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Environmental Writing Syllabus

Environmental Writing Syllabus

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Published by: Christa B. Teston, PhD on Oct 08, 2012
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/ course info /
engl 316CRN 29276
(revised syllabus)
Course Description and Rationale.
 This is an intermediate writing course and it is designed based upon Julia B.Corbett’s premise that environmental communication is:expressed in values, words, actions, and everyday practicesinterpreted and negotiatedhistorically and culturally rootedideologically derived and drivenembedded in a dominant societal paradigm that assigns instrumentalvalue to the environment and believes it exists to serve humansintricately tied to pop culture, particularly advertising and entertainmentframed and reported by the media in a way that generally supports thestatus quomediated and influenced by social institutions like government andbusinessWe will spend a considerable amount of time analyzing and producing argumentsconcerning the natural world and our relationship to it. Rhetorical theory will act asour theoretical framework as we improve our writing for the public, writing foradvocacy, writing to report, and writing in a way that explores our own unique voices.
What You Should Learn.
By the end of this course you should know a wide range of environmental writinggenres (freelance, blogging, advocacy, grant writing, stakeholder analyses, reportwriting), and be able to conduct thoughtful and critical analyses of environmentalcommunicative messages we encounter on a regular basis. You should also walk away with the capacity to articulate your own environmental ideology and considerthe ways said ideology shapes how you encounter, read, and write about the world.Of course, the overarching aim of this course is to make you a better writer. That ismy primary hope for you.
Course Policies.
Come to class prepared. And don’t be late. Be kind. Do your best. Ask for help.
Required Materials.
 American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau,
Ed. Bill McKibbenISBN: 978-1598530209
A Rhetoric of Argument: Text and Reade
, Fahnestock and Secor
ISBN: 978-0073036168
Genres You’ll Learn.
queries, pitches, and freelance writingpublic writing (blogging)grant writingstakeholder analysesreport writingbook reviews
/ contact info /
Christa Teston, PhDBrink 208cteston@uidaho.edu@christateston [twitter]
/ o
ce hrs /
tr 12:30-1:30pand by appointment
/ course mtg /
tr 9:30-10:45a214A McClure
On Revision.
Be prepared to be asked to revise a piece of writing
 multiple times
. Do not take offense to thisrequest. Do not see it is an insult to your abilities. Instead, take it as an opportunity to improve.But do not hand in lackluster prose in anticipation of the opportunity to revise. You will bepenalized for this.
On Plagiarism.
Don’t do it. While much of what you do in here will be unique enough that you won’t really havethe opportunity to lift essays off the internet, you may be tempted to borrow sentences orphrases or have your older sister write it for you. Don’t do it. If you feel tempted to do it, cometalk to me. If you don’t know what counts as plagiarism, come talk to me.
Talk to me. Please. Or you can contact Disability Support Services (Idaho Commons Rm 306)by phone (208)885-6307 or by emaildss@uidaho.edu.
 Attendance and Participation.
 Attendance is mandatory. Missing classes does not reflect well on you as a student or aprofessional. They are also an inconvenience to your peers and instructor.If you miss more than four classes (two full weeks), you should not expect to pass this course.
attendance + in/out
class participation100article, book, movie reviews
50public writing project
100report writing project200 grant writing project300freelance writing project250
 Total Points :: 1000
[ Tentative Course Schedule ]
Week 1. Introductions | Aug. 21, 23
T / Review syllabus, Discuss ecocriticism, ecopoetry, and environmental writing; Nature v.Environment in-class exerciseR / Discuss Corbett Ch. 1, Environmental beliefs in-class exercise, Work out Tumblr
Week 2. Rhetoric and Environmental Ideologies | Aug. 28, 30
T / Discuss Corbett Ch. 2, Take the “New Ecological Paradigm Scale” quiz in class;Introduction to audience, exigence and constraints (Fahnestock and Secor Ch. 2)R / Discuss Toulmin Model for Argumentation (Fahnestock and Secor Ch. 2); Toulmin in-classexercise
Week 3. Rhetoric and Environmental Arguments | Sept. 4, 6
T / Discuss Ethos, Pathos, Fallacies (Fahnestock and Secor Ch. 3); Fallacies in-class exerciseR / Discuss Stasis Theory (Fahnestock and Secor Ch. 4); Stasis in-class exercise
Week 4. Causal Argumentation | Sept. 11, 13
T / Discuss causal arguments (Fahnestock and Secor Ch. 7)R / Discuss Reviews, causal arguments
Week 5. Writing Reports | Sept. 18, 20
T / Discuss Rude’s “Environmental Policymaking and the Report Genre”; Introduce ReportWriting Project; Stakeholder analysesR / Review #1 Due(Read: Alan Durning’s “The Dubious Rewards of Consumption” p. 770 andPhilip K. Dick’s “from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” p. 451)
Week 6. Writing Gray Literature | Sept. 25, 27
T / Discuss gray literature; Stakeholder analyses; Workshop proposalsR / Review #2 Due(Read: Bill McKibben’s “from The End of Nature” p. 718, Paul R. Ehrlich’s“from The Population Bomb, p. 434, and Al Gore’s “Speech at the Kyoto Climate ChangeConference” p. 855)
Week 7. Research Week | Oct. 2, 4
T / Out-of-class ResearchR / Out-of-class Research
Week 8. Public Perceptions | Oct. 9, 11
T / Report Draft Due(bring 3 copies); introduce movie review projectR / Review #3 Due(Read: Michael Pollan’s “from The Omnivore’s Dilemma” p. 948, andBarbara Kingsolver’s “Knowing Our Place” p. 939)
Week 9. Writing Proposals | Oct. 16, 18
T / Discuss Proposals (Fahnestock and Secor Ch. 9) ; Introduce Grant Writing Project

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