ENGLISH 325 - Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition
Section: 102
Term: SP 2008
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Credits:
2
Requirements & Distribution:
ULWR
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement.
Other Course Info:
F, W, Sp, Su.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Context

Your participation in this course signals a desire to exercise a degree of self-direction in choosing and developing your own topics. While analysis and argumentation may be key aspects of your writings, you will also be encouraged to take risks with exploration and style. Interdisciplinary improvisation as well as experimentation with different genres is welcomed. Personal essays, aesthetic critique, memoirs, argumentative and persuasive essays, as well as various combinations and blendings of these forms are appropriate to our mission. Unlike English 125 and 225, there will be greater latitude given to individual voice, tone, nuance, and rhythm. To this end, we will look at twelve documentary films as writing prompts. While the course has been designed for maximum flexibility in terms of topic choices, the films will fall into five thematic categories: individualism, health care, the environment, politics, and the economy. Creativity is encouraged.

Collaboration

My role is to foster a collaborative learning environment in which we explore the rhetorical methods of various authors as a way of developing our own voice. This requires that we privately, and collectively, examine ours, and the authors we read, beliefs and assumptions. Developing this attitude of critical thought is an indispensable process in adopting the values and opinions that make us who we are. Deciding how to best do this will be our overarching aim.

Essay Writing and Film

At a time of free expression in the pictorial and literary arts, Michel de Montaigne started to experiment with a different kind of prose. Seeing that this newly flexible and personal discourse defied conventional categories he coined the term “essais,” loosely translated in English as “attempts,” “trials,” or “experiments.” In our time, we might consider Justin Kaplan’s modernistic description of the essay: “How like an eel this essay creature is. It wriggles between narcissism and detachment, opinion and fact, the private party and the public meeting, omphalos and brain, analysis and polemics, confession and reportage, persuasion and provocation. All you can safely say is that it’s not poetry and it’s not fiction.” Given that the documentary genre encapsulates all of these polarities, it lends itself well to our purposes. Like the world, film is a text, and thus can be written about from a variety of perspectives; so whatever topic you choose, give free rein to your imagination.

ENGLISH 325 - Essay Writing: The Art of Exposition
Schedule Listing
101 (SEM)
P
50432
Open
10
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Note: English 325 will be Permission of the Instructor after the first day of class.
102 (SEM)
P
50433
Open
1
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Note: English 325 will be Permission of the Instructor after the first day of class.
103 (SEM)
P
50434
Open
2
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Note: English 325 will be Permission of Instructor after the first day of class.
104 (SEM)
P
50435
Open
5
 
-
MW 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Note: English 325 will be Permission of the Instructor after the first day of class.
105 (SEM)
P
51592
Open
10
 
-
TuTh 11:00AM - 1:00PM
Note: English 325 will be Permission of the Instructor after the first day of class.
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