Composition Courses

ENGLISH 1101: English Composition I

English 1101 teaches students communication and critical thinking skills that will prepare them to succeed academically at Georgia Tech and professionally in the work place. Building English 1101 courses around literature, film, science, technology, and pop culture, instructors provide students with exciting, intellectually engaging opportunities for learning.

Previous themes for English 1101 courses include “The Contested City: Arguments in the Built Environment,” “Media Culture and Technologies of Participation,” “Writing Multimedia in the Digital Age,” “Media Resistance, Technology, and Culture,” “Playing the Fame Game: Media and the Making of Celebrity Culture,” and “Communication, Technology, and the Body.” Students who completed courses with these themes explored contemporary topics while developing competence in multimodal communication. 

While writing is a primary focus of English 1101, the course imagines written communication as part of a larger WOVEN framework that also includes oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal communication. Working with teachers trained in digital pedagogy, students complete assignments in a wide variety of media, developing, for example, web sites, blogs, videos, PowerPoints, and podcasts, as well as more traditional written forms such as essays and reports. English 1101 introduces students to the complexities and challenges of writing to audiences in contexts where the written word interacts closely with visual and oral elements.

In English 1101, students can expect to work collaboratively in a wired environment that may involve forums and networked computers as well as laptops. Instructors of 1101 often create virtual spaces for assignments, believing that students` facility in virtual worlds prepares them for technology-driven communication. Students` collaboration may take a variety of forms, from group/team projects to peer review. Students can expect to create a multimedia presentation for at least one assignment. For an example of such multimodal student work, please peruse the project from Professor Kathryn Crowther's English 1101 course in which they mapped Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway,  which was featured in The New Yorker here.

ENGLISH 1102: English Composition II

Building on English 1101`s WOVEN (Written, Oral, Visual, Electronic, and Nonverbal) communication foundation, English 1102 continues to help students learn how to communicate more effectively, but with a greater emphasis on research, argument, and applied theory. Instructors of English 1102 construct courses around intellectually engaging and relevant themes from science, technology, literature, and popular culture.

Themes from previous sections of English 1102 include “Writing Multimedia in the Age of the Book,” “Contemporary World Cinema,” “As Time Goes By: Literature, Music, and Recording Technology,” “Machine Politics: Democracy, Participation and Production in the American Imagination,” and “Spiritual Bondage: Witchcraft and Piracy in the Age of Shakespeare.”

Whether students are studying Mexican cinema or learning to read Macbeth in a new way, the ultimate goal of these theme-based courses is to provide students with an interesting, provocative starting point for formulating their own theories about culture, society, science, and technology. In English 1102, students learn how to apply theory, a critical skill to both academic and professional success. Using literary and cultural theory as a starting point, English 1102 instructors encourage students to delve deeply into literary and cultural texts. Whether the subject is biotechnology or space exploration, students learn how to articulate related cultural, social, and economic issues that surround it. By applying theory in this way, students begin to see how “big ideas” permeate everyday life; students also gain the confidence to frame and defend unique arguments.

Research is another important aspect of English 1102. Students complete a major research project related to the course theme. Their final project might be a Web site, poster project, or research paper, but in every case, students have thoroughly explored a subject using various forms of inquiry. Instructors in English 1102 emphasize the importance of intellectual property and the proper citation of sources, but more important, they help students learn the role that research plays in formulating social and cultural ideas. When students finish English 1102, they have learned how research lends authority to the formulation of arguments and to the construction of ideas.