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WCWP 100

Academic Writing

The purpose of Warren Writing 100 is to enable undergraduate transfer students, through intensive practice, to read and write academic arguments in preparation for their work in various academic disciplines. It is required of all Warren College transfer students.

Prerequisite: Completion of IGETC, or equivalent transfer agreement.  Open to Warren College students only. (Letter grade only.)

Nine sections are offered in Fall and Winter, and six are offered in Spring. 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.


2020-2021 Topics

"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 Unit 3 we’ll consider how all of these topics are being affected by the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. 

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 evidence from the course readings as a whole. 

This style of writing focuses on textual evidence, and 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. In addition, the class offers practice in feedback and revision, reflection, group work, and in developing professional materials like resumes, CVs, and cover letters.


"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
Course Reader
These can be purchased at the UCSD Bookstore

Systemic Analysis is a method that examines the social systems that shape our lives. Take, for example, the educational system. A systemic analysis of education wouldn’t focus on your individual experience in isolation. It would push deeper to show how your experience is formed within a larger context. In the case of the educational system, that context is comprised of historical struggles to define who belongs and doesn’t belong in education, what curriculum you study, how you are evaluated, what you are encouraged to achieve, and the pressures you face as students in this crisis-packed moment.

The course will teach you how to do systemic analysis. You will begin by reflecting on a social system you or your family has navigated. You will write to show your reader the view you gained from your experiences. As the course progresses, you will determine a social problem that troubles you or relates to your major. You will use the course tools and writing principles to show your readers the depths of the problem and to offer them solutions rooted in the democratic tradition.

In the past, students have analyzed urgent problems including the student housing and debt crises, climate change, the job crisis, algorithmic bias, the mental health crisis, mass incarceration, immigrant detention, and Covid-19. They have walked away with essays they are proud of, writing that communicates a new depth of thought and sensitivity to the world. More importantly, they gained a set of tools to apply to life and an ethical compass that gives them a clearer sense of direction in these disorienting times.


*Please visit the schedule of classes for current offering.