What is the Writing Seminars Program?
The Writing Seminars Program is designed for first-year students who have demonstrated an interest in reading and writing and who have strong skills in these areas. The courses do not require extra work but rather they offer students smaller classes with classmates who are far more likely to share a lively interest in reading and writing. With the smaller class size (no more than 16 students per class), the class atmosphere facilitates growth and encourages enthusiasm about the written word. The program includes a version of Effective Writing (WR101) in the Fall and a choice from three intermediate courses (WR201, WR221, and WR231) in the Spring.
How is WR101 Effective Writing: Seminar different from the regular WR100 course?
Both WR100 and WR101 offer the opportunity to concentrate thoughtfully on the contemporary nonfiction essay, a genre which will allow you to develop skills in analysis, argument, critical thinking, narrative, and description that are essential in any discipline, as well as professional fields such as journalism or law. WR101 does not offer a review of work you've already accomplished in high school, nor is it identical to WR100, the core writing course taken by most Loyola students, despite some similarities.
An important difference is that the readings selected for WR101 are often more intellectually challenging and connect to the writing you will practice in class. Although discussion may center on the published work of authors such as Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston, David Foster Wallace, Michael Pollan, and Brent Staples, writing assignments offer the freedom to apply the techniques studied in your own prose on topics largely of your own choosing. In WR101, you will explore original approaches, experiment, and practice revision.
Since this class is by invitation only and students have chosen to participate, the class is quite distinct from the typical WR100 course. Students in WR101 tend to be high quality students, which translates into class discussions and workshops that are stimulating, challenging, productive, and supportive. Through class discussion and feedback, you learn what an actual reader expects from the work you write, an important advantage in developing as a thinker, writer, and editor.
Who should take WR101? Is it just for students who want to major in writing?
Regardless of your intended major or career interest, WR101 can help you get off to a great start at Loyola. The small seminar format encourages participation and interaction among students. Because writing is a critical component for success, all WR101 students can benefit from the course regardless of major. Although many Writing majors emerge from the course, many students choose to major in other Humanities disciplines, or even the Sciences, Social Sciences, Education and Business. All participants benefit from the small, supportive community of WR101. Because writing is central to a liberal arts education, the value of WR101 is evident across the curriculum.
Do I have to take a WR200 course after WR101?
No, you are not required to take WR201, WR221, or WR231; however, you will have the option to select one of these invitation-only seminar courses during registration for the spring.
What are the WR200 seminar classes?
The WR200 level courses are the gateway courses for upper-level courses in Writing, which include courses in poetry, fiction, rhetoric, science writing, professional writing, web writing, and more. The learning goals for the WR200-level seminars parallel those for the standard sections of the courses but with smaller class size and more accomplished student writers. You will learn more about them before you register for the spring semester, but here are the basics:
If you’re interested in continuing to write nonfiction essays, try: WR201.01 Creative Eye
- WR201 Creative Eye: Seminar focuses on descriptive strategies in nonfiction prose
- WR221 Introduction to Rhetoric: Seminar examines the persuasive power of the written word
- WR231 Introduction to Creative Writing: Seminar focuses on fiction and poetry
Creative Eye engages students in the study of the interplay of the subjective and objective as they experiment with a wide range of writing styles, strategies, and devises, literal and figurative, for capturing experience in language. The course explores the way in which all writers use description to put into words what they smell, touch, taste, hear, or see. Students work in genres that can be useful in literary, academic, and professional writing.This course will help you hone voice and style as you practice a variety of types of essays. It is a requirement for WR majors and minors and counts as free elective for non-majors.
If you’re interested in studying non-fiction writing in multiple genres (including articles, reports, letters, and speeches, as well as essays), try: WR221.01: Introduction to Rhetoric
Through close analysis and production of non-fiction prose, students develop an understanding and appreciation of how today’s writers employ strategies—first articulated by classical rhetoricians—to achieve multiple purposes for a variety of contemporary audiences. Special emphasis is given to the dynamic relationship between writer, audience, text, and social context.
Ideal for students who have taken WR100 and who want to further-develop persuasive skills essential to academic, civic, and workplace settings. This course is required of all majors, beginning with the Loyola class of 2013, and is a pre-requisite for upper-level rhetoric courses, such as Argument, Style, and Gendered Rhetoric. It counts as a free-elective for non-majors.
If you’re interested in writing stories and poetry, try: WR231.01: Introduction to Creative Writing
WR230 is a foundational course designed for students who wish to pursue study in creative writing or those who simply wish to “try it out.” Students read various examples of contemporary fiction and poetry to acquire a sense of context. They draft and revise original stories and poems in order to develop an appreciation of what it means to create literature in the modern world.
This course (formerly WR330) counts as a requirement for Writing majors, beginning with the Loyola class of 2013, and a free-elective for non-majors/minors. It is a pre-requisite for upper-level creative writing courses, such as Writing Fiction, Writing Poetry, Forms of Fiction, Poetic Forms, and Screenwriting.