Go here for a report on my experiences teaching computer-assisted composition. See also my "Once Upon a Time in ENWR: The World-Wide Web as a Publication Medium for Student Essays." Teaching Conerns (Fall 1996).

ENWR 101 Section 6

Introductory Composition

Fall 1995
University of Virginia

Instructor: Matt Kirschenbaum

E-Mail: mgk3k@virginia.edu

This class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 to 12:15, in Bryan Hall Room 203.

ENWR 101 is a writing seminar in which you will improve your ability to write clear and effective prose. Since most of your grades here at the University will be based on written work (regardless of your major), becoming a competent writer is essential to your academic success. Beyond this short-term goal, however, this course will help you acquire the life-long habit of thinking, reading, and writing critically. A critical approach involves asking questions about an idea or an argument, and developing your own well-structured and well-supported response. Given the high-tech multi-media blitz we all face every day, it is no exaggeration to say that critical thinking may well be the ultimate survival skill of these, the last years of the 20th Century. Accordingly, most of our time will be spent in hands-on workshops and discussions, rather than lectures. Your full preparation and participation are both expected and essential.

Because this class meets in the English Department's electronic classroom, we will be making extensive use of computers and other technological resources. All of you will be expected to learn how to use electronic mail, and to find and read documents on the Internet's World Wide Web. It will also be necessary for all of you to become famaliar with the WordPerfect software package, and the Windows operating environment. Some complexity here is probably inevitable. If this is starting to sound like extra work to you, be forewarned: it will be. However, none of these skills are required or assumed of you in advance. What is required is patience, an open mind, and the willingness to learn some new skills, and some new ways of doing things. Those of you who are not willing to take on this extra responsibility should simply switch to a different ENWR section now, at the beginning of the semester. If you choose to remain here, however, you can expect to learn skills that will be valuable to you throughout your time here at the University, and which may well one day impress a prospective employer--or perhaps even lead you along a whole new career path.

This page was created and is maintained by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Department of English, University of Virginia.