This introductory, freshman-level course teaches students how to read perceptively and write coherently in college courses. Students learn to comprehend, critique, and respond to college readings by writing analytical essays ranging from single-source papers to evaluations of the claims and evidence in a number of readings. Typical assignments include single-source critiques and multiple-source syntheses. The course emphasizes thoughtful and responsible use of sources. May satisfy departmental and school requirements for a level-1 writing course. Prerequisites: Open only to freshmen and sophomores. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Introduces the principal concepts of writing through a study of the genre of the essay. This course includes how to conduct research and use sources thoughtfully and responsibly, and asks students to examine the intentions, strategies, and styles of selected essayists from Montaigne to the present. Prerequisites: WRTG 10600; Writing majors. 3 credits. (S,Y)
Elements and techniques of writing fiction and poetry introduced through instruction, analysis of models, experimentation, and practice. Fiction-writing techniques include developing character and plot, using dialogue, creating scenes, learning narrative structure, and acquiring narrative voice. Poetry-writing techniques include traditional poetic forms, poetic imagery, and descriptive and figurative language. Not open to students who have previously received credit for WRTG 23600 or WRTG 23800. Prerequisites: Any level-1 composition course from WRTG 10600 through WRTG 16500. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
This course will examine the role of activist poetry in social justice movements of the past and of today. Students will investigate how art is a fundamental component of citizenship and learn ways to increase its efficacy. You will write, revise, and perform your own poems in light of historical and contemporary contexts, walking in the footsteps of Civil Rights-era poets but at the same time staying current and forging new directions. Additional prose responses and analyses will be assigned. This is a Themes & Perspectives course; it does not count toward the Writing major. Prerequisites: WRTG 10600, ICSM 10800, or ICSM 11800. (IRR) 3 credits.
Prepares students to write convincing arguments by learning logical strategies for presenting and defending ideas. Introduces a variety of forms that arguments can take, emphasizing the traditional essay. Particularly recommended for students who wish to strengthen their ability to present their point of view persuasively, intelligently, and ethically. Prerequisites: Any level-1 composition course from WRTG 10600 through WRTG 16500; sophomore standing or above. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Writing essays based on analysis of students' experiences, ideas, and feelings. Emphasis is placed on narrative, descriptive, and organizational techniques, as well as development of style. Readings are intended to deepen students' understanding of their own lives and provide models for creative interpretations of their own experience. Prerequisites: Any level-1 composition course from WRTG 10600 through WRTG 16500. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Basic on-the-job writing necessary to join, manage, and promote any organization, whether profit or nonprofit. Focus is primarily on short forms: r_sum_s, memos, business letters, summaries, brochures, newsletters, press releases, informal proposals, and reports. Course also explores how various social, economic, and ethical issues affect workplace writing. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing; ICSM 10800, ICSM 11800, or WRTG 10600. (F,S,Y). 3 credits.
Fundamentals for communicating technical information to general and specialized audiences. Class emphasizes the foundations of technical writing, their formats and applications, context-specific writing strategies, basic visual design, and ethics. Some reading in and discussion of the history of technology and its influence on human society and culture. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing; ICSM 10800, ICSM 11800, or WRTG 10600. (F,E) 3 credits.
Prepares students across the disciplines to engage in inquiry-based research, examining questions relevant to their fields and interests and producing substantial formal writing in a range of research genres. Emphasizes writing and research as recursive processes. Focuses on development of effective research practices, including identifying, locating, evaluating, and integrating sources ethically and effectively. Prerequisites: ICSM 10800, ICSM 11800, or WRTG 10600. (F,S,Y). 3 credits.
Provides the training required for all peer tutors in the Writing Center. Covers citation styles, page-based tools, and how to respond effectively to changing needs of tutees. Pass/fail only. Prerequisites: WRTG 10600; permission of instructor. (IRR) 1 credit.
