About CORE 120

Dr. Leah Zuidema

Dordt College,
Spring 2012
TR 9:25 (section 07) & 1:50 (section 08) in CL 1302

CORE 120 is a workshop course centered on academic writing. In this class, we will focus on developing your writing while also exploring what it means to join the academic conversation through writing. We’ll study writing processes as well as rhetorical strategies for invention, arrangement, style, and delivery—approaching composition not only as a technical subject and craft, but also as a learning tool.

Much of what you learn about writing in this class (and beyond!) will occur by doing writing. We will also study about writing through readings, discussions, activities, and writing about writing. Through the writing as well as through the “meta” work, we will explore a few deceptively simple questions:

  • What do writers do? What processes and strategies do experienced writers use? How do writers learn to write in new genres and for new audiences, purposes, and situations?
  • In academic settings, how do experienced writers use reading and research in their work? What is creativity, and when/how is it successful in academic genres?
  • How is written style shaped by choices about grammar, usage, and mechanics? How can we expand our stylistic repertoire and effectiveness?
  • How do technologies shape writing practices? How can writers use technologies well?
  • When is writing good, and how do we know? Who decides?
  • What can/should we do with or through our writing? How can/should we respond to others’ writing? How are ethical and biblical perspectives related to writing?

In order to develop thoughtful, informed answers to these questions, you will be introduced to resources and research about writing. Your own writing will also help you: I will regularly ask you to discuss your in-process and polished work and to participate in small-group discussions and activities. Our work toward answering the course questions should inform your understanding of writing at applied, theoretical, and evaluative levels. Upon completion of English Composition, you should be able to (1) demonstrate your knowledge about writing through practice and reflection, (2) offer in-depth answers to the focus questions, and (3) critique and respond constructively to approaches to writing that you encounter.

Students who pass this course may meet Dordt’s requirements for Core Competency in Writing.

Creative Commons License
All content on this website (including PDF text files) is licensed to Leah Zuidema
under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

Created August 28, 2007
Updated January 9, 2012

Leah Zuidema Home