Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

The 2012 Republican Primaries

ENGL 162.301

This in-depth course on political commentary writing will focus heavily on the competition among Republican candidates to capture the nomination and challenge Barack Obama in the autumn election. Students will write weekly on a class blog, chronicling and analyzing the latest primary results and candidate debates. Students will track the news as it unfolds week by week, and deepen their understanding of what constitutes effective commentary writing.

All opinions 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 importance of effective thinking and effective writing. The course will also feature several guest speakers from Washington--including Politico columnist Roger Simon (who will talk about the differences between writing for print and writing online), and Republican strategist/blogger Rich Galen (who will talk about his experiences as both insider and commentator).

fulfills requirements