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WCWP 100: Academic Writing

Warren students in class.

Warren Writing 100 is a seminar-style course, required of all Warren College transfer students. Framed in sociopolitical, philosophical, and personal perspectives, students in this course build on their previous academic writing experience to further expand their argumentation skills, practice critical evidence-based writing, and begin to see writing as a means of developing and translating opinions.

 2023-2024 Topics

"The Four Futures," Professor Keith McCleary

"Pandemic as Portal," Professor Mark Young

"Systemic Analysis for Everyday Life," Professor Niall Twohig

See below for more information about each course topic.

Spring 2024 Class Schedule

WCWP 100 Spring 2024 Schedule
Section Day Time Room Instructor Topic
A00 MW 1100-1220 WSAC 132 Keith McCleary
The Four Futures
B00 MW 1230-150 WSAC 132 Keith McCleary
The Four Futures
C00 TTh 930-1050 WSAC 132 Niall Twohig
Systemic Analysis for Everyday Life
D00 TTh 1100-1220 WSAC 132 Mark Young
Pandemic as Portal
E00 TTH 1230-150 WSAC 132 Niall Twohig
Systemic Analysis for Everyday Life
F00 TTh 200-320 WSAC 132 Mark Young
Pandemic as Portal
G00 TTh 330-450 WSAC 132 Mark Young
Pandemic as Portal

Course Descriptions and Required Texts

"The Four Futures"

Professor Keith McCleary
Required texts: Course reader

Available at the UCSD Bookstore

Is our future predetermined? To what degree do we have individual and collective agency over our society as it progresses? How do we evaluate differing interpretations of the world we live in? 

Within this course, we’ll consider these questions inside a critical framework. In Unit 1, we’ll discuss the relationships and intersections between technological innovation and the natural world in the 21st century. In Unit 2, we’ll look at how sociopolitical inequality and various fields of advanced academic study are both impacting, and impacted by, these two significant components of the modern world.  

In a practical sense, this course is focused on text-based argumentative writing. The final papers and projects in this class will ask you to take a critical stance on at least one of the readings in each unit, either by challenging some aspect of that reading, pointing out ways to expand its ideas using another text, or perhaps by synthesizing multiple readings that are each somehow incomplete or lacking on their own.  

Put another way: each unit asks you to identify problems with how at least one text presents its ideas, and to support your argument with an increasing array of evidence.  

The first unit focuses solely on textual evidence. It is designed both to strengthen students’ use of evidence in other disciplines, and to provide a new challenge to students who may already hail from writing-intensive majors. The second unit combines textual analysis with the use of personal narrative, and invites students to add outside sources to the course readings. In addition, the class offers practice in feedback and revision, reflection, and group work. 

"Pandemic as Portal"

Professor Mark Young
Required texts: Course reader

Available at the UCSD Bookstore

The global spread of Covid-19 has unceremoniously pressed the pause button on previous notions of “normalcy,” and the ensuing suspension of business as usual has served to underscore the myriad challenges we face in the twenty-first century: economic precarity, climate change, racial inequality, job automation, and educational reform, among many others. In response to the growing global consciousness of the issues our social, economic, and governmental systems have failed to address, the Indian novelist Arundhati Roy has argued:

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

Over the course of this quarter, we’ll explore Roy’s provocative idea that “Nothing could be worse than a return to normality,” using several new ideas for change as both points of departure for our collective debate and models for professional information-shaping in both formal written and multimodal genres.

WCWP presents you with a process-based and collaborative approach to learning, through which you will learn to analyze arguments; to recognize various genre-based conventions of knowledge production; to use that understanding to inform the creation of your own projects and aid in the peer-review of your classmates; to make thoughtful connections based on your analyses; to generate ideas for writing; to make an original claim that is informed by multiple sources; to incorporate evidence to support that claim; to integrate your sources effectively; to cite sources correctly; to weigh various kinds of feedback and effectively revise; to develop the ability to reflect on your own thinking and writing; and to use what you learn on future projects (both academic and professional).

Inquiry of this nature forms the central pillar of academic and professional work in all disciplines. New ideas arise through a time-honored process: reading the extant conversation, raising interesting questions about it, gathering the best possible evidence, and ultimately redirecting the conversation in a new and original way—relating your ideas through arguments that are clear, persuasive, and logically sound. As a student in WCWP 100, you will cultivate these same practices, as preparation to succeed in a twenty-first-century research university and information economy whose coin of the realm is innovation. My sincere hope is that, in addition to fostering such academic and professional literacies, this class will provide you the tools to inject your voice into the civic life of your community and embolden your contribution to the project of actively building the world ahead.

"Systemic Analysis for Everyday Life"

Professor Niall Twohig
Required texts: Takaki, Ronald, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, 2008
Available at the UCSD Bookstore

Systemic Analysis is a method that allows us to look deeply at our world. It gives us historical knowledge and critical tools to understand why our society is the way it is. It gives us wisdom to navigate our disorienting times. Over ten weeks, you will learn this method and how to apply it.

The writing will give you a chance to put the method into action. You will reflect critically on your journey, on urgent problems you experienced or witnessed, and on the work you can do in the world. You’ll find, in this writing process, that you make discoveries worth sharing. Writing will become your way of communicating these insights to readers who need to hear.

In the past, students have written about topics including their immigration stories, the uneven development of their neighborhoods, educational inequality, the pitfalls of social media, the pressures to excel in highly competitive institutions, environmental and social crises, their plight as frontline workers, the exhaustion of hustle culture, the difficulties of providing care for loved ones or themselves. These essays have become maps for navigating the complex terrain of the present. 

*Please visit the schedule of classes for current offerings.

Registration Information and Prerequisites

Prerequisite: Completion of IGETC, or equivalent transfer agreement. WCWP 100 is open to Warren College students only, and can only be taken for a letter grade. 

It is recommended you complete WCWP 100 in your first year at UCSD to prepare you for your other courses and to prevent possible delays in completing your graduation requirements.

Transfer students who have completed a lower-division writing course at another college do not need to take WCWP 10A or 10B. Most transfer students only need to take WCWP 100. It does not matter when it is taken, but it is recommended you complete the course within your first year at UCSD. Students with less than 90 units are blocked from enrolling. Please submit an Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) request - including transcripts if necessary - for clearance if you have fewer than 90 units on record.