Have you ever wondered how a malevolent whale and an obsessive ship captain could help you write essays? In this course, we will do three things: read Herman Melville's classic novel, discuss it in global context (both that of the nineteenth century and of today), and use the variety of forms in the book to inspire a series of writing assignments. We call Moby Dick a novel, but in it Melville experiments with all kinds of genres. Some chapters read as narrative, some as essays, and others as drama. The assignments for this course — including a personal narrative, an argumentative essay, and technical writing — will be modeled on the form of various of Melville's chapters. In addition, the academic term will culminate in a well-researched, well-argumented essay of literary criticism that you will write, revise, and refine.