This discipline and topic-based course will focus on the fundamentals of academic and professional writing with the goal of sharpening students’ reasoning and providing them with strategies for its effective expression. Through a series of short formal exercises, revisions, peer reviews, and timed writings, students will practice generating and expressing their own ideas in response to readings, collaborative exercises, and discussions about the course topic. Focus will be on the basics of critical writing: formulating and supporting propositions; reasoning and evidence; explanatory as well as justificatory reasoning. With an emphasis on rhetoric, students will learn how to write and revise for the various audiences they will encounter at Penn and beyond. Attention will also be paid to mechanics, usage, and style, as well as an introduction to citing and documenting sources. All elements of the seminar include guidance from an experienced instructor and feedback from fellow students to provide writers with the challenge of addressing diverse readers. The emphasis throughout is on creative thinking precisely expressed. (Part 1 of 2 part Critical Writing Sequence for LPS BA candidates). This course is open to LPS BA students only. If you are not an LPS BA student, please see the other courses available this Summer.