Interactive Course, Video-based Course
13 half-hour videos
Interactive Course (Videos included)
Lesson 1: Exploring the Process (Video)
Lesson 4: Analyzing Concepts (Video)
Lesson Descriptions/Objectives (PDF)
Instructional Analysis/Design (PDF)
- 13 half-hour videos
- student course guide
- faculty guide
- interactive: CD-ROM, Internet
- textbooks published by Thomson Wadsworth: "The Composition of Everyday Life" and "Inventing Arguments" by Mauk and Metz
The instructional design provides for course delivery in two formats: video-based and online interactive. This flexible design accommodates a variety of teaching and learning styles and needs. The course is student-centered and focuses on the writing process, delivering expertise and instruction in concentrated segments that students can readily apply.
The Writer's Circle Overview:
English Composition I introduces the basic approaches to essay writing: narration, description, observation, analysis, argument, evaluation and research. Students follow the writing processes of invention, delivery (rhetorical tools, organizational strategies, voice) and revision. The primary goal of the course is to teach distance learning students college-level writing skills for success in academia and the everyday world. Each lesson builds upon the preceding lesson honing student skills in analysis, synthesis, and basic rhetoric.
Working in a spirit of inquiry and analysis, a student who successfully completes The Writer's Circle will be able to:
- generate, explore and refine original topics suitable for analytical writing
- apply organizational and rhetorical strategies that support a logical progression of ideas
- revise their writing to deepen the analysis, clarify the argument, and enhance their individual expression
Video programs for this course incorporates direct instruction, dramatization and ongoing interviews with a diverse group of working writers. The three elements work together to teach the basic concepts and skills of composition, model a variety of successful approaches to the writing process, and motivate students to become better thinkers and writers.
Lessons are anchored by short, lively instruction segments in which writing tools, concepts and approaches are explained and illustrated. In accompanying dramatizations, five recurring characters undertake the actual writing assignments, modeling the writing process and focusing attention on key elements in each lesson. Interviews with working writers play a critical role as they discuss their strategies and solutions to the real challenges that arise in writing process. Finally, pithy 60-second "Quick Tips" occur throughout the series, offering useful pointers for beginning writers.
The Writer's Circle encourages students to rethink their ideas and explore new perspectives. Students who apply the tools and strategies taught in these courses will achieve a higher level of sophistication in writing, and a greater appreciation of how writing can impact the world around them.
The Writer's Circle
- Exploring the Process - Introduces the writing process, focusing on invention, delivery and revision.
- Explaining Relationships - Examines the elements of narrative writing: developing a thesis, exploring beginnings, paragraphing and concluding.
- Observing Details - Explains the importance of observation: describing unique details of a subject and communicating them in sharp, specific terms.
- Analyzing Concepts - Explores the meaning of concepts underlying various events and institutions.
- Analyzing Images - Examines images to explore their relationship to and impact on viewers.
- Building Arguments - Provides the basic tools of argument: thesis; evidence, examples and appeals; counterarguments, concessions and qualifiers.
- Responding to Arguments - Develops logical strategies to respond to arguments external to the writer.
- Evaluating and Organizing - Introduces skills for developing criteria to make an argument of value.
- Integrating Research - Provides guidelines for research using MLA or APA format.
- Searching for Causes - Investigates the causes of behaviors, events or trends.
- Imagining Solutions - Analyzes the causes of a problem, and applies the elements of argument to seeking out solutions.
- Discovering Voice - Interprets the skills necessary to judge and respond to works of art.
- Thinking Radically - Communicates an effort to escape conventional thought patterns to imagine and write about something outside common intellectual activity.
Design & Production Team
Content Specialist - Diane Martin, PhD, has taught college level English on campus and via distance learning for 35 years, being honored with the Minnie Stevens Piper Award for Excellence.
Project Director - Craig Mayes is an award-winning film and television director with more than 30 years' production experience.
Producer/Director - Julia Dyer has eighteen years in film and television, producing and directing in the educational, commercial and entertainment sectors.
Instructional Designer - Janice Christophel has over 15 years' experience in developing educational and training materials, including instructional design on various multi-media courses.
Production Coordinator - Ruby Barron has worked in both news and commercial broadcasting.
- Paul Benson, Mountain View College
- Luisa Benton, El Centro College
- Kathleen Dawson, Los Angeles Mission College
- Phyllis Elmore, North Lake College
- Ed Garcia, Brookhaven College
- Michael Haddock, Florida Community College
- Valerie Hockert, Thomas Edison State College
- Kim Jameson, Oklahoma City Community College
- Jeffrey Miranda, Tarrant County Community College
- Michael Morris, Eastfield College
- Jane Peterson, Richland College
- Rebekah Rios Harris, Cedar Valley College
- Robyn Robinson, Columbus State Community College