Stanford Introductory Studies
Stanford Introductory Studies (SIS) offers courses taught by faculty from across the seven Schools of the University and by SIS Lecturers. Some of these courses satisfy University Requirements (THINK, WAYS, and the Writing and Rhetoric Requirement) while others are electives especially designed for first- and second-year students, including Introductory Seminars. September Seminars (Sophomore College, Arts Intensive) and Bing Honors College expand SIS curricular opportunities for students. The Hume Center for Writing and Speaking, which manages writing and oral communication services such as tutorials and workshops for all students, also resides in SIS, along with the Oral Communication Program and the Stanford Storytelling Project.
Faculty Director: Russell A. Berman, Comparative Literature and German Studies
Director, Stanford Introductory Studies for Thinking Matters : Ellen Woods
Associate Director: Parna Sengupta
Affiliated Faculty: Julie Baker (Genetics), Chris Bobonich (Philosophy), Gordon Chang (History), Cari Costanzo (Anthropology), Mark Cullens (School of Medicine), Adrian Daub (German Studies), Larry Diamond (FSI and Hoover), Russ Fernald (Biology), Shelley Fisher Fishkin (English), James Fishkin (Communications), Marisa Galvez (French and Italian), Margot Gerritsen (Energy Resource Engineering), Robert Harrison (French and Italian), Allyson Hobbs (History), Adam Johnson (English), Pam Karlan (School of Law), Ari Kelman (School of Education), Jeff Kosseff (Civil and Environmental Envineering), Joseph Lipsick (School of Medicine), David Lummus (French and Italian), David Magnus (School of Medicine), Peter Michelson (Physics), Ian Morris (Classics), Josiah Ober (Political Science), Rob Reich (Political Science), Thomas Ryckman (Philosophy), Gabriella Safran (Slavic), Scott Sagan (Political Science), Anna Schulz (Music), Jane Shaw (Religious Studies), Abraham Verghese (School of Medicine), Blakey Vermeule (English), Bang Wan (East Asian Languages and Cultures), Allen Weiner (School of Law).
Lecturers: Marie Burks, Justin Clardy, Risa Cromer, Tara Dosumu Diener, Kyle Fruh, Rob Furrow, Nicole Gounalis, Sean Hallowell, Kristyn Hara, Angela Harris, Sarah Hillenbrand, Lauren Hirshberg, Arezoo Islami, Erin Johnston, Zenia Kish, Katie Lennard, Minh Ly, Tiffany Naiman, Joey Nelson, Jehnna Ronan, Lupita Ruiz-Jones, Saumya Sankaran, Elise Stickles, Tim Wiser, Chenshu Zhou, Ian Zuckerman.
Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail code: 3068
Phone: (650) 723-0944
Web Site: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/thinking-matters
Thinking Matters courses are listed under the subject code THINK on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site .
Thinking Matters offers courses that satisfy the one quarter freshman requirement. Taught by faculty from a wide range of disciplines and fields, the Thinking Matters (THINK) requirement helps students develop the ability to ask rigorous and genuine questions that can lead to scientific experimentation or literary interpretation or social policy analysis. Through the study of these questions and problems, students develop critical skills in interpretation, reasoning, and analysis as well as enhance capacities for writing and discussion. The THINK requirement may be satisfied in one of three ways:
- Thinking Matters courses:
- a one quarter, 4-unit course taught by Academic Council faculty.
- Education as Self-Fashioning courses: ESF
- a one quarter (Autumn), 7-unit course that satisfies both the Thinking Matters Requirement and the first-year Writing Requirement. For information on the program, faculty, and instructors, see the "ESF" section of this bulletin.
- Integrated Learning Environments: ITALIC, and SLE
- a three quarter, residence-based learning experience, which satisfies the THINK requirement, two of the University Writing and Rhetoric requirements, and selected General Education Requirements. For information regarding the three residence-based programs, faculty, and instructors, see the "ILE" section of this bulletin.