Intensive study of the patterns of English grammar and their influence on sentence structure, punctuation, and usage. Daily exercises in contemporary usage and writing assignments prepare students for refining their own academic prose and for editing the work of others. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing; any level-1 composition course from WRTG 10600 through WRTG 16500. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Introduction to writing research-based creative nonfiction. Readings are intended to expose students to the breadth of the nonfiction genre. Emphasis is placed on literary technique, ethics, and research. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and WRTG 10600. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Workshop in writing short fiction, emphasizing character, plot, dialogue, scene, point of view, and other elements of fiction. Students practice revision as part of the writing process. Analysis of both published and student writing. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing; WRTG 17500. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Workshop in writing poetry, in which students develop poetic strategies and practice a range of poetic forms and modes. Analysis of published models (both historical and contemporary) and student writing. A final portfolio of revised work is required. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing; WRTG 17500. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Work and study project designed by the student early in undergraduate career, in consultation with a faculty sponsor and a practicing professional. The H&S internship proposal includes learning objectives, a detailed work plan, and a description of the student's plans for reports to the faculty sponsor. Offered on demand only. May be taken up to two times. Prerequisites: Two WRTG courses. (F,S,U,Y) 1-3 credits.
Acquaints students with a range of writing-related careers and the preparation needed to achieve them. Students develop resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills; explore individual career options; and plan experiences and courses to assist in meeting their professional goals. Course features frequent visits from various writing professionals.
Prerequisites: sophomore standing; Writing major or minor. 1 credit. (F-S, Y)
Advanced course in writing memoir. Encourages students to recognize developmental patterns in their own lives and understand the social and political context of their experience. Emphasis is placed on the thematic, structural, and stylistic problems of extended narrative. Autobiographical readings are used to model the genre and address relevant issues, such as the selectivity of memory, the public presentation of the private self, and the literary value of daily life. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 20500 or WRTG 23600. 3 credits. (F or S,Y)
Advanced workplace writing concentrating on proposals and grants. Students address problems in the local community while studying the interplay among business, education, government, and nonprofits. Attentive to civic responsibility in the marketplace, this course teaches research and assessment, project management, editing, and document design. Group work emphasizes social networks and service learning. Prerequisites: Junior standing and one of the following: WRTG 20100, WRTG 21100, or WRTG 21300. 3 credits. (F-S, Y)
A public essay is a vehicle for making sense of the world, for offering commentary about it that deepens the reader's understanding and awareness of our condition. This advanced expository course provides students the occasion to write reflective literary essays on topics of public interest and significance. Students bring their own values, perspectives, insights, and voice to bear on matters of community concern. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 20100, WRTG 20500, or WRTG 23200. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Creating literature for children and young adults. In addition to studying stylistic approaches and techniques, the course addresses issues such as appropriate subject matter, writing for specific age groups, and the writer's moral responsibility. Reading assignments include classic and contemporary works, fairy tales and myths, and critical and historical essays. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 23600. (F,Y) 3 credits.
Advanced expository course in developing the skills necessary to write informative, accurate, and interesting feature articles suitable for print or online publications. Students learn interviewing and reporting skills, as well as feature genres, style, and structure. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 23200. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
An advanced workshop for students with a serious commitment to writing fiction. Builds on the work begun in WRTG 23600. Students may write short stories or longer fictional pieces. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 23600. (F-S,Y), Attributes: FA, 3 Credits
Prepares students for careers in writing, editing, and publishing. Focuses on the role of book publishers as well as literary journals and consumer magazines, both print and digital. Emphasis on the skills and responsibilities of editors, agents, and copyeditors. Assignments include individual as well as collaborative editing and publishing projects. Course may include field trips and visits from publishing professionals. Prerequisites: WRTG 22500, and one of the following: WRTG 21100, WRTG 21300, WRTG 23200, WRTG 23600, or WRTG 23800. (F)
Advanced expository course to develop experience in writing within several major genres of food writing—including recipes, reviews, essays, interview-based journalistic articles, and researched-based analytical works. Reading and analysis of a range of food writing, mostly contemporary genres, with emphasis on the essay. Stylistic concerns include description, narration, voice, tone, style, and audience. Both reading and writing will address the culture of food, past and present; and students may throughout explore the social, political, economic, and ethical role(s) of food. Course also introduces the basic steps writers take to publish in the field of food writing. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 20100, 20500 or 23200. 3 credits.
