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Undergraduate Courses - 300-Level Courses


ENG 301: Advanced Composition

Prerequisites: ENG 101 and 212 or permission. Satisfies the general education Writing Intensive requirement.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2011, Dryer

This course is for writers who are and will be working primarily in extended academic argumentation and research, although those working in all genres will benefit from its attention to developing meta-cognition about writing practices and theories. To that end, we will be reading and writing primarily about reading and writing itself; moreover, class discussion will focus on close-reading, careful discussion, and experimental revisions to the documents students produce for the course. Consistent attendance, an ability to meet regular deadlines, a willingness to engage in collaborative work, and a commitment to becoming what Min-Zhan Lu has called “a responsible and responsive user of English” will be essential. A final course grade will be based on a portfolio of work from the entire course, as well as its author’s ability to reflect on the composing decisions and compromises that shaped its production.

Required Texts (subject to change):

  • Joseph Harris, Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts

There will also be a small course packet of articles from the field of composition studies, including but not limited to readings from David Bartholomae, Min-Zhan Lu, Roz Ivanic, and Paul Prior.

Spring 2010, Dryer

Fall 2008, Dryer

Spring 2008, Nees-Hatlen

This course focuses on stylistic choices for writers who work in creative non-fiction, academic argument, professional writing, journalism, or creative fiction. To make the best choices, writers need to stock their tool-kits with as many good options as possible, so part of this course will consist of surveying and practicing some resources the English language provides, chiefly choices in diction and in sentence- and paragraph- structure, in order to build that tool-kit. In class, we will discuss numerous short exercises in semantic, syntactic, and rhetorical choice, as well as explore the potential of these tools to meet the goals of writers in the class. Regular attendance, timely on-line submission of work, and a willingness to engage in collaborative exploration will be necessary. To choose which tools to use, each writer in the class will need a commitment to revise an existing prose work in a genre of his or her choice, and a passion for making meaning for readers and keeping their attention. Writers who want “A” grades will, in addition, need to be thinking about the style of a published writer they admire, someone working in their genre. Periodically, writers will be revising and/or analyzing their own work or that of the published writers they choose to get to know closely.


  • Joseph Williams. Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity.
  • Grace Francine Prose. Reading Like a Writer. Harper Perennial. 2007.

ENG 307: Writing Fiction

Prerequisites: ENG 205 or 206 and permission of the instructor. Satisfies the general education Writing Intensive requirement.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2011, Pratt

This is a writing and reading-intensive workshop course designed for students who have completed the 200 level creative writing course and are dedicated to honing their writing skills. Attendance is mandatory, as this is a workshop based class.

Each student will complete:

(1) Two short stories 12-20 pages each, or two 12-20 page collections of flash fiction, or an equal amount of work on a novel.

(2) A weekly response paper on an assigned short story.

(3) A four-page craft annotation on a collection of stories by a single author. This will be the only required text, and the student will be able to choose from a list of several dozen books. These will be provided the first week.  (This will be explained in detail in class and examples will be provided.)

(4) Each student will workshop two pieces.  These workshops will be conducted on the Iowa model, and all students will provide the students whose pieces are being workshopped with a one page analysis/criticism of their work and suggestions for improvement.

(5) In class prompts will be used, particularly in the first few weeks to help students begin the longer assignments and may be continued as homework.

Class will often include a short lecture on elements of craft and criticism.

Fall 2010, Alex Irvine

Spring 2010, Pratt

Fall 2009, Kress

This course will be part workshop, part exploration of the form and theory of fiction writing, with particular emphasis on language, style, and perspective.

Texts and Writing Projects: Readings will include both published fiction and essays on the practice and structure of fiction. Weekly writing will include experiments in voice, character, situation, point-of-view, etc. Students will also produce a final portfolio of 25 pages of polished fiction.

Fall 2008, Alex Irvine

ENG 308: Writing Poetry

Prerequisites: ENG 205 or 206 or 307 or permission. Satisfies the general education Writing Intensive requirement.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2011, Ellis

An intermediate level course for creative writing students who want to refine their craft in poetry, explore a range of modern and contemporary poetry, and develop an artistic practice through written exercises, discussion, and participation in the workshop process.

Required Texts:

  • Hoover, Paul, ed. Postmodern American Poetry (New York: Norton, latest edition).
  • Several shorter volumes by contemporary writers TBA.
  • Handouts as needed.

Evaluation: Letter grade based on quality and improvement of poems, earnest participation in critique of others’ work, attendance, and in-class presentations on the outside reading, public reading critiques, and a final course portfolio.

Spring 2010, Norris

Spring 2009, Norris

Spring 2008, Norris

ENG 309: Writing Creative Nonfiction (Marge Irvine)

Prerequisite: ENG 205 or 206 or 212 or permission of the instructor. Satisfies the general education Artistic & Creative Expression and Writing Intensive requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2010

Sometimes called “The Fourth Genre,” creative non-fiction uses the strategies of fiction (plot, dialog, characters, etc.) in writing about factual subjects: autobiography, biography, travel, science/nature, cultural issues, current events. We’ll read creative non-fiction and also write it.

Fall 2009

Fall 2008

ENG 315: Research Writing in the Disciplines (Dryer)

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and a declared major. Satisfies the following general education requirement(s): Writing Intensive.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2014

This is an in-depth exploration of the genre of the academic peer-reviewed research article that will establish a strong foundation for students’ future writing in their disciplines, especially those intending to pursue postgraduate study or applied research.  Using a range of research articles from different disciplines, as well as other texts, class discussion, and in- and out-of-class assignments, the course strengthens students’ analytical reading and synthetic writing skills during the preparation of a research article relevant to and in the style of their chosen field.

Students will gain an awareness of some of the differences in audience, approach, authority, and research methods relevant to different disciplines and an understanding of how the genre conventions of the peer-reviewed academic research article contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the disciplines.

ENG 317: Business & Technical Writing

Prerequisite(s): ENG 101 or equivalent; juniors and seniors in declared majors only. Satisfies the general education Writing Intensive requirement.

This course helps prepare students to communicate effectively in the workplace. Students become familiar with the processes, forms, and styles of writing in professional environments as they work on memoranda, business correspondence, instructions, proposals, reports and similar materials. Special attention is paid to the fundamental skills of problem-solving and analyzing and responding to purpose and audience. Some sections may be taught in a computer-equipped classroom and some may incorporate electronic communication, such as FirstClass

ENG 395: English Internship (Kail)

Prerequisites: ENG 101 or equivalent and at least one other writing intensive course, a recommendation from a faculty member, submission of writing sample and permission. Satisfies the general education Writing Intensive requirement.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2010

Students in English internship will learn how to become effective peer writing tutors. Students will first experience collaborative work among themselves involving essay writing, critical reading of peers’ essays, log-writing, and discussion. The second phase of the course will involve supervised peer tutoring in the English Department’s Writing Center.

Text: Ken Bruffee, A Short Course in Writing

Fall 2009

Fall 2008

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