College Writing

Questions?

  • University College
    202-885-6737
    universitycollege@american.edu
    Anderson, Room 1014

    Wyatt, Jamie J
    Associate Director, University College and Learning Communities

Mailing Address

LIT-100

Fall Semester Seminar, Fulfills 3 credits of the university college writing requirement

Artists create provocative images; elite athletes push their bodies; believers go on pilgrimages; and businesses take bold risks. We see extreme cases of people pushing themselves emotionally, physically, financially or academically all around us.  But, what does it mean to go to the ‘extreme’? Why are some people driven to the outermost limit? What happens when they (we) go too far?

Through examining writings about people who have gone to the outermost limits, and sometimes past them, in pursuit of personal, financial and political ideals, we’ll attempt to discover what drives them, and, ultimately, us. In our exploration we will reflect on the issues and rhetorical strategies of risk, challenge, loss and fear. Since this course is an academic writing course, our primary focus is to practice and refine writing skills through the lens of extremes.

So where do you fit in? Whether you are the person who never backs down from a challenge or would rather sit back and watch, this semester you will be taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Through reading and writing about others, you will define your own personal extreme and figure out how to push your own limits.

From the professor- Stina Oakes

How does your University College section of this course differ from a non-University College section?

"The most obvious difference is the theme. In Lit 100, most writing classes have themes, but they aren't as clearly defined. In our course, we will focus all of our readings and writings on the idea of extremes. You will also be taking on you own extreme challenge which you will define."

How do your Wednesday labs tie into the academic content of your course?

"The theme of the course is Pushing the Limits; the labs explore extremes of various types. You'll be pushing your own limits and examining ways other people have done the same. Each lab has an informal writing component which ties to the major writing assignments."

Meet the Professor!

Get to know Professor Oakes' teaching style and learn more about her goals for class

Learn more