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CAT 125 and CAT 125R

CAT 125 and CAT 125R courses (four units, every quarter) are upper-division writing and communication classes in which students focus on translating skills developed in lower-division writing courses into writing after college and public rhetoric. CAT 125R is the online version of CAT 125; only one of these two courses must be taken to fulfill the upper-division writing requirement. Students must have completed the lower-division writing sequence—CAT 1, CAT 2, and CAT 3—in order to enroll in CAT 125 or CAT 125R.

Learning Objectives

CAT 125 students work towards these goals:

  • Practice reflective strategies for reading, watching, listening, and writing.

  • Develop proficiency in public presentation, documentation, and curation.

  • Examine authority as a writer and how authority in authorship works in terms of race, gender, and sexuality.

  • Understand and employ various rhetorical strategies appropriately.

  • Clearly direct written, spoken, and digital compositions to multiple and diverse audiences.

Winter 2023 Courses

Beginning in Winter 2023, CAT 125 and CAT 125R courses will be taught in small seminars of twenty students. All seminars will be structured around the course description below.

In this public rhetoric and practical communication course, we will use media narratives from stand-up to documentary film and television episodes to explore how we tell our personal, professional, and political stories. The narratives we'll engage with, from Nanette to Gloria Andalúa's writings and the 1619 Project, will situate personal stories, research, and expertise within broader histories and geopolitics, mobilizing rhetorical devices from humor and emotion to lighting and costuming. The texts we watch will serve as (fun, hopefully) springboards to discuss different topics and rhetorical strategies and how to play with those same strategies in our own self-presentation.

The course will be part discussion and part writing workshop, driving towards helping you think through your future plans from graduation to life after college, from graduate school to getting a job you want/like. Part of this will entail using reflective strategies for reading, watching, and listening rhetorically, i.e. being mindful of contexts, messages, and audiences. You will also practice several modes of rhetorical speaking and writing, making decisions about content and structure to inform, persuade, or tell a story, and ultimately support you as you hone your voice and style. Finally you will develop strategic plans, turn your goals into actions, and discuss and develop a work-life balance. Exercises and assignments are loosely structured so as to allow you to compose texts that will support your present and/or future-life hopes and goals, while highlighting different stages of the writing process, from pre-writing and drafting to peer review and collaborative revision.