About the Book

Choices: Situations for College Writing is a course in writing for the new century. As technology increases our ability to communicate with each other, then the need to write more effectively increases, too. Students who know the basics of sound writing and effective argument and who can make use of new writing technologies will be more in demand by the professions and in their communities. As such, we've designed this course to familiarize you with age-old techniques for creating sentences, paragraphs, and documents that contain sound narrative, analytical, and argumentative structures, and we’ve designed the course to bring writing instruction up-to-date with the latest technology.

Many of these techniques and technologies will seem familiar to you, as effective argument and good writing has not changed that much -- even though the way we write and publish documents has. Students of only 50 years ago would be amazed by word processors, by our ability to manipulate text and images, and the Internet; nevertheless, they would still recognize effective writing and communication. What we hope is that this course will lead you to a different way of thinking about writing -- one that includes more consideration of the intended reader and the "situation" for the writing and how that influences choices that you make in your writing. We also hope that the course will help you prepare for the types of writing you may actually encounter in your academic, professional, and civic life.

What this course will ask of you is to think beyond the usual way you have probably written papers for your previous writing classes. First, the projects you will complete ask that you consider whom the readers for the project might be, what those readers might expect from this type of writing, what they might value, and how you can tailor your writing to appeal to those values. Secondly, these projects will ask that you consider how technology such as computer word processors and the Internet might be used to make your writing projects something that you might actually be proud to have other people actually read. After all, there is little reason to writing something unless someone else is going to read it.

This book is accompanied by a web program that allows you to collect the work you do to prepare for these projects and the final projects in one place.