Writing in the Themes

Writing Program Courses in the Themes

The Department of English engages students in writing for a variety of academic, professional, and community settings and emphasizes critical reading, persuasive and research-based writing in various forms and media. The following courses are a great way to take an advanced-level writing course that fulfills the GE Themes requirement.

If you enrolled at Ohio State before autumn 2022, you may be looking for information on the legacy GE (GEL). If so, please visit the Second-Year Writing Curriculum webpage.

Writing in the Themes Staff

For questions about courses, curriculum, assessment and teaching, please contact:
Dr. Beverly Moss, Director
Allison Hargett, Graduate Student Writing Program Administrator

Course Offerings

In this section of 2367, students explore the academic field of Folklore Studies and how folklorists approach writing and researching across different genres, performances, experiences, and representations. Students gain an understanding of folk narratives and stories via the three main categories of folklore: verbal (songs, folktales, jokes), material (food, quilts, chairs), and customary belief and practice (legends, dances, rituals). Students develop their persuasive, researched, analytical writing skills through composing in various forms where they examine, critique, and employ folklorists’ fieldwork practices in their own writing. Using folklore studies as a lens to evaluate various social aspects (such as race, gender, ability, etc.) in the U.S., students refine their capacity to synthesize information and create arguments about discursive, visual, and/or cultural artifacts. 

English 2367.07s is a four-credit hour writing course that fulfills the new General Education (GEN) requirements for the Lived Environments theme. This course emphasizes persuasive and researched writing, revision, and composing in various forms and media. Students will build upon and improve their mastery of academic writing with and from primary and secondary sources; refine their ability to synthesize information; collect and analyze qualitative data; create arguments about a variety of discursive, visual, and/or cultural artifacts; use available technologies to construct academic texts in a variety of media; and become more proficient with and sophisticated in their research strategies and employment of the conventions of academic discourses. The primary goals of this course are to sharpen your expository writing, critical thinking and analytical skills through a service- learning framework. The “S” in the course number means that this writing class has been designated as a service-learning writing course. What does that mean for you? It means that much of the work that you do in this class will be guided by our engagement with community partners outside the university boundaries. You will read about the importance of undertaking life history and literacy narrative projects, with a particular focus on preserving the literacy history of Columbus-area Black communities. Collecting and analyzing literacy narratives—or literacy stories—is an important research strategy that can be used to document the history and current activities of any community. It is especially important in Black communities where literacy practices have often been under-reported or negatively characterized. By collecting and analyzing a community or group's literacy narratives, we will analyze how the environments in which community members live, work, play use literacy to shape community. Collecting literacy narratives also provides an opportunity for community members to have a voice in telling their stories. This course welcomes community members and volunteers who will help you learn about collecting and preserving the life-history narratives of Black Columbus, focusing specifically on stories having to do with literacy practices occurring among members of Black arts and music communities, Black church communities, Black sports communities, and Black technology communities. Some of the questions that we will explore this semester: what are the literacy histories of Black Columbus members from these various communities? How is literacy related to the work they do? What kind of reading and writing do they do? What is the relationship between their everyday literacy practices and their work-related literacy practices? What is the relationship between school-based, work-related, and community-based literacy practices?

In this three-hour writing course you will develop and refine your skills in analysis, research, and composition. This course emphasizes persuasive and researched writing, revision, and composing in various forms and media. In addition, you will build upon and improve your mastery of academic writing with and from sources; refine your ability to synthesize information; create arguments about a variety of discursive, visual, and/or cultural artifacts; and become more proficient with and sophisticated in your research strategies and employment of the conventions of standard academic discourses. This course meets the Lived Environments theme goals and expected learning outcomes by enabling students to explore issues related to humans and their lived environments through both objective and subjective lenses inclusive of physical, biological, cultural and aesthetic space that individuals and groups occupy, and the relationship between humans and these environments. This course contextualizes video games and their virtual worlds, alongside other popular role-playing games (RPGs) as lived environments. This course defines video games and virtual worlds as texts that: allow humans to experience various scenarios of environmental change, explore a range of perspectives on the interactions and impacts between humans and one or more types of environment, and develop an understanding of lived environments by making connections between out-of-classroom experiences and academic knowledge.

“Writing about Sustainability” is an advanced-level writing course that fulfills the GE requirements for the Sustainability Theme by asking students to consider their place in the natural world through the following learning activities: conducting primary and secondary research, analyzing data, composing and revising written arguments, and becoming more proficient with the conventions of academic discourses. Throughout the semester, we will use rhetorical theory as a lens for asking and investigating answers to some of the following questions: How do we interact with the natural world, and how does our human-made environment interact with the natural environment? How unequal are these encounters? Which groups in society have access to a natural environment that is safe vs. dangerous, polluted vs. unpolluted, wild vs. built, sustainable vs. unsustainable? How has and could writing about such questions affect meaningful change?

Goals and Objectives Information

For information on the ELOs for the GE Themes courses, visit the New General Education (GEN) Goals and ELOs webpage.