Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


English 101 Section A11. Writing About (and with) Power

Through authors as diverse as Thoreau, Machiavelli and Foucault we will consider many aspects and structures of power, both political and rhetorical. We’ll explore different ways to write with authority — authority of rhetorical stance, authority of experience, authority of morality as well as the authority of assumed intellectual superiority. In class we will use different discussions of and approaches to power as a method to consider larger issues of writing through a variety of assignments. We will approach writing through different rhetorical approaches. We will discuss pathos, ethos and logos and how each plays a role in writing. These appeals will in turn figure into the perceived authority of a writer and will allow students to experiment with using the different appeals themselves. Assignments are designed to stretch students as writers and thinkers and include short responses and in class assignments as well as longer multi-drafted pieces.

Along with vibrant lecture and discussion classes, students can expect small group tutorials consisting of peer review and individual workshops. Individual conferences with the professor are also a required component of the class. Through the process of drafting, revision and editing students can expect to grow as writers and as thinkers. The class culminates in a submission of a portfolio ending with a reflective essay that considers his or her own journey over the course of the semester.