English R1B

Reading and Composition: Grant Writing, Renaissance to Modern

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2016 Villagrana, José
MWF 12-1 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

See below.


In this class we will read a small selection of letters and poems by English Renaissance poets William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Samuel Daniel, and John Donne written for the purpose of obtaining patronage. These letters and poems were typically directed to wealthy and politically connected individuals in order to secure funding or political favors which enabled these authors to pursue a variety of interests and projects. These works were more than just a direct appeal for money, though. The letters and poems needed to be persuasive, succinct, resourceful, and artful, arguing in measured detail for the quality and merit of both author and work. Although these works might seem distant and irrelevant, they can nevertheless teach us a great deal about developing strong arguments that consider and match our own motivations for funding with potential funders. We can apply this to contemporary fundraising across a large spectrum of disciplines: public health, arts and humanities, entertainment, science and technology, and education. Guided activities in this class will teach you to develop grant proposals based on careful research of a potential (hypothetical) project in any discipline, and you will learn to research funding organizations (both public and private) alongside your own project. We will also learn how to write persuasive appeals for crowdsourced funding. Although we are reading early modern English literary texts to develop our critical reading skills, this class encourages you to pursue a research project based on your own interests and areas of expertise.

The purpose of this course is to develop critical reading, writing, and research skills in a way that is applicable across disciplines. In-class participation will play an important role in developing your critical thinking skills, and we will discuss approaches to crafting prose that is argumentative, clear, and nuanced. As part of the university’s Reading and Composition program, this research-focused course will guide students through the acquisition and evaluation of secondary sources and their incorporation into argumentative essays. The primary writing assignments for the course will be three progressively longer papers (2-3 pages, 6-8 pages, 8-10 pages), combining analysis of primary texts with research from secondary sources. Strategies for revision will form another major focus of the course, and the second and third papers will include substantial work (and feedback) at the prewriting and draft stages of composition.

All required readings will be made available in a course packet and on bCourses.

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