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How do writers and speakers effectively communicate to their audiences? When is it appropriate to use formal or informal English? When writing or speaking, why are smooth transitions from one idea, event, or concept to another important? Learning to become an effective communicator includes knowing how to receive, evaluate, comprehend, and respond to verbal and nonverbal communication. Students learn effective communication in the context of fiction and nonfiction writings as well as in one-on-one and group discussions. Students strengthen their writing skills by varying syntax and sentence types, and through the correct use of colons, semicolons, and conjunctive adverbs. Students learn to keep their audience, task, and purpose in mind while maintaining a formal style and objective tone, and how to use style manuals and reference materials to appropriately cite sources and ensure that their writing meets the conventions of formal English.
How can the written language be changed according to context, audience, and purpose? In this course, students explore the evolution of language in fiction and nonfiction, assess rhetorical and narrative techniques, identify and refine claims and counterclaims, and ask and answer questions to aid research. Students also evaluate and employ vocabulary and comprehension strategies to determine the meanings of figurative, connotative, technical, and content-area words and phrases.
What is the difference between explicit and implicit information? How do writers and speakers explicitly and implicitly communicate information? Explicit communication often uses clear, direct language. Implicit communication often incorporates figurative and connotative meanings, requiring readers and listeners to make inferences and use contextual clues to draw conclusions about ideas and events in a text. In this course, students explore and evaluate the specific choices authors and speakers make to effectively convey information both explicitly and implicitly. They also assess how language is used in spoken and written communication, focusing on usage conventions and contested usage, varied syntax, and rules for spelling. Students learn how to write essays that effectively introduce a topic, incorporate transitions, cite evidence from the related texts, and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
How do writers manipulate language to suit context, audience, and purpose? What kinds of texts lend themselves to multiple interpretations? Why is it important to understand shades of meaning in words, phrases, and whole texts? In the context of seventeenth through twenty-first century fiction and nonfiction texts, students examine point of view, structure, and author’s word choice, exploring how these elements work together to achieve specific purposes. Students apply what they learn to their own written responses to the texts they read and analyze in the course.