13 Comments

  1. tobywallisnet
    May 8 @ 8:42 am

    Great article. I have picked up a few books from your list that I hadn’t encountered before. The book I read in my first year at college (we don’t call it Freshman here in the UK but I assume that’s what it means) is Roland Barthes Mythologies. I thought it might fit around the section of your course where you introduce Saussure and Plato.

    Anyway, thanks for posting your course in such detail. It was really interesting to read. 🙂

    Reply

    • Jessica Manuel
      May 8 @ 9:36 am

      That’s great you were exposed to Barthes so young. I didn’t meet his mind until later in college. I should definitely add him to the list. You’re right- he would fit nicely. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  2. ASBIV
    May 12 @ 2:14 pm

    I added a few of your suggestions to my own ‘wishlist’ on Amazon; thanks.

    Reply

    • Jessica Manuel
      May 12 @ 9:03 pm

      I’m so glad. Definitely let me know what you think of them if you get a chance.

      Reply

  3. Learning How to Love God With All Your Mind – Book Oblivion
    June 29 @ 12:10 pm

    […] If you are at all interested in how I structure my freshmen composition course, you can read about it here. […]

    Reply

  4. Sharon Tjaden-Glass
    October 12 @ 8:00 am

    I took some time this morning to read through Susan Sontag’s “Regarding the Pain of Others.” Wow. Very powerful analysis of how we create a separate, new reality through how we capture and present images. Her observations about how we depict tragedy–that we are more discreet about how we present dead bodies that represent our own groups vs. how we exploit dead bodies that are “exotic” to us–were especially cutting. It seems that we unknowingly go to great lengths to maintain in-groups and out-groups, to the point of selecting which images we want to use to represent “reality.”

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s been a while since I’ve taught composition (I currently teach oral communication to ESL students), so I appreciate the mental exercise today. 🙂

    Reply

    • Jessica S. Manuel
      December 16 @ 2:26 pm

      It’s such an important piece. I’m glad you took the time to consider it. The veterans in my class appreciate this article on a deeper level, which has been need to discuss.

      Reply

  5. Ashley
    October 27 @ 1:32 pm

    I love this, and would love to use some of these ideas. Do your students do an essay or project in the first semester?

    Reply

    • Jessica S. Manuel
      December 16 @ 2:27 pm

      Yes, students write one essay for each of the units listed above. They choose an image and create an argument, choose an activist topic to research and write about, and choose from a list of questions regarding themes and topics that emerge in the novel to explore. Their final exam consists of seven different questions that require them to articulate, synthesize, and differentiate almost every article I assign; they do this in short essay responses. It’s all reading and writing here.

      Reply

  6. Matt and Lynn Digital Blog
    January 24 @ 12:42 am

    Thoughtful construction of the texts presented in this composition. I remember how my freshman composition class was laid out back in 1993 with a similar extraction of snippets from books and research; the construction then was less heavy on contemporary media and the digital world as it exists today … the focus went more heavily in a literature route. I’m intrigued.

    Matt of Matt and Lynn Digital Blog.

    Reply

  7. laufvergnügen
    April 6 @ 11:29 am

    I often pair Stuart Jeffries’ “Think Digital Distractions Have Killed Our Attention Spans? Think Again” with Carr and have them write a comparison of perspectives — essentially, a synthesis. I like the message of that article, that we are seeking long form fiction (evidenced by Millennials reading much, much more than previous generations) and complex TV series to give our brains a respite from our fast-paced digital world.

    Reply

    • Jessica S. Manuel
      April 6 @ 11:34 am

      I’ll check that out. I’ve been wanting to replace the Steven Johnson piece for a while now. It’s just too outdated because the long form narrative tv series it mentions were mostly on before these students were born. I like the point it makes about wanting complex narratives, though. Hopefully that Jeffries piece will be a good fit.

      Reply

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