*You will write six essays of 750 words apiece that address contemporary issues through the lenses of texts assigned for the class. (One issue and one text per essay is a good idea). For instance, you could write about the Charlottesville Alt-Right rally through the lens of the Boggs-Sherburn episode in Huck Finn. Your chosen issues can be political in nature (my examples tend to be) but they can also be more cultural. Or try something related to your major or to a significant personal experience.
*Drafts of these essays will be workshopped in peer writing groups roughly every other Thursday. You will then make revisions based on the feedback you receive. Post both the draft you shared with your writing group and its revision in your e-portfolio. I will give written feedback on your revised draft.
*On the Tuesdays of alternating weeks, I will post a discussion prompt that addresses a broad issue related to the course and the assigned readings. Half of the class will respond to this prompt in a 300 word response. The other half of the class will choose two of these responses to reply to in 150 word responses each. The next time there is a discussion prompt, you will switch roles. There will be six of these discussion prompts. Consider them part of the drafting process for your 750 word essays. Feel free to use your responses, or parts of them, as drafts for the longer pieces.
*I will provide class time for your writing groups to meet on six occasions. You can of course work with one another more often than this on your own time, in person or electronically. You are also required to have at least one in-person writing conference with me during weeks 8 and 9 of the semester. You are encouraged to schedule additional writing conferences with me, as well, but they are not required.
*By the end of the semester, you will choose one of your essays to submit for publication. I will help you to identify submission opportunities, but, in general, 750 word essays on current events and issues make good op-ed submissions to newspapers, such as The Hartford Courant. But there are many other media outlets beside The Courant.