Thinking Matters Courses Offered in 2017-18
Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR)
Faculty Director: Adam Banks
Director, Stanford Introductory Studies for PWR: Marvin Diogenes
Associate Director: Christine Alfano
Director, Hume Center for Writing & Speaking: Zandra Jordan
Associate Director, Hume Center for Writing & Speaking: Sarah Pittock
Director, Oral Communication Program: Doree Allen
Director, Stanford Storytelling Project: Jonah Willihnganz
Lecturers: Christine Alfano, Paul Bator, Angela Becerra Vidergar, Shaleen Brawn, Tessa Brown, Russ Carpenter, Erica Cirillo-McCarthy, Kevin DiPirro, Erik Ellis, Norah Fahim, Megan Formato, Thomas Freeland (Oral Comm), Wendy Goldberg, Alex Greenhough (ITALIC), Arturo Heredia, Shannon Hervey, Donna Hunter, Jennifer Johnson, Chris Kamrath, Valerie Kinsey, Clara Lewis, Helen Lie (Oral Comm), Kimberly Moekle, Gabrielle Moyer, Ashley Newby, John Peterson, Sarah Pittock, Emily Polk, Becky Richardson, Carolyn Ross, Kim Savelson, Tesla Schaeffer, Selby Schwartz, Ruth Starkman, Jennifer Stonaker, Mary Stroud, Lisa Swan, Kathleen Tarr, Jake Warga (Storytelling), Ann Watters, Cassie Wright.
Fellows: Jakeya Caruthers, Samah Elbelazi, Lindsey Felt, Mark Gardiner, Brian Kim, Andrea Kortenhoven, Raechel Lee, Lauren Oakes, Jamie O'Keeffe, Mackenzie Russell, Irena Yamboliev.
Offices: Sweet Hall, Third Floor
Courses offered by the Program in Writing and Rhetoric are listed under the subject code PWR on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site. Courses offered by the Oral Communication Program within PWR are listed under the subject code ORALCOMM. Please see below for more information about the Oral Communication Program.
The Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) designs and teaches courses that meet the Writing and Rhetoric requirement for undergraduates at Stanford as well as intermediate and advanced writing and rhetoric classes. For more information on the requirement, see the "Writing and Rhetoric Requirement" page on the PWR website.
PWR courses engage students in rhetorical analysis of texts and research-based argument. Students in PWR courses learn and practice time-tested rhetorical principles to gain increasing control over the intellectual and stylistic elements of their writing; they learn to analyze the persuasive strategies of others and to apply those insights to their own writing.
Toward these ends, PWR 1 focuses on elements of academic argument: understanding a writer's stance; developing an argumentative thesis; discovering, developing, and deploying cogent proofs; making appropriate organizational and stylistic choices; and understanding the expectations of varied audiences. The course emphasizes research-based writing, including the effective use of primary and secondary sources and data based on fieldwork. Students enrolled in PWR 1 carry out significant research and use it as the basis for a persuasive research-based argument.
PWR 2 further develops students' skills in writing and the oral presentation of research, emphasizing the ongoing development of content, organization, and style. The course addresses the dynamic interdependence of writing and speaking, as well as the importance of visual and multimedia elements in the effective presentation of research. Students enrolled in PWR 2 have opportunities to draft and revise written assignments and oral presentations as well as opportunities to present the results of scholarly inquiry, with an emphasis on how to work purposefully and well with a variety of presentation media.
As a general rule, students complete a minimum of three major assignments in both PWR 1 and 2. Written assignments vary from 5 to 15 pages in length, and students work intensively on revising each piece of writing. Oral presentation assignments vary from 3 to 10 minutes in duration, and students have an opportunity to rehearse and revise major presentations. All assignments involve analyzing a range of texts as well as identifying, evaluating, and using multiple sources in support of research-based arguments. In-class work focuses on how to read with an increasingly critical eye, how to utilize a range of generative writing and revision activities, and how to identify, evaluate, integrate, and cite sources effectively.
Writing and Rhetoric classes enroll no more than 15 students; consistent participation is crucial. In-class activities include close reading and analysis of texts, drafting and revising parts of assignments, and responding to the writing of peers; in-class workshops are augmented by a minimum of three individual or small group conferences with the PWR instructor during the quarter.
The Writing and Rhetoric requirement includes courses at three levels.
- The first-level course, taken in the first year, can be completed in PWR or Integrated Learning Environments, including Structural Liberal Education (SLE) and Immersion in the Arts: Living in Culture (ITALIC), or by completion of the Education as Self-Fashioning (ESF) course; the curriculum emphasizes analysis and research-based argument.
- The second-level course, to be completed by the end of the sophomore year, is a writing and oral/multimedia presentation course taught by the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. Completion of Structured Liberal Education also fulfills this requirement. Introductory Seminars certified by the Writing and Rhetoric Governance Board satisfy the second-level Writing and Rhetoric Requirement (WRITE 2). Courses offered as Introductory Seminars require an additional application form; see the Introductory Seminars web site.
- The third-level course is a Writing in the Major (WIM) course taught in each major, providing students with systematic opportunities to develop skills for writing in their chosen fields. A list of certified WIM courses may be found in the table of "Undergraduate Major Unit Requirements" of this bulletin. WIM course descriptions may be found under individual department and program sections.
