English Writing

Catherine S. Cox, Grammar, Usage, and Style, Fall 2018

Course Objectives:

EngWrt 1130 is designed to offer interested students an opportunity to master English grammar, usage, and style at the college level and to appreciate the written expression of the language more attentively and comprehensively. We will build upon a foundation of solid language skills and strive to become more proficient readers and writers. Enrollment in EngWrt 1130 presupposes academic skills appropriate for an upper-level writing course, including a college-level literacy and facility with Standard English (hence the EngCmp prerequisite), as well as an active and open-minded interest in reading, thinking, speaking, and writing about language and related topics.

Materials Needed:

There is one assigned textbook: Rules for Writers (Hacker and Sommers, 8th edition). We will be using this almost daily - for class, exercise, exam prep, and paper purposes. Additional required exercises and readings will be distributed in class and/or posted to the CourseWeb (as announced). You will need to take notes during class, to provide handwritten responses to exercise and exam questions, and to prepare out-of-class assignments as directed. Be sure your Pitt email is activated/forwarded for important batch announcements pertaining to assignments and class meetings if/as necessary.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Introduction to Professional Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

In this introductory-level course you will learn how to structure and develop writing in and about the profession you wish to pursue when you graduate from college. Proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and formatting will be expected and clear writing required; stylish prose will be encouraged within these bounds. Classroom instruction, careful attention to the professional samples, various written exercises completed during class time, and one on one conferences will help you learn the basics of professional prose. You will complete five out-of-class assignments that will focus on writing for print or for an online audience. You will also write in the classroom on occasion, to demonstrate your understanding of professional forms of writing.

Required Texts:

A few short primary readings will be handed out in the classroom; others will be available on Courseweb. You will need to print these and have them ready in the classroom; we’ll be looking closely at formal expression in these documents, so be ready to look at sentences, paragraphs, and images. We will also work with material in The Elements of Style, a guide to clear, concise writing used in professional settings. You should compile information for your assignments through a variety of methods: reading, observing, interviewing, and analyzing. You will be directed to sources that will help you research your profession and the kinds of writing you will regularly encounter.

Michael W. Cox, Advanced Fiction Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

In this course you will practice writing literary fiction based on things you have lived through, observed first-hand, or deeply imagined. Literary fiction tends to be more character-based than plot-oriented; other important literary elements include a believable setting, a strictly observed point of view, and the use of scene or half-scene. We will consider ways of turning raw material into unified, coherent fictions. We will also study published examples of contemporary literary fiction, parsing these short stories for style, meaning, and technique. Stylish writing will be encouraged, though not at the expense of proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, or presentation. Careful attention to the published readings, thoughtful application during the exercises, and civil participation in workshops will also help you develop successful literary prose.

Required Texts:

The Art and Craft of Fiction [2e] should be available at the campus bookstore. (The first edition also works, if by chance you already own it, but you will need to track down two stories.) Other professional readings will be made available online (print them and bring them to class) for all assignment days and distribution days. Be sure to bring your Kardos book to class on discussion days and exercise days. Read the stories in advance of class; consider the emotional or intellectual impact of the story and be alert for stylistic innovation.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Technical Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

In this class you will write letters, resumes, memos, proposals, and reports, key forms of writing used in the workplace. You will determine the content of your assignments by collecting and refining information on employers in your field. Near the end of the term, you will speak briefly to the class about your research. Proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and formatting will be expected and clear writing required at all times. Classroom instruction, careful attention to the course textbook and other readings, individual conferences, and a variety of exercises will help you learn the basics of technical communication for the workplace. You will complete four out-of-class assignments across the term and give a five-minute oral report at the end of the course. Exercises and conferences will also determine part of your grade.

Required Texts:

Pfeiffer's Pocket Guide to Technical Communication, 5th edition, is available at the UPJ bookstore. It will serve as a basic book of workplace prose. Readings will be posted on Blackboard for you to print, read, and bring to class for discussion. Exercises will test your understanding of the material.

Syllabus: 

Wil Fine, Technical Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:
ENGWRT 1192, Technical Writing, serves students who are preparing for careers in the sciences and applied sciences, and business. This advanced course in writing familiarizes students with the discourse practices prized in their fields and helps them to manage those practices effectively in their written work.

Required Text:

 Tebeaux, Elizabeth and Sam Dragga. The Essentials of Technical Communication. New York: Oxford, 2018. (9780190856144)
 Wolfe, Joanna. Team Writing. Boston: Bedford, 2010. (9780312565824)

IMPORTANT: All supplemental material found on CourseWeb and/or distributed in class is presented for use solely by enrolled members of this course. Further reproduction or distribution of this material is expressly prohibited. To do so is in violation of U.S. copyright law (see Fair Use and the TEACH Act of 2002).

