Academic and Professional Writing Courses

Academic and Professional Writing: “Little Red Schoolhouse” (ENGL 13000/33000)

Academic and Professional Writing is our flagship course that has been affectionately nicknamed “Little Red Schoolhouse” (LRS). But make no mistake, LRS is an intensive, advanced writing course that helps writers learn to communicate complex and difficult material clearly to a wide variety of expert and non-expert readers.

Writing Argument (ENGL 11701)

Writing Argument is a pragmatic course in the rhetoric of arguments. The emphasis on “rhetoric” means that we won’t be asking whether an argument is internally valid; instead, we’ll look at what’s on the page, and ask why it is more or less successful in persuading readers. The emphasis on “pragmatic” means that we’ll focus mainly on your own arguments.

Writing Speeches: Reagan and Obama (ENGL 11404)

Political speechwriters and political philosophers have been known to sneer at each other: the writers see the philosophers as ivory tower dreamers; the philosophers see the writers as brainless hacks. This course will be an experiment in linking the extremely pragmatic and the extremely conceptual. Working from a few of the most successful speeches of Presidents Reagan and Obama, we will look to see how the pragmatic and the philosophical shape each other.

Writing Persuasion: Environment (ENGL 12704)

A writing-intensive course in persuasive techniques that influence opinions and attempt to change behavior. This year our focus will be on an issue that presents a challenge for persuasion theory: the environment. This course will examine how writers on environmental problems have tackled these persuasive challenges when writing for non-scientific audiences. 

Composing Composition (English 32705)

Whether you’re in the humanities, the social sciences, or the sciences, some teaching of writing may lie in your future, and preparation for this eventuality can be an important part of your job application process. This class is intended for graduate students who plan to work as teachers or who are entering the academic job market. Our goal is to give you scholarly context and practical exercises that will help prepare you for the challenges of writing-related jobs in institutional contexts ranging from large research universities to community colleges to small liberal arts schools.