The sequence of required courses provides a coordinated approach responsive to how students mature as writers, researchers, and presenters during their undergraduate years. At each level, students develop greater sophistication in conducting inquiry and producing scholarly work in progressively more specific disciplinary contexts.
Before the term in which students enroll in the first two levels of the requirement, they review course descriptions on the PWR Courses webpage. After reviewing the offerings, students submit a list of top choices, and the PWR office assigns students to courses based on these preferences.
Students wishing to pursue advanced work in Writing and Rhetoric may enroll in electives offered by PWR. Topics vary; further information may be found in the PWR section of the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site or on the PWR advanced courses web page. PWR also offers courses culminating in a Notation in Science Communication. For more information, visit the webpage.
Hume Center for Writing and Speaking
Location: Building 250
Mail Code: 2085
Phone: (650) 723-0045
Web Site: http://hume.stanford.edu
The Hume Center for Writing and Speaking (Hume Center) works with all Stanford writers to help them develop rich and varied abilities in every aspect of writing and oral communication. In one-to-one sessions, Hume writing consultants help students get started on assignments; address and overcome writer's block or performance anxiety; learn strategies for revising and editing; and understand academic conventions in their fields. Hume emphasizes support for students' writing, oral presentations, and multimedia compositions for PWR, Thinking Matters, and Introductory Seminars while also serving all Stanford undergraduates through individual and group tutorials, workshops, and seminars. The Hume Center also works with students in Writing in the Major (WIM) courses and students writing Honors theses. Other events hosted by the Center include performances for Parents Weekend and Admit Weekend. For further details, see the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking web site.
Oral Communication Program
Web Site: http://speakinghelp.stanford.edu
The Oral Communication Program provides opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students to develop or improve their oral communication skills. Courses and workshops offer a comprehensive approach to speech communication, including training in the fundamental principles of public speaking and the effective delivery of oral presentations. The goal is to enhance students' general facility and confidence in oral expression. The program also provides innovative discipline-based instruction to help students refine their personal speaking styles in small groups and classroom settings.
Student Writing and Oral Communication Tutors
Students with a passion for writing and/or public speaking are encouraged to apply to become writing or oral communication tutors (OCTs); the application process takes place each January, and for those students chosen to serve as writing tutors or OCTs, we offer a required training practicum in Spring Quarter.
PWR Courses Offered in 2017-18
- PWR 1 Courses
- PWR 2 Courses
Oral Communication Courses Offered in 2017-18
Advanced PWR Courses
Prerequisites: PWR 1 and PWR 2.
|Courses in the Social and Racial Justice track|
|PWR 91MC||Intermediate Writing : Activist Rhetoric||4|
|PWR 194KT||Topics in Writing & Rhetoric: The Last Hopi On Earth: The Rhetoric of Entertainment Inequity||4|
|PWR 194SS||Topics in Writing & Rhetoric: Making Rhetoric Matter: Human Rights at Home||4|
|Courses in the Science Communication track|
|PWR 91NSC||Intermediate Writing: Introduction to Science Communication||4|
|PWR 91EC||Intermediate Writing: Farmers, Scientists, & Activists: Public Discourse of Food Economies||4|
|PWR 91CL||Intermediate Writing: Self & Science||4|
|PWR 194MF||Topics in Writing & Rhetoric: In the Margins: Race, Gender and the Rhetoric of Science||4|
|PWR 99A||Portfolio Preparation I||1|
|PWR 99B||Portfolio Preparation II||2|
|PWR 5||Independent Writing||1-5|
|PWR 6||Writing Workshop||1-3|
Education as Self-Fashioning
Director: Dan Edelstein (French and Italian)
Faculty: Dan Edelstein (French and Italian), Margot Gerritsen (Energy Resource Engineering), Andrew Hall (Political Science), Robert Harrison (French and Italian), Blair Hoxby (English), Caroline Hoxby (Economics), Andrea Nightingale (Classics), Ken Taylor (Philosophy).
Writing Instructor: Brandon Bark, Megan Formato, Biliana Kassabova, Valerie Kinsey, Friederike Knuepling, Sarah Perkins, Ruth Starkman, Ian Tewksbury.
Offices: Sweet Hall, Second Floor
Mail Code: 94305-3068
Phone: (650) 723-0944
Web Site: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/programs/education-self-fashioning-esf
Education as Self-Fashioning (ESF) is a unique opportunity offered only in the autumn quarter, since its aim is to introduce entering students to a liberal education. The six courses provide you with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member in a seminar-style setting while simultaneously completing your first-year writing requirement. In ESF, we consider writings about education by intellectuals working in various fields, with the aim of articulating different ways that education can be used to structure one’s thinking, one’s self, and ultimately one’s life as a whole. You will grapple with this issue in dialogue with fellow students and faculty from across a wide range of disciplines — from the humanities and social sciences through the natural sciences and mathematics.
