ENGL 1413 E1
WRITING AND READING CRITICALLY 1
In a contemporary milieu dominated by visual and social media, writing sometimes seems to be a quaint and obsolete pastime, but the reality is that being able to develop and communicate one’s ideas and perspectives effectively in writing continues to be a valuable skill in most occupations. Using literary texts as the foundation for class discussions, group work, and individual assignments, this course will take an integrated approach to the process of reading, interpreting, and writing critically. It will combine instruction in the generation and articulation of critical perspectives with sociopolitical, historical, and literary critical orientation to literary texts, sampling writing in various genres (prose, poetry, drama and the novel) from the medieval period to the present. In the process, we will work on developing the critical skills and vocabulary necessary to express ideas about these and other dimensions of literary texts. As we work on these approaches, we will also address the technical, mechanical and stylistic demands of critical writing, including the generation, drafting, and revising of essays, and the grammatical, structural and stylistic challenges of composing effective prose. This aspect of the course, however, will be largely integrated with the encounter with, and response to, the literary texts themselves. Ultimately, the aim of the course is for students to build these abilities incrementally, moving from informal responses at the beginning of the course, to an analytic essay and finally to an argumentative paper.
Tentative Course Texts:
Babington, Doug, Don LePan, Maureen Okun, The Broadview Pocket Guide to Writing, 3rd ed. (Broadview)
Kirszner, Laurie G. and Stephen R. Mandell, eds. Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing, 8th Edition (Cengage Learning)Marlowe, Christopher. Dr. Faustus (Dover)
Poe, Edgar Allan. Selected Poetry and Tales (Broadview)