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The 2012 Presidential Election

ENGL 162.301

This in-depth course on political commentary writing will feature the autumn clash between President Obama and the Republican challenger who seeks to replace him in the White House. Students will write weekly on a class blog, chronicling and analyzing the twists and turns of the campaign rhetoric, the campaign ads, and the media coverage. Obama and his challenger will meet in three presidential debates, and each will be grist for much of the student writing. All told, students will track the news as it unfolds week by week, and deepen their understanding of what constitutes credible point-of-view journalism.

All points of view are welcome, but they must be effectively backed up with substantive factual evidence, and, most importantly, they must be communicated in clear, persuasive, and (especially) lively prose. In short, the course will emphasize the challenge of effective thinking and effective writing. The course will also feature several prominent guests from the media and political communities, who will comment on the campaign and the coverage.