One of the real beauties of writing is its capacity to equalize teachers, students, readers, and thinkers by giving the author – every author, a chance to be heard and to make a difference. Writing changes the lives of the author, the reader, and then another wave of readers, and thinkers, and communicators. As an author, your voice, your words, your thoughts spread from person to person with an invisible, electrifying charge that reduces Batman’s transformation to a pedantic game of dress-up. Writing is your superpower.

It is an ironic truth that in this age of electronic communication, writing is more powerful than ever because underlying all of social media is the written word. The words embedded in a video, or truncated to 140 characters move individuals and groups to acts of courage and cowardice, activism and passivism, revelation and denial. To be an effective writer, it is essential to write what you know, and mean what you say. In this section of Composition you will focus on hearing your voice and crafting powerful prose from it. Using a collection of contemporary essays, you will learn to understand what is important to you and how to communicate your truth. When you are finished, you will be comfortable writing with honesty and accessibility about your values and beliefs.

In this section of Composition you will learn to write with an authentic voice. You will tell your story and share it with the campus community. In order to accomplish this goal, you must:

• Write every day.
• Collaborate with your peers to draft, revise, edit, and finalize meaningful pieces of writing.
• Maintain a journal about your writing process.
• Reflect on what other people’s essays teach you about the world, about your voice, and about your curiosity.
• Share work with your class.
• Read a powerful book of essays to give you examples of effective writing; and another to learn about the essay as a form of writing and how to utilize it effectively to communicate. The texts, Fifty Essays, and The St. Martin’s Handbook have been chosen for their clear writing style and their contemporary content. You will use what you learn on the pages of these texts to help you to create essays of various types in response to and/or connected with the content.

As members of a writing community, you and your classmates will create a space where everyone’s history and vulnerability are respected and supported so that each member of the community feels safe enough to write honestly about their thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams, and experiences. You will be challenged to trust the members of our writing community and create work that is a true representation of you. If you accept this challenge and do the work with as much openness and trust as possible, you will know yourself and your peers in a new and better way when you are finished. If things really work well, you will begin to know what your voice sounds like and become more comfortable using it.