Welcome to Juniata and your First Year Composition (FYC) course. This semester we will approach writing as a step-based process, focusing on five primary activities: reading, conversing, thinking, writing, and editing. We will be reading and analyzing a variety of texts that will serve as springboards for class discussion and help you to generate ideas for three formal writing assignments. These three essays will undergo multiple revisions and constitute the majority of your grade.

You will have many opportunities to improve your writing. These include in-class discussions and workshops with your peers, office hours and conference times with your instructor, and one-on-one meetings with tutors at the Writing Center (in the basement of the library).

Thematically, this section of First Year Composition will focus on some of the many ways that artifice has shaped our world, particularly with respect to politics, commerce, and popular culture. An emphasis on developing critical thinking skills, media literacy, and an awareness of common cognitive blind spots will guide our efforts to become less vulnerable to deception and manipulation. Our analysis of a wide array of topics—from trickster figures in Greek mythology to the technologically sophisticated “deep fakes” of the Internet—will provide a foundation for exploring how tricksters destabilize and, at the same time, call attention to the boundaries, norms, and rules that structure our interactions.