Explores theoretical and practical connections among language, literacy, and writing, focusing on research and theory that inform the field of composition and rhetoric. Explores questions such as: How are texts composed? What do accomplished readers and writers understand, and how do they develop that knowledge? How do people engage new discourses? How are authority and identity achieved in writing? How are language and literacy part of systems of power and privilege? How is technology affecting how we think, read, write, learn and share cultural resources? Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 20100; WRTG 20500. 3 credits. (F or S, Y)
Introduction to Western theories of creative writing as a means of investigating the relationships between writer, text, and world. Addresses cultural/political, psychological, philosophical, and aesthetic concerns. Students analyze their own creative work and process in the context of these theories. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 23600 or WRTG 23800; any other writing course above level 1. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
An advanced writing workshop offered each semester to coincide with the Department of Writing Distinguished Visiting Writers series. Requires 15 contact hours in meetings, conferences, and classes with both the visiting writer and the writing faculty coordinator. Students produce a 15-page revised manuscript of new work in the relevant genre over the course of the semester. May be repeated up to three times for credit. Prerequisites: Junior standing; permission of instructor. 1 credit. (F-S,Y)
Advanced independent project designed by writing majors no later than their second junior semester and relating to their particular concentration or area of interest. The project, is usually undertaken in the second semester of the student's senior year. Work in the final portfolio is evaluated by the faculty mentor. Students are encouraged but not required to give a public presentation or reading of their work during their senior year. Prerequisites: Senior standing; WRTG 32000, WRTG 33600, or WRTG 33800; WRTG 36000 or WRTG 36500; permission of writing faculty. Open to majors only. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Small group setting for intensive study of selected advanced topics not provided elsewhere in the curriculum. Seminar topics vary each semester. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Prerequisites: Senior standing; two writing courses beyond level 1, at least one of which must be at level 3; permission of instructor; additional specific prerequisites to be determined by the subject of the seminar. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)
Section 01: The Nth Draft: Methods & Approaches to Revision for Creative Writers (Vinita Prabkahar)
This Seminar will investigate the theories of, and approaches to, revision across genres. We will also focus on the culture of revision which will necessitate readings and conversations about the culture of craft. We’re often taught craft as some kind of consistent nuts & bolts, as if plot and arc and characterization and POV can be defined in only one way. We will consider the idea that craft is cultural: what we think of as plot is cultural, what we think of as arc is cultural, what we think of as characterization is cultural, and a different culture might view these elements of craft in completely different ways.
Rather than conceiving of revision as an endless series of corrections, this seminar will emphasize the many lenses of re-visioning, and the orbit of discovery involved in creating and recreating, and – in the process – what it means to really commit to the work itself. In this way, it will emphasize both process and product: we will develop a sense of narrative design and aesthetic shape, and learn how to unmold those designs and shapes, discovering the words on the page anew every time.
Section 02: Autofiction: Fiction as a Tool for Living (Jacob White)
The recent wave of autofiction suggests new possibilities for how fiction writers might approach their work. Students in this class will explore critically and creatively fiction that resists Western commitments to genre and craft in an effort become a more useful tool for authenticating human experience. Such fiction innovates new narrative forms to dramatize the often anti-narrative nature of human experience. More importantly, it dismantles assumptions of genre to open up not just exciting new aesthetic possibilities but spaces of identity historically silenced within the West’s literary and cultural landscapes.
What is authenticity in fiction, in art? Is it just another mask? How real can fiction get? And who gets to define “authenticity”? Students will pursue these questions through reading and analysis of autofiction by writers from marginalized backgrounds, progressing toward a deeper understanding of the connection between genre and current cultural realities around power. Simultaneously, students will carry out an expansive journaling project that will involve reflection and fieldwork outside of the classroom. The class will culminate in a final project that challenges students to shape their journaling project into a work of fiction that carries within it the story of why it was made, and why it was made this way—that discovers its own genre.
This advanced fiction-writing seminar offers students the opportunity to develop a short novel. The course extends previously learned narrative elements, such as characterization, plot, setting, point of view, tone, and voice, and applies them to a broader, more complex literary canvas. Students will create narratives that allow for multiple characters who interact within an expanded social context or that permit the extended exploration of a single character in considered detail. Prerequisites: Junior standing; WRTG 33600. 3 credits. (F,Y)
Work and study project designed by the student, in consultation with a faculty sponsor and a practicing professional. The proposal includes learning objectives, a detailed work plan, and a description of the student's plans for reports to the faculty sponsor. Prerequisites: Junior standing; three writing courses above level 1. Offered on demand only. Variable credit 1-6 credits; may be repeated up to 12 credits. (F-S,Y)