MSU Writing MOOC

Course Description

Each module integrates academic and social contexts to encourage a wide application of the skills you acquire during this course.

The course will be structured around modules that are based on your ideas and are writing-intensive (of course!). Once you complete the work of a module, you can move on to the next module at your pace.

  • Module 1: Stories of Writing and Learning

We have a theory: learning to write is a lot like learning other things. If you can use your own learning practices strategically, you can learn to write and to do other things more efficiently and in a way that feels a lot more natural. This first module asks you to write an essay about how you learn and how you think as a writer.

  • Module 2: Stories of Language and Culture

How do you communicate? Do you communicate differently when you’re with different groups of people? This module is about communicating with an audience – specifically the ways you adapt your language for different communities.  The more aware you are of the way your audience communicates, the more successfully you can speak to them. We all adapt our language naturally in some situations; sophisticated writers make a conscious effort to adapt their language in whatever ways will be most effective for their current situation.

  • Module 3: Learning Reporting

What kind of information do you share? This module explores one of the most basic moves in communication: reporting. Many of us think about “reporting” as something like a middle school book report or a complex set of financial information, but “reporting” means more than that.  The three moves of reporting – summarizing, analyzing, and arguing – are basic communication moves that you can use in almost every writing situation. The activities in this module will help you recognize these moves when they occur and will also help you practice successful reporting.

  • Module 4: Revising Thinking

Whether we realize it or not, we use rhetoric to persuade people every day. We use rhetoric when we?re persuading our professor to give extensions for assignments, our children to complete their homework, or the parking attendants not to write us a ticket when we forget to put coins in the meter. We even use rhetoric when we try non-verbal ways of persuading our bosses to give us a raise or our friends to agree to our plans. These are only a few examples of the various ways we see persuasion in our everyday lives.  In this module, you will transform a piece of writing from a previous module, assess your new rhetorical situation, and use rhetorical strategies in order to persuade your audience.