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Courses & Topics

In the Writing Seminar Program, we introduce students to Academic Writing, practice compositional technique, and develop their research skills through a specific theme each semester.

Click here for the Spring 2018 Writing 102 Topics 

Writing 009 - Introduction to Writing

This text-based course focuses on interpretive reading and analytical writing in preparation for WRIT 101. Instruction simultaneously focuses on writing strategies, such as revision, summarizing, structure, and avoiding plagiarism, as well as the use of academic English. This course emphasize integration of reading and writing skills to develop student abilities in writing clear, well-organized prose on academic topics.

Writing 010 - Effective Thinking

This course introduces students to a variety of active reading and thinking strategies. These areas apply systematic study skill formulas to textbook reading, such as note taking, identifying the main idea, paraphrasing, summarizing, and preparing for tests. Students work to polish their thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. Emphasis will be given to understanding organization structures and thinking patterns used by a variety of writing to express ideas. 

Writing 011- Writing Lab

This course focuses on academic writing skills to supplement instruction in WRIT 101. Instruction simultaneously focuses on writing strategies, such as revision, summarizing, avoiding plagiarism, and structure, as well as the use of academic English. The course emphasizes integration if reading and writing skulls to develop student abilities in writing clear, well-organized prose on academic topics. 

Writing 101

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the MMC academic community, while
practicing the critical thinking, reading, writing, and oral presentation skills necessary for their
academic and professional lives. Students will explore a selected topic from several disciplinary
perspectives in an intimate classroom environment. Through a series of written essays
and presentation assignments, students will engage in the recursive process of professional level composition, including invention, drafting, revision, peer-feedback, and editing. 

Writing 102

This course is the second of the two writing courses requirement of students. We strongly encourage students to enroll in Writing 102 immediately following the successful completion of Writing Seminar I.  This course emphasizes the development of research skills through exercises in the selection of research topics, the use of a variety of library resources, and the evaluation of research materials, leading to the development of an extensive academic argument. In preparation for this major project, students will explore a selected topic from several disciplinary perspectives through a series of written essays and oral presentation assignments. Throughout the term, instructor-student conferences facilitate individualized criticism of research procedures and the development of the final paper.

Writing 201

Advanced Writing Seminar introduces students to the MMC academic community while continuing to strengthen the critical reading, writing, research, and oral presentation skills necessary for both their scholarly and professional lives. Students explore a topic from several disciplinary perspectives, conduct extensive research, and learn to appreciate the advantages of interdisciplinary study. Through a series of advanced written assignments, students engage in the recursive process of professional-level composition, including invention, drafting, revision, peer feedback, and editing. Students learn how to propose, formulate, develop and present an original academic project, based on extensive independent research. This course is enrollment-through-placement only.

Some of the past themes have included: 

  • NYC in the 1920’s
  • Love Stories
  • Representation of Disability
  • Writing about Music
  • Satire
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Sustainability
  • The Mysterious
  • The 1960s
  • Rock N’ Roll Book Club
  • Literature in the Time of AIDS
  • Economics and Social Justice
  • Hispanic New York
  • Stepping Off: Choreographing a City
  • Art and Politics
  • Biography
  • Perspectives on Suffering
  • Science Fiction

Student Writing Sample

  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1047-zoe-schott-"><img src="/live/image/gid/126/width/215/8405_bryann_pittner.rev.1453903358.jpg" alt="Zoe Schott " title="Zoe Schott " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “Frederick Law Olmsted created areas of recreation meant for liberation. They are “Escape From” parks: the places we venture to when in need of tranquility and the ability to be lost in our imaginations and unconscious influences. The trees, the wide open spaces that relieve our city claustrophobia—they are all positioned to have this effect on us. Then there are the “Escape To” parks: the kind we city dwellers visit to escape solitude and to find a sense of community. The circle around the fountain at Washington Square Park is packed with the community we miss on our island of millions. We look for an escape to company, even in the company of strangers. What the creators of Washington Square Park have given us is a place to slow down and to meet people, to talk, to eat, to be conscious of our experiences and to allow ourselves a break from the loneliness of city life.”</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1047-zoe-schott-">Zoe Schott </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2017</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1048-tracy-tauro-"><img src="/live/image/gid/126/width/215/src_region/0,284,640,924/8407_2011-nyc-bryant-park-2_edit.rev.1453903359.jpg" alt="Tracy Tauro " title="Tracy Tauro " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “In a broader sense, this study of Bryant Park is also a study of being in the moment and living with a widened mindset. As Walker Percy argues in “The Loss of the Creature,” if every experience is compared to a certain standard there will always be a “disparity between what it is and what it is supposed to be.” Just because something does not live up to an idea or fulfill a preconceived notion does not mean it does not have anything to offer. Coming into a situation with specific expectations can take away from approaching it with a blank slate. A personal standard for parks, or pleasure, or nature does not have to be justified by others or, to borrow Percy’s phrase, “certified as genuine.” Nature does not have to be beautiful or grandiose or stunningly overwhelming. We authenticate our own meanings. This does not require being inflexible in interpretation and openness, but rather approaching situations with an open mind, forming a personal opinion, and trusting that that opinion does not need to be authenticated by others. It is important to be open to being wrong, of course, but it is equally important to trust in one’s own judgment.”</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1048-tracy-tauro-">Tracy Tauro </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2017</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1049-kaitlyn-burke-"><img src="/live/image/gid/126/width/215/src_region/0,73,1237,1310/8409_kaitlyn_burke.rev.1453903360.jpeg" alt="Kaitlyn Burke " title="Kaitlyn Burke " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “As I stood in the sea of cameras I couldn’t help but wonder: were these people even looking at what was in front of them? I could see their eyes moving over the scene, but were they really choosing to see it? I stood in the same place alone for a while and watched as what seemed like hundreds of people paused and took a photograph of the boat. Was the boat meant to be viewed only after being cropped and filtered? Or was it for real people, with real eyes, who should take this sight in and let themselves be absorbed by it?<br/> These questions recall Walker Percy’s key idea: the struggle of knowing whether we are actually experiencing something or just looking at it. But maybe not all picture takers are the same. After all, what we were witnessing was so beautiful that perhaps it had inspired us to transfer that beauty into ourselves, like a choreographer who is inspired to create a new dance by what they see in nature.”</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1049-kaitlyn-burke-">Kaitlyn Burke </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2017</p></div>