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CW R4B - Reading, Composition, and Research

CW R4B - Reading, Composition, and Research

Description: This writing seminar satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. It is designed to offer students structured, sustained, and highly articulated practice in the recursive processes entailed in reading, critical analysis, and composing. In like manner, the seminar affords students guided practice through the stages involved in creating a research paper. Students will read five thematically related book-length texts, or the equivalent, drawn from a range of genres, in addition to various non-print sources. In response to these materials, they will craft several short pieces leading up to two longer essays—works of exposition and/or argumentation. Students will also draft a research paper, developing a research question, gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing information from texts and other sources. Elements of the research process, such as a proposal, an annotated bibliography, an abstract, a "work cited" list, and the like, will be submitted, along with the final report, in a research portfolio. Students will write a minimum of 32 pages of expository prose during the semester.

Prerequisites: Satisfaction of the University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement (formerly known as the Subject A requirement) and the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement

Units and Format: 4 units - Three hours of seminar/discussion per week

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  • Section 1 
    Theme: Music and Social Movements
    Instructor: Kaya Oakes
  • Section 2 
    Theme: Music and Social Movements
    Instructor: Kaya Oakes
  • Section 5
    Theme: The Machine Starts:  The Individual, the Internet, and Social Media
    Instructor: Michael Larkin
  • Section 6
    Theme: The Machine Starts:  The Individual, the Internet, and Social Media
    Instructor: Michael Larkin
  • Section 8
    Theme: Berkeley Writers at Work
    Instructor: Steve Tollefson
  • Section 10
    Theme: Monsters and Modernity
    Instructor: Jon Lang
  • Section 11
    Theme: Public History, Personal Story
    Instructor: Gail Offen-Brown
  • Section 12
    Theme: "Complicated Humanity": Power, Empathy, and Social Change
    Instructor: Teri Crisp

Section 1

CCN: 16517
Meeting time: TuTh 9:30-11 a.m.
Meeting place: 223 Wheeler
Course theme: Music and Social Movements

Course description:  From the early days of worker's chants for union contracts, to the Civil Rights movement's musical calls for change, to Bob Dylan's "finger pointing" songs, to the women's movement and gay rights, songs and politics have long been connected. In this section of R4B, we'll examine the historical roots of protest music in its many forms, along with looking at how different genres from rock to hip hop to today's hybrids and mash ups all use music as a method for speaking truth to power. Along the way, you'll also learn about constructing arguments in your essays, and learn about writing research essays at the college level, which will culminate in a research project on a topic of your own choice related to our theme.

Book list: Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution (Sarah Marcus), Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation (Jeff Chang), Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music (Greg Kot), The Craft of Research (3rd edition, Booth, Colomb, and Williams), Course Reader (online at bSpace)

Instructor: Kaya Oakes
Emailkaya_o@berkeley.edu
 

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Section 2

CCN: 16520
Meeting time: TuTh 12:30-2 p.m.
Meeting place: 224 Wheeler
Course theme: Music and Social Movements

Course description: From the early days of worker's chants for union contracts, to the Civil Rights movement's musical calls for change, to Bob Dylan's "finger pointing" songs, to the women's movement and gay rights, songs and politics have long been connected. In this section of R4B, we'll examine the historical roots of protest music in its many forms, along with looking at how different genres from rock to hip hop to today's hybrids and mash ups all use music as a method for speaking truth to power. Along the way, you'll also learn about constructing arguments in your essays, and learn about writing research essays at the college level, which will culminate in a research project on a topic of your own choice related to our theme.

Book list: Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution (Sarah Marcus), Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation (Jeff Chang), Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music (Greg Kot), The Craft of Research (3rd edition, Booth, Colomb, and Williams), Course Reader (online at bSpace)

Instructor: Kaya Oakes
Email: kaya_o@berkeley.edu
 

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Section 5

CCN: 16529
Meeting time: MWF 11-12 p.m.
Meeting place: 223 Wheeler
Course theme: The Machine Starts:  The Individual, the Internet, and Social Media

Course description: Many of us spend hours upon hours every day at our computers and smart phones connecting to the world and to each other through the rapidly proliferating "apps" of technology, from the "old school" Web 1.0 of email to the ever-evolving world of social networking. What does the increased use of these tools mean for the ways we communicate with one another, the ways we read and write and learn, the ways we define what it means to be an individual, what it means to be human? In this course, you will engage with texts that consider these and other related questions; you will work on reading and writing skills by writing a series of essays about those texts (and those questions); and you'll learn the rudiments of academic research as you craft a research project centered on a subject of your own choosing that fits within our course theme. And who knows—maybe we'll answer some of those questions too.

Book list: The Eternal Moment and Other Stories (E.M. Forster), The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (Nicholas Carr), You Are Not a Gadget (Jaron Lanier), The Craft of Research (3rd edition, Booth, Colomb, and Williams), Course Reader 

Instructor: Michael Larkin
Email: larkinm@berkeley.edu
 

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Section 6

CCN: 16532
Meeting time: MWF 12-1 p.m.
Meeting place: 223 Wheeler
Course theme: The Machine Starts:  The Individual, the Internet, and Social Media

Course description: Many of us spend hours upon hours every day at our computers and smart phones connecting to the world and to each other through the rapidly proliferating "apps" of technology, from the "old school" Web 1.0 of email to the ever-evolving world of social networking. What does the increased use of these tools mean for the ways we communicate with one another, the ways we read and write and learn, the ways we define what it means to be an individual, what it means to be human? In this course, you will engage with texts that consider these and other related questions; you will work on reading and writing skills by writing a series of essays about those texts (and those questions); and you'll learn the rudiments of academic research as you craft a research project centered on a subject of your own choosing that fits within our course theme. And who knows—maybe we'll answer some of those questions too.

