Upper Division Writing Courses: Spring 2012

287. Tutoring Writing (Professor Ryan Shirey)

Introduction to composition theory and rhetoric, with a special emphasis on one-to-one tutoring techniques. Students analyze their own writing process and experiences, study modern composition theory, and practice tutoring techniques in keeping with these theories. Strongly recommended for those interested in working in the Writing Center as peer tutors. Also listed as EDU 387. A student may not receive credit for both EDU 387 and ENG 287.

397. Creative Nonfiction Workshop: Writing the Environmental Essay (Professor Paul Bogard)

Combining science, adventure, storytelling, and reflection, the contemporary environmental essay seeks to speak to the pressing issues of today’s world with urgency and beauty, asking of both writer and reader, “How shall we live?” In this course, we will look for answers through reading, discussing, and writing this varied and vibrant genre. We will sample canonical and contemporary examples to gain a sense of the history and craft of the genre, then workshop our own efforts, focusing especially on personal essay and narrative journalism. (Elective in the Major)

399. Expository Writing: Written Language in a Digital Era (Professor Laura Aull)

The ways we use texts and language are changing rapidly, and we are surrounded by commentary to this effect. But how much, and in what ways, are rhetorical and linguistic practices actually evolving? Though popular media proffers frequent answers to these questions, we have much to learn from actual language practices in our contemporary moment, explorations—even across thousands of texts—which are now possible, thanks to computer-aided (corpus linguistic) tools. Using these tools and rhetorical theories of language use, we can analyze written language across a great variety of contexts in sophisticated ways: we can consider the impact of recurring, typified patterns as well as the linguistic, social shifts that make language evolve.

In Eng 399 Advanced Expository Writing: Written Language in a Digital Era, we will explore these and related issues through rhetorical theory and corpus linguistic analysis methods. Our explorations will lead to ways of questioning a variety of familiar and unfamiliar texts, both academic and popular. Throughout the course, students will read scholarly and popular debates about written language as well as empirical studies of language use; they will analyze academic writing across disciplines as well as their own writing with the help of online corpora; and they will ultimately create and analyze their own corpus of digitally-mediated texts. NOTE: This course does not count toward the Journalism Minor. (Elective in the Major)

  • Resources and texts used include:
  • Google Books corpus
  • Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)
  • Jstor corpus (Jstor Data for Research function)
  • Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World by Naomi Baron (Oxford U P)
  • Txting: the Gr8 Db8 by David Crystal (Oxford U P)
  • Coursepacket