3: Brainstorming Methods

      • 1.3.4: Outlines and Blueprints

    • 1.4: Why Write?

        • 1.4.1: Critical Reading and Writing as Complementary Activities

        • 1.4.2: Learning to Think Critically

      • Unit 1 Essay

      • Unit 1 Assessment