Welcome to Humanities Core
It may be a bit disorienting to enter Humanities Core in the middle of the year, as most students have already accustomed themselves to the course in fall quarter. But we offer a number of resources to help you with the transition:
- First, your seminar leader is an invaluable resource in connecting you to previous course materials. Visit your instructor in office hours!
- Humcore Peer Tutors complete all course readings and can help you with both reading and writing in this course. Sign up for a session on the Humcore website.
- Our first Friday Forum will help new students transition into Humcore. Please attend!
- This page is designed to help contextualize what we have covered in the fall, offer you some of the vocabulary that we commonly use, and help you navigate the logistics of the course.
- Take time to browse the Humcore website.
- Be sure to check Winter quarter’s lecture schedule to inform yourself about course readings being covered in lecture, campus holidays, events, and resources available to you.
- You are enrolled in two classes: Writing (4 units) and Lecture (4 units). For your Lecture class, you will attend two lectures a week. The MW 9:00 and 11:00 lectures take place in BS3 1200; the TTH 9:30 lecture takes place in HIB 100.
- You should treat lecture like another text for this course: take careful notes and be prepared to discuss lecture materials in your seminar section.
- Your lecture grade will consist of a midterm, a final, and participation. All written work will be completed in your seminar classroom–not in the lecture hall.
- The Writing class takes place in your seminar classroom. There you will discuss lecture, course texts, and writing assignments. All assignments for both classes–Writing and Lecture–are detailed on your seminar leader’s syllabus and are graded by your seminar leader.
- All add and drop requests must be processed by the Core Office (HIB 185). You are responsible for filing this paperwork, as enrollment changes are not automatic.
- Your course texts can be found in two places: 1) books are available at the bookstore (these are listed at the top of the Winter Schedule) and 2) some readings have been electronically linked to the Winter Schedule on the main website. Please ask your instructor for the password to these texts.
The first assignment of the quarter is one that most students started in the Fall: The Blog. You will need to set up a website as soon as possible. If you don’t have experience writing blogs, don’t worry! Setting up a website is easy work. But, before doing so:
- Read the Blog Assignment and the Writer’s Handbook chapter “Blogging and Web Design.”
- Look at some examples, and then create your own. We recommend creating a free, anonymous blog on WordPress.com.
- If you are having difficulty, attend the blog workshop designed for students.
The academic essays you write for Humanities Core are distinguished by the disciplines that you practice. In the Fall, for example, students wrote a Literary Analysis essay and a Visual Analysis essay. This quarter you will be writing a Historical Analysis and a Comparative Analysis.
Each of these assignments requires slightly different abilities because each discipline asks different questions, looks at different evidence, and conforms to different conventions. The “Writing Process and Goals” link on each of your writing prompts helps you think about the writing process for each assignment.
Your writing abilities, moreover, are designed to build upon one another over the course of the year. For your Historical Analysis essay this quarter, for example, you will be drawing on literary and visual analysis skills that were the focus of the Fall writing assignments. In order for you to understand these ways of reading, review your Writer’s Handbook, which is a guide for writing in the disciplines.
Other parts of the Writer’s Handbook that will be important for you to review are those that help you with organizing and developing your writing (for example, the chapters on writing paragraphs and transitions). These provide you with a vocabulary that we use regularly in Humcore and will continue to use throughout the year. Here are some important writing terms to look up in your Writer’s Handbook:
- Arguable Claims
- Research Questions
- Primary Sources
- Secondary Sources
Each quarter, you learn and hone research strategies that you will incorporate into your writing. Our librarian, Dr. Matt Roberts, leads workshops that help you use the libraries and electronic resources, locate primary sources, and evaluate secondary sources. His fall workshop is available online, on the Fall quarter calendar. Please review that workshop before attending the library workshops this quarter, which are developed to help you with your essay assignments. Should you have any research questions, you can also browse our Humanities Core Library Guide, on which Dr. Roberts has contact information.
Should you have any concerns or challenges requiring additional support–whether it be disability services, support for undocumented students, LGBT resources, sexual assault support, veteran’s support, mental health services, etc.–we can help connect you to campus resources. Humanities Core regularly updates a list of these resources on the main website, under “UCI Action and Support.” You can also contact our program staff in HIB 185 or Larisa Castillo, HC Writing Director, in HIB 188.