ENGLISH 325 - Art of the Essay
Section: 203
Term: SU 2010
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Credits:
2
Requirements & Distribution:
ULWR
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
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:

The work of creative nonfiction gives us permission to, as the poet Emily Dickinson said, “tell the truth, but tell it slant.” This succinctly gets at the nature of this class: to develop non-fiction essays that unravel the truths of human experience using artistic elements of the creative craft to connect to our audience. Basically, our experience is the truth, and elements of craft are the slant. But underlying both craft and experience is the essayists engagement with complex interrogation. As essayists, we ultimately strive to explore the human condition through intense scrutiny of both our experience and our writing. Whether you write about your childhood or relive a road trip, tell the truth or slant it, every essay you compose for this class should necessitate a new discovery to arrive at a complex argument. Even things that might not seem mysterious should become mysterious through the essayist’s unremitting eye. Philip Lopate, the contemporary expert on the personal essay, taps into this paradox when he states, “Personal essayists are adept at interrogating their ignorance. Just as often as they tell us what they know, they ask at the beginning of an exploration of a problem what it is they don’t know—and why.”

Over the course of our the term, you will be expected to write three major essays along with many false starts, aimless lists, and other writing exercises. Though you will be required to draw mainly on personal experience to write the essays assigned in this class, we will explore a variety of essay types to understand the far-reaching possibilities of writing based on firsthand experience. In addition to memoir, we will read essays in the form of the epistolary, the meditation, the profile, the sketch, new journalism, and other more untraditional forms. Each essay you write will be shared with your peers in small group workshops and will need to go through a thorough revision process. Issues of style, tone, language, plotting, transitions, and integrating research will be common topics in this class, but the most important topic will be learning how to interrogate your experience using methods of logical analysis and complex argumentation.

ENGLISH 325 - Art of the Essay
Schedule Listing
201 (SEM)
P
70627
Open
6
 
-
MW 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: English 325 will be Permission of Instructor after the first day of class.
202 (SEM)
P
70629
Open
3
 
-
TuTh 11:00AM - 1:00PM
203 (SEM)
P
76846
Open
4
 
-
MW 4:00PM - 6:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 325 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Digital Innovation Greenhouse, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)