This course is designed to ground first-year students in the reading, writing, and rhetorical demands necessary for success in college and beyond. This class teaches students to be both critical readers of complex texts and critical writers of effective texts. The key to critical reading and writing is rhetorical knowledge. Rhetoric is foundational for this course because it allows you, on the one hand, to understand how other people?s texts affect readers and attempt persuasion, and on the other, to compose effective and purposeful texts yourself. Rhetorical knowledge prepares you to participate in and respond to nearly any conceivable writing situation, whether it be another college course, certain professional demands, or personal needs. At its most basic?but most profound?level, writing is about making choices, and this course teaches you how to identify other writers? choices and how to make your own across a variety of writing situations.
Michael J. Faris is an Assistant Professor in the English Department, where he teaches the Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing, other writing and rhetoric courses, and Topics in Popular Culture (which has been themed "Social Media and Society" and "Gender and 21st Century Pop Music"). He also teaches queer theory in the Women's Studies program. Professor Faris is currently working on a book about privacy and social media, and spends his time researching digital reading and writing practices. A native of southern Iowa (yep, you'll hear him say "y'all"), Faris went to Iowa State for his undergraduate degree and taught middle school in rural Iowa for a few years before moving to Oregon to study at Oregon State. There he earned his master's degree, and he earned his PhD at Penn State. Faris adores Eau Claire, especially because it is so beautiful in the summer and has some great coffee shops (he's at the Goat and Racy's a lot). When he isn't working, Faris is mostly likely enjoying Netflix or snuggling with his cat, Marzipan.