Preface First-Year Reading and Writing Program at USC Upstate

Preface First-Year Reading and Writing Program

Preface is a first-year reading program that introduces students to the joy of reading critically and using academic disciplines and methods to approach the complex issues in our communities, nation, and world. Preface combines guided reading of a common book with special events and discussions, in which students engage questions raised by the book with university, community and national experts. We read, think, and talk together in order to see how concentrated, research-based attention to any subject can bring new solutions to light.

First-year students read the Preface text in English 101 and most University 101 courses and attend related events throughout the fall semester.

While Preface is geared primarily toward first-year students, it offers a calendar of events that are relevant to a wide range of university courses as well as the community. Events are planned in close cooperation with USC Upstate departments and organizations and are free and open to the public. 

Border Child by Michel Stone, featuring an image of a child's toy bunny lying on the groundThis fall, first-year writing students will read Border Child, a novel by Michel Stone. This award-winning author also lives in Spartanburg and published her first novel with the local Hub City Press. Border Child, which offers a sequel to Stone's Iguana Tree, explores the quest for the American dream and the nightmare of losing a child. It alternates points of view among different characters in order to tell the complicated story of past pain, present survival, and an enduring hope for the future. The events of the 2019 Preface series will explore visible and invisible borders around the world and in ourselves. 

Preface Goals

The intent of this series of programs is to help USC Upstate first-year students make connections to each other and to the university and community, to practice skills and explore ideas that contribute to success in college, and to discuss how a deeper understanding of a shared reading can inform the way we make personal decisions and influence public policy today.