The ESF program satisfies both the Thinking Matters and the PWR1 requirement. ESF is a set of linked seminars related to the general theme expressed in the course title. Six seminars, each with a different focus, meet separately as discussion classes led by the faculty; all ESF students also come together for a plenum session or large lecture each week. Each seminar coordinates writing instruction with the course theme in specially designated writing sections.
The three components of ESF are described below. ESF counts as a 7-unit course.
- A seminar with a faculty member that meets once per week for at least 75 minutes.
- A section with a writing instructor that meets for sessions of 110 minutes twice per week.
- A lecture series that will meet once-a-week featuring prominent intellectuals. These lectures are required for students enrolled in ESF.
ESF Courses Offered in Autumn 2017-18
Faculty Director: Russell Berman, Comparative Literature and German Studies
Director, Stanford Introductory Studies for Introductory Seminars: Ellen Woods
Associate Director: Dayo Mitchell
Faculty: More than 200 faculty from the Schools of Humanities & Sciences; Engineering; Law; Medicine; Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; and the Graduate Schools of Business and Education
The Introductory Seminars program offers more than 200 small classes for first- and second-year students taught by faculty from across the seven Schools of the University. Professors teach subjects drawn from their research and scholarship and engage students in deep investigation of important questions and issues. Seminars require little or no formal background, and welcome first-year students and sophomores to Stanford’s intellectual community.
Many seminars satisfy the Ways Breadth Requirements, and several meet the second-level Writing and Rhetoric Requirement (Writing 2). There is no limit on the total number of seminars a student may take. Most seminars are filled through an online selection and pre-enrollment process. Seminars that have space available are open for self-enrollment in Axess, with preference to first- and second-year students. For information about online sign-up and enrollment, see the Introductory Seminars web site.
Sign-up deadlines for each quarter are at 11:59 p.m. on:
- Autumn Quarter: August 30, 2017
- Winter Quarter: October 15, 2017
- Spring Quarter: January 28, 2018
Introductory Seminars Courses Offered in 2017-18
Sophomore College (SoCo) offers rising sophomores who share a passion for an area of study an opportunity to meet daily in seminar-size classes with Stanford faculty for lecture and discussion; students may also work in labs, participate in community-based learning, go on field trips, and engage in a range of other activities that facilitate in-depth mentoring relationships. Held before the start of students’ sophomore year, this residential program encourages academic and social connections and transforms classes into intellectual communities, helping participants establish rich relationships with peers and faculty that extend beyond graduation. Seminars are for 2 credits; the Sophomore College program fee covers tuition, room, board, books, and class-required travel arranged by the program. Financial assistance is available. You can view the on-line catalog and learn more about SoCo at the Sophomore College web site.
The Arts Intensive (AI) Program offers rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to study intensively with Stanford arts faculty and small groups of other Stanford students. The Arts Intensive program takes place over three weeks in September before the start of Autumn Quarter.
Arts Intensive courses engage students in the theory and practice of a particular artistic discipline. Courses often include field trips, workshops, film screenings, studio sessions, or other arts events in the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. Courses are taught by Stanford arts faculty and often include contributions from professional visiting artists. Arts Intensive students live together in a Stanford residence during the program, making for a rich immersion into a creative community. This unique opportunity allows students to focus on their art practice without the constraints of other coursework. Enrollment is by application and takes place in Spring Quarter for the upcoming September program. Each Arts Intensive course enrolls 10 to 20 students and offers 2 units of academic credit. For more information or to apply, see the Arts Intensive web site.
Bing Honors College
Bing Honors College brings students working on the early phases of their honors theses back to campus in early September, and gives them three weeks before the start of Autumn Quarter during which they can think, read, plan, research, and write.
With the support of faculty leaders and graduate students from participating departments and programs, students work on what they need, such as narrowing down a topic, improving research skills, making a timeline, writing a literature review, starting a chapter, collecting or sorting data, etc. This opportunity to focus solely on their theses helps the students to begin their senior year with a sense of direction and intellectual purpose, a commitment to their scholarship, and concrete progress on their projects. The College provides room and board. It also sponsors cross-disciplinary forums, such as writing workshops and faculty-led research panels, as well as residential activities and a closing celebratory event for all the students and their faculty leaders.
If you are a prospective honors student interested in joining Bing Honors College, please contact your department to find out whether it is participating. If your department is not participating but your adviser is willing to nominate you, the College will try to place you with a BHC leader who will provide you with the necessary support and guidance.