Syllabus: 

Wil Fine, Technical Writing, Summer 2018

Course Description:
ENGWRT 1192, Technical Writing, serves students who are preparing for careers in the sciences and applied sciences, and business. This advanced course in writing familiarizes students with the discourse practices prized in their fields and helps them to manage those practices effectively in their written work.
Required Text:
Pearsall, Thomas E. The Elements of Technical Writing. Boston: Longman, 2010. (9780205583812)
IMPORTANT: All supplemental material found on CourseWeb and/or distributed in class is presented for use solely by enrolled members of this course. Further reproduction or distribution of this material is expressly prohibited. To do so is in violation of U.S. copyright law (see Fair Use and the TEACH Act of 2002).

Syllabus: 

Bethany Goch, Poetry Writing, Spring 2018

Course Description:

Through writing exercises, close and extensive reading of modern and contemporary poetry, and intense revision of their own poetry, students will be introduced to the forms, elements, and techniques of poetry writing.

What is a poem? Emily Dickinson famously wrote “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” What is the purpose of a poem? William Carlos Williams said in a poem, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Is poetry important? Is there a role for poets and poetry in the year 2018? In this course, you will ask and attempt to answer these questions as you read and discuss poetry and begin writing your own original poems.

You will be asked to read and write every class, respond to the work of published authors as well as your peers, think critically about the formal components poems, thoughtfully draft and revise your own work, and, most importantly, think of yourself as a writer.

Text:

A Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry by Mary Oliver

Syllabus: 
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Bethany Goch, Creative Nonfiction Writing, Spring 2018

Course Description:

This course introduces students to the art and practice of creative nonfiction prose, including personal essay, memoir, and literary journalism. Students will explore the unique possibilities of the genre by reading and studying modern and contemporary authors, and composing and revising a variety of creative writing assignments. You will be asked to read and write every class, respond to the work of published authors as well as your peers, think critically about the formal components of creative nonfiction, thoughtfully draft and revise your own work, and, most importantly, think of yourself as a writer.

(from David Foster Wallace’s Spring 2008 Creative Nonfiction Workshop syllabus)
“The term’s [creative nonfiction] constituent words suggest a conceptual axis on which these sorts of prose works lie. As nonfiction, the works are connected to actual states of affairs in the world, are “true” to some reliable extent. If, for example, a certain event is alleged to have occurred, it must really have occurred; if a proposition is asserted, the reader expects some proof of (or argument for) its accuracy. At the same time, the adjective creative signifies that some goal(s) other than sheer truthfulness motivates the writer and informs her work. This creative goal, broadly stated, may be to interest readers, or to instruct them, or to entertain them, to move or persuade, to edify, to redeem, to amuse, to get readers to look more closely at or think more deeply about something that’s worth their attention. . . or some combination(s) of these. Creative also suggests that this kind of nonfiction tends to bear traces of its own artificing; the essay’s author usually wants us to see and understand her as the text’s maker. This does not, however, mean that an essayist’s main goal is simply to “share” or “express herself” or whatever feel-good term you might have got taught in high school. In the grown-up world, creative nonfiction is not expressive writing but rather communicative writing. And an axiom of communicative writing is that the reader does not automatically care about you (the writer), nor does she find you fascinating as a person, nor does she feel a deep natural interest in the same things that interest you. The reader, in fact, will feel about you, your subject, and your essay only what your written words themselves induce her to feel. An advantage of the workshop format is that it will allow you to hear what [a group of] intelligent adults have been induced to think and feel about each essay you write for the course.”

Text:

To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate

Syllabus: 

Bethany Goch, Introduction to Creative Writing, Spring 2018

Course Description:

This course offers students an introductory study of the written arts. Through the close reading of modern and contemporary texts and guided experimentation in a variety of genres (e.g. poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction), students will examine, explore, and discuss the creative process.

You will be asked to read and write every class, respond to the work of published authors as well as your peers, think critically about the formal components of the genres of creative writing, thoughtfully draft and revise your own work, and, most importantly, think of yourself as a writer.

Text:

Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, Burroway, 4th edition

William J. Fine, Technical Writing, Spring 2018

Course Description:

ENGWRT 1192, Technical Writing, serves students who are preparing for careers in the sciences and applied sciences, and business. This advanced course in writing familiarizes students with the discourse practices prized in their fields and helps them to manage those practices effectively in their written work.

Required Texts:

- Pearsall, Thomas E. The Elements of Technical Writing. Boston: Longman, 2010. (9780205583812)
- Wolfe, Joanna. Team Writing. Boston: Bedford, 2010. (9780312565824)

Syllabus: 

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