Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


English 101 Section A14. Writing about Thinking

Writing About Thinking focuses on writing as a way to think. The assigned essays, to be read weekly, are by authors who wrote their way toward thought, who solidified their thinking through the use of vivid illustrations and who clarified their ideas in order to share them with their reading audience. For many authors, unlike many of us, writing is how they think; all other thinking methods (oration, discussion, etc.) simply stir the pot. Yet, stirring the pot is a necessary precursor to writing; we need to speak to each other about the works we are reading, not only in terms of content but to examine the structure and approach that the content determined. Why do we do this? Because what the writer is trying to say will be reflected in how he or she writes. The writing produced by students in Writing About Thinking may address private questions, critical evaluations of current controversies and close encounters with the risky thinking that comes from questioning the status quo. In other words, in Writing About Thinking, all ideas are on the table. We will read Jonathan Kozol, Vladimir Nabokov, Joan Didion, Alice Walker, Brent Staples, Mark Twain and Virginia Woolf as well as current editorials and blogs.

Finally, we will examine and discuss cultural interpretations of the world through any medium available. Writing About Thinking is writing and reading intensive and includes the keeping of an academic journal, active participation in class discussions, and engagement of each other’s written work through the on-going process of peer review and workshops.