English, Department of


Date of this Version

March 2004


Published in Composition Studies, Volume 32, Number 1, Spring 2004, pp. 89–108. Copyright © 2004 Composition Studies. Used by permission. http://www.compositionstudies.tcu.edu/


English 354: Advanced Composition is a required course for undergraduate majors in English, broadcast journalism, criminal justice, and pre-service English education, among others, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a research-one, land-grant institution with a student population of about 24,000. English 354 focuses on “intensive study and practice in writing non-fi ction prose” and has a prerequisite of at least one 200-level writing course.

In Writing Ourselves/Communities into Public Conversations, our students explore public and private arguments and analyze how arguments are made within each (overlapping) sphere. We want them to consider the varying and sometimes competing strategies used to construct an argument, the cultural narratives that underpin them, and the ways that public and private arguments often connect and confl ict. We hope that in studying public and private argument, our students will become more conscious of how issues of representation and genre are context-dependent and motive-driven. We also hope that they will come to see the writing of argument as both a personal and critical matter as they study the intersections between public writing and their own lives.