The Carolina Reader

Edited by Dr. Nicole Fisk with Kathleen Carroll

The Carolina Reader is the University of South Carolina publication for our ENGL 101: Critical Reading and Composition course, which is the first part of our freshman composition sequence. It is designed to assist students with learning outcomes that include identifying and differentiating among common genres of written communication; summarizing and analyzing challenging texts from a variety of genres; explaining how texts’ generic features contribute to their meanings; and reflecting critically on their own writing processes and academic goals, as well as their experiences as readers and writers. The publication is divided into four units, the first three of which are geared towards the course’s major assignments: a literacy narrative; close reading and comparative synthesis essays; and an open-genre literacy project. To accomplish these goals, students will have access to instructional materials from specialists like Andrea Lunsford on writing narratives and understanding rhetorical situations; Dave Monahan and Richard Barsam on analyzing film; and Cathy Birkenstein and Gerald Graff on entering academic conversations. The fourth unit, “Genres,” houses the dozens of texts that will inspire students’ discussion and writing over the course of the semester, which include essays and speeches; memoirs and personal narratives; short stories; novel excerpts; poetry; photography; and film. We’ve not only included commonly anthologized favorites, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (with instructional framework by our own Dr. Cynthia Davis), but also new publications like Aimee Nezhurkumatathil’s “Octopus,” Karen Russell’s “The Ghost Birds,” an excerpt from Charlotte McConaghy’s Migrations, and Martín Espada’s “Floaters.” Overall, this carefully curated collection allows instructors and students to explore such themes as childhood and coming of age; conflict and cooperation; identity; literacy; mental health; the natural world; relationships — and more!

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Source: Top Hat Student Survey Spring 2023; n = 4,146

Table of Contents for The Carolina Reader

  • Introduction — Reading, Writing, and Revising in the University
  • Unit 1 — Close Reading
  • Unit 2 — Genre Synthesis
  • Unit 3 — Literacy Narrative
  • Unit 4 — Genres
  • Signs Grammar Handbook