Book list: The Eternal Moment and Other Stories (E.M. Forster), The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (Nicholas Carr), You Are Not a Gadget (Jaron Lanier), The Craft of Research (3rd edition, Booth, Colomb, and Williams), Course Reader

Instructor: Michael Larkin
Email: larkinm@berkeley.edu
 

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Section 8

CCN: 16538
Meeting time: MWF 10-11 a.m.
Meeting place: 223 Wheeler
Course theme:  Berkeley Writers at Work

Course description: Berkeley faculty members produce an amazing number of wonderfully written, fascinating books. This course will focus on Berkeley faculty as writers. We will read a number of their books from a variety of disciplines and genres-journalism, poetry, linguistics, fiction, and satire-as well as articles by and about them. In addition, we will watch interviews with several of them about their writing process. Class discussions address both the content and the writing. Much of the class will focus on learning from skills and techniques from these authors that we can apply to our own writing. We will work on close reading and critical analyses of the texts, developing a variety of writing strategies and honing critical thinking skills. Students will write a number of short papers of various kinds-analyses, arguments, and reviews-that will serve as background and preparatory writing for three longer papers: a somewhat traditional analytical paper, and argument paper, and for the last paper, students will write a research paper using library resources. All papers will go through multiple revisions during which writers will receive input from me as well as from your colleagues in the class.

Book list: Love and Longing in Bombay (Vikram Chandra), The Instant Physicist (Richard Muller), The Craft of Research (Wayne Booth, available as an ebook online through the library), Grammar Grams I and II (Tollefson, online on bSpace), Course Reader (online on bSpace)

Instructor: Steve Tollefson
Email: tollef@berkeley.edu
 

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Section 10

CCN: 16544
Meeting time: MWF 11-12 p.m.
Meeting place: 185 Barrows
Course theme: Monsters and Modernity

Course description: Monsters used to represent fear of the unknown: unmapped regions in the medieval period were marked by dragons; imperialists in the 19th century bringing the "light" of civilization into the dark continent of Africa feared cannibals. Given the scientific basis of the modern period, would it not be accurate to say that we no longer believe in monsters, that they survive in the modern period if only so that they can serve as the very sign of an unenlightened, and superstitious past? No. Monsters have not been banished to the regions of superstition; they have not been relegated entirely to the past. Once we get over the fear that they might pop out from under our beds, we run to the cinema to delight in observing their contemporary manifestations: as mad scientists, bestial men and women, re-animated corpses, and cyborgs. In the modern period, monsters remain as figures not simply of fear and fascination but of real use. Monsters persist as an emblem of anxiety about a past that is too rapidly disintegrating so as to compromise the very structures of society; or alternatively as a mode of protest against the modernity of the modern period with its new forms of regulation and social control; or then again as the sign of a compromised future wherein the representation of the monster serves to question the "progress of progress," and direct suspicion onto the modern projects of science, industry, and technology. In addition to two short analytical papers (5-8 pp) based on course readings or viewings, students will propose one research project culminating in a long essay (8-10 pp) in order to confront monsters of their own choice.

Book list: Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson), Dracula (Bram Stoker), Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace (Joseph Williams), Course Reader. Film: Alien (Ridley Scott). Video: Dexter season 1

Instructor: Jon Lang
Email: see the CalNet directory
 

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Section 11

CCN: 16547
Meeting time: TuTh 9:30-11 a.m.
Meeting place: 2070 Valley LSB
Course theme: Public History, Personal Story

Course description: This course will examine how artists and writers, working in a range of genres, explore and represent intersections between the personal and the public, between story and history. We will work with excerpts of photographic essays from the Depression era (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Walker Evans and James Agee, and An American Exodus by Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor); a graphic novel representing the Holocaust and its legacy (Maus by Art Spiegelman); a nonfiction study of multicultural America (A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki); and another text TBA. In writing a series of essays in response to these texts, students will develop their ability to critically read and analyze visual images as well as words. A central focus of the course will be investigating the research process, and coursework will culminate in a research portfolio.

Book list: Ways of Reading Words and Images (David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky), Maus, Books I and II (Art Spiegelman), A Different Mirror (revised edition, Ronald Takaki), The Craft of Research (third edition, Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams), additional text TBA, Course Reader

Instructor: Gail Offen-Brown
Email: gob@berkeley.edu
 

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Section 12

CCN: 16550
Meeting time: TuTh 12:30-2 p.m.
Meeting place: 156 Dwinelle
Course theme: "Complicated Humanity": Power, Empathy, and Social Change

Course description: How did humans become, in the words of Ian Tattersall, "masters of the planet," and what have been the consequences of this long and unpredictable adventure as a highly social species? How do we conceive of the "social good" for both humans and other animals as we participate in social and environmental change? How do we decide what's worth doing and preserving in a world of complex intercultural relations, environmental degradation, and technological absorption? Through considering the work of remarkable researchers and writers across disciplines, we will pursue these questions in texts, images, films, conversation, and your own writing, which includes a final research project.

Book list (subject to change): Ignorance: How It Drives Science (Stuart Firestein), Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing (Barbara Natterson-Horowitz & Kathryn Bowers), Mountains Beyond Mountains (Tracy Kidder), Writing Research Papers (James Lester), Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (Joseph Williams and Gregory Colomb), Course Reader, additional texts TBA

Instructor: Teri Crisp
Email: tcrisp@berkeley.edu
 

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College Writing Programs

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University of California
112 Wheeler Hall #2500
Berkeley, CA 94720-2500

Hours: M-Th 8-2:30
Phone: (510) 642-5570
Fax: (510) 642-6963
Email: collegewriting@berkeley.edu

 

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