Course Overview

In this course students will learn to analyze the rhetorical and stylistic conventions that govern professional and academic writing within and across the three intersecting disciplines—Economics, Political Science, and Philosophy—that comprise the UNC-DUKE PPE Program while touching on a number of adjacent disciplines, including Science, Sociology, Public Policy, Anthropology, and Psychology. Accordingly, students will study how certain genres function in each of these disciplines and learn how to adopt other genres to fulfill their own purposes and meet the rhetorical needs of a given audience. To those ends, the course will follow a sequence of units designed to give students practice in many of the skills and techniques that academics and professionals use to collect, organize, analyze, and present their research findings on how our world is shaped by the organizations and institutions that profoundly impact everyday life. Students will have the opportunity to conduct their own research in these fields and to compose their own examples of the genres that professionals in the public and private sectors use to communicate their findings to broad and specialized audiences alike.

The goals of this class are to teach you to:

  • Understand genres, conventions, and rhetoric as they primarily relate to Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and Philosophy, but also touch on Public Policy, Anthropology, Psychology, Global Studies, and Business Administration
  • Generate discipline-specific compositions in appropriate genres
  • Present research to different kinds of audiences
  • Conduct secondary research using academic and library resources
  • Learn composition in written, oral, and multimodal genres
  • Review and revise compositions and assist others in the revision process

The course consists of three units, each containing short “feeder” assignments that will guide students in the creation of more substantial unit projects. The feeder assignments are designed to give students practice with a particular skill (such as conducting and analyzing research, doing fieldwork, or otherwise constructing component parts of a larger composition – a Philosophy term paper or Public Policy report or creating a website), while the final projects will ask students, in many cases, to synthesize their research and arguments for a broad audience.

Interdisciplinary Writing –