Writing Studies

About the minor

Writing Studies is an interdisciplinary minor which draws from established research in a wide range of fields including rhetoric and composition, classics, philosophy, religious studies, digital cultures, Australian studies, and higher education studies.

Students will learn to combine various research methods including rhetorical, discourse and textual analysis to examine written, spoken and visual texts at various stages of production from conception to transmission and consumption. We teach students to consider, apply and control stylistic options in relation to prose style, figurative language, voice, register, tone and word choice. We encourage students to think creatively and imaginatively to produce effective written assignments according to the specific guidelines of a range of academic disciplines. Students will understand rhetoric as the theoretical foundation of writing and recognize how rhetoric is used in various textual practices and discourse communities.

The Writing Studies Minor will cultivate the ability to identify the historical, analytical, and ethical dynamics of written, oral, digital and visual communication, its material and cultural contexts, and its associations with power. Our units of study will strengthen students’ academic and professional writing and increase their confidence in critical thinking, argumentation, global awareness, and composition. Students who complete this minor will be able to critically engage with conventions of academic and professional writing and to produce reasoned, rhetorically sound arguments across a range of genres applying language consistent with appropriate disciplinary, cultural and professional conventions.

Requirements for completion

A minor in Writing Studies requires 36 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level core units

First year

In your first year of Writing Studies you will develop an understanding of how rhetoric is used to render written and other forms of communication more effective. We will discuss theories around the development of writing and you will learn to consider, apply, and control stylistic options in relation to prose style, figurative language, voice, register, tone, and word choice. You will also be introduced to cognitive theory and how it informs our study of writing.

These units will prepare you for 2nd and 3rd year by teaching you to think critically about communication and to evaluate and produce arguments across a range of genres, including digital environments. In that first year, you will learn to cultivate imaginative approaches to developing communicative texts that are persuasive and appropriate for diverse audiences and contexts.

Second year

Having developed an understanding of the place of rhetoric in effective communication, in the second year of Writing Studies you will trace the development of contemporary rhetoric from the classical era to contemporary theories and practices of rhetoric. Those, as well as cognitive and linguistic theories of writing will underpin our approach to teaching research methods and ethical reporting practices. Through these units, you will develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between rhetoric and writing. You will evaluate persuasive texts in relation to the historical, geographical, cultural, political and social contexts in which they were produced. These approaches enrich your understanding of contextual elements of communication and enable you to effectively develop your own discipline-based inquiry questions, and to discover, produce, and deliver your arguments.

Third year

The third year of Writing Studies will consolidate your knowledge of those theories and philosophers that undergird our understanding of writing and communication. Our two 3000 level core units will introduce you to major critiques, debates and key thinkers in the study of writing. You will engage with discourse around the construct of rhetoric in scholarship, media, and politics, the relationship between hermeneutics and rhetoric, and criticisms of “big rhetoric.” You will apply theories of rhetorical reasoning and argumentation in evaluating discussions on current issues and develop arguments on select issues that you will defend effectively, sensitively and with ethical and logical integrity. In that conclusive year, you will demonstrate your advanced skills in research an analysis by linking information in an original way and exhibit your arguments in visual, oral and written forms

Honours

Honours is not available in this area of study.

Advanced Coursework

Advanced Coursework is not available in this area of study.

Contact/further information

Department website: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/writing_studies/
School of Literature, Art and Media website: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/slam/

Chair of Department: Dr Frances Di Lauro
Email:
Phone: +61 2 9351 5134

Example pathways

Writing Studies Minor with the possibility of doing 2 majors

 

Year 1

Sem 1

WRIT1001 Writing and Rhetoric: Academic Essays

1000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

1000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

1000 level unit in Major 1 from Table A

Sem 2

WRIT1002 Writing and Rhetoric: Argumentation

2000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

Elective/OLE

1000 level unit in Major 1 from Table A

 

Year 2

Sem 1

WRIT2002 Arguments that change the world

2000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

Elective/OLE

2000 level unit in Major 1 from Table A

Sem 2

WRIT2000 Contemporary Rhetoric

3000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

2000/3000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

2000 level unit in Major 1 from Table A

 

Year 3

Sem 1

WRIT3XXX Writing Studies: Theory and Practice

3000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

3000 level unit in Major 1  from Table A

2000/3000 level unit in Major 1 from Table A

Sem 2

WRIT3XXX

New unit will be available in 2019

3000 level unit in Major 2 from Table A or S

3000 level unit in Major 1 from Table A

3000 level unit in Major 1 from Table A

 

Learning outcomes
  1. Critically engage with conventions of academic and professional writing and the creation of texts.
  2. Identify the historical, analytical, and ethical dynamics of written, oral, digital and visual communication, its material and cultural contexts, and its associations with power.
  3. Produce persuasive, audience-focused written, oral, digital and visual texts that reflect a sound understanding of key rhetorical debates and theories.
  4. Write collaboratively with peers on team projects and across cultural, academic and professional discourse communities.
  5. Develop a reflective writing process, honing both self-editing and peer-editing skills.
  6. Produce reasoned, rhetorically sound arguments across a range of genres applying language consistent with appropriate disciplinary, cultural and professional conventions.
  7. Write, edit and revise a range of texts in a professional online portfolio.
  8. Apply principles from rhetorical theories to create clear, concise and informative spoken and written texts.