This course emphasizes the theme of exploring contemporary issues through fiction; this theme is similar to MS103 and MS104, but takes a more advanced approach in that students will connect literary themes to specific contemporary issues. This semester’s main goal is to help students connect literary conflict to real life in a way that enables them to address conflict with respect. They will practice respectfully articulating their opinions and sharing perspectives in a constructive way. This theme takes inspiration from the “zoom in” and “zoom-out” principles often taught in upper-level writing (wherein “zoom in” is a careful analysis of literature and assigned texts and then a “zoom out,” is an analysis of how the text comments on broader societal trends). The course will cover academic, creative, and persuasive writing. In addition to in-class lessons students also have access to a library of video lectures intended to supplement students’ learning. Further, office hours as well as by appointment. In preparation for this course, there is a pre-class assignment!