NARRATIVE AS ARGUMENT: COMPOSING THE STORIES OF PEOPLE AROUND US
In English 100, we begin in Sequence 1 by investigating how our own stories reflect broader national or global concerns, breaking from the “Engfish” style of writing often encouraged in high school, and reflecting on the relationship between the academic and the personal. In Sequence 2, we tell the story of doing research, often for the first time, both in the field and the library. In Sequence 3, we bring our rich, concise prose and investigative orientation under the lens of persuasion, engaging in both online and academic argument informed by the juxtaposition of classical rhetorical theory and political comedians like John Oliver and Hannibal Buress. A student explains in my AEFIS review that “the final paper I would never have been able to do as a first paper.”The course concludes with a week of TED-Talk-meets-Intelligence-Squared style presentations where speakers have the chance to make a demonstrable impact on their audience by way of student responses to their argument both before their presentation and after.