Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

PWR Courses

Main content start

PWR offers courses that fulfill the first and second year requirement as well as advanced writing and rhetoric courses. 

Our courses include:

PWR Courses Overview

PWR 1. PWR 1 is a 4-unit course that fulfills the Writing & Rhetoric 1 requirement, which is taken by students in their first year and focuses on elements of academic analysis and source-based argument.  These include: understanding a writer’s stance, developing a supportable argumentative purpose, discovering and using effective support strategies, making appropriate organizational and stylistic choices, and understanding the expectations of a wide range of audiences.  The first few weeks of the quarter are spent introducing the basics of rhetoric and analysis. The bulk of the course focuses intensively on academic research-based writing, including identifying, evaluating, documenting, and integrating a full range of print and non-print sources into arguments.  (See also PWR 1 required assignment sequence.)

Note: PWR 1D is a special version of PWR 1 that is taught in the summer as part of Summer Session; there are sections for high school students and also a section for incoming Stanford student-athletes.

PWR 2.  PWR 2 is a 4-unit course that fulfills the Writing & Rhetoric 2 requirement, which is taken by students in their second year.  It continues PWR 1’s emphasis on analysis and research-based argument, while adding a focus on oral and multimedia communication. The centerpiece of PWR 2 is a research project that allows students to research, write, translate, and deliver an in-depth investigation on a topic. This project consists of several parts: oral research proposal, substantial written research-based essay, oral delivery of research with media support, and a final research reflection. The class is designed to allow students to conduct field-based as well as library and Internet research, to write in a wider range of genres, to focus intensively on the media they use to present their research, and to plan and deliver presentations for live audiences.  (See also PWR 2 required assignment sequence.)

PWR 5. PWR 5 is a 4-5 unit independent study course in which a student pursues an individual writing project under the guidance of a PWR instructor.  Students must have completed PWR 1 and PWR 2 to be considered for a PWR 5 and must write and submit a formal project proposal. See more information on proposing a PWR 5 course.

 PWR 6. PWR 6 is a writing workshop for collaborative, group, and individual projects guided by a specific theme or genre.  During Summer Session, PWR 6 is taught as part of the Stanford 2 to 4: Veteran's Accelerator Project.

PWR 91 is a 4 unit project-based course that focuses on a particular genre or genres and in relation to particular audiences or rhetorical situations. The course contains a strong research component, with the research argument delivered in a form other than a traditional academic essay. This course emphasizes solving problems in real-world communication situations, rather than focusing on traditional practices of the humanities (such as reading and analysis).

PWR 99A is a 1 unit course required of students enrolled in the Notation in Science Communication that introduces ePortfolios and folio thinking to NSC students. The course assists students in designing a rhetorical ePortfolio and in selecting and reflecting on writing samples that represent student learning in science communication. It is the first of a two-part ePortfolio requirement for the NSC.

PWR 99B is a 2-unit course that serves as the culminating class on ePortfolios for students in the Notation in Science Communication (NSC). In this course, students will continue building, revising, and editing a portfolio of documents, slides, and videos that will demonstrate development as a science communicator. This is the second of a two-part ePortfolio requirement for the NSC.

PWR 194 is a 4 unit course that offers advanced work in the study of theories and practices of rhetoric. Topics may include the intersections of technology and rhetoric, rhetorical practices in different time periods and locations, and major figures in the rhetorical tradition.