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WR 121: Written Reasoning as Discovery and Inquiry

About Writing 121: Written Reasoning as Discovery and Inquiry

Photo of silhouette of a person against a colorful starry night sky. Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

Curious Engagement

Research begins with inquiry. Inquiry means engaging with your curiosity to ask questions about the world. Seeking answers can lead to discovery of new ideas through conversations with others.

The UO Libraries can help you meet some of your goals for this course! To learn more about Information Literacy and research skills, check out the video below

Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash   

Course Description

WR 121 is a college-level course in written reasoning that presents writing as a means of exploring, developing, confirming, and communicating ideas.  The ideas that students write about develop from their understanding of issues encountered in readings and focused discussions, responding to them in writing to represent them fairly and explore available responses.  Students compose an essay or essays that support and develop a significant, enthymeme-based thesis, and they learn to make structural and rhetorical choices based both on the requirements of that thesis and on their knowledge of the audience.  They are taught to practice open-minded inquiry into ideas so that their writing will be based on honest and defensible reasoning.  They learn how clear and effective communication is a way of showing respect for one’s audience.  They learn the importance of revision in the process of written reasoning, and they learn to become better critical readers of their own and others’ prose. The purpose of this form of argumentation is not to “prove” one’s own ideas or to “win” by defeating an opponent. Rather, it is to discover the best available reasons to support one’s own ideas by examining them in relation to the competing ideas and reasoning of other people. Thus conceived, argumentation is the development and support of one’s ideas in the context of an understanding of and respect for the ideas of others.
Required Materials
  • "Curious Engagement: Writing for College" (link provided on Canvas)
  • Additional readings will be provided in web links (available in Canvas and in the syllabus)

Research is a Process (Infographic)

Research is an iterative process, meaning it's repetitive but you learn as you move forward and make changes. It's more cyclical than straightforward or linear. Use the guide navigation to learn about each of the steps of the process, and don't be afraid to jump around between steps.

The "Research is a Process" infographic: Follow the "long description" infographic link for a web accessible description.

Long description of "Research is a process" infographic for web accessibility

Thanks to IUPUI University Library for allowing remix of this graphic under a Creative Commons license.

What is Information Literacy? (video tutorial)

Check out this video from user Modern Librarian Memoirs (Vanessa Garofalo, MLIS) on YouTube for an overview of information literacy (IL).

Other Useful Guides from UO Libraries