Department of English

Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Summer 2020

ENG 204-800: Introduction to Professional Writing        
This course prepares you to face workplace challenges that require professional communication skills in terms of writing and presentation. It will enable you to develop critical appreciation for core technical concepts including audience, context, persuasion, and purpose in writing situations with an emphasis on ethics in communication. You will be exposed to writing a variety of business collaterals, such as resumes, memos, proposals and reports in different contexts and for different purposes. Additionally, this course puts a huge emphasis on information design from a visual communication framework and challenges students to create technical documents from a defined visual perspective. Most importantly, you will find opportunities to collaborate with peers to share expertise, knowledge, and experience in a service-learning framework. By the end of this course, you will learn to design effective technical documents to solve problems with attention to text, visuals, format, usability, and citation. Since this class is a hybrid, we will meet face-to-face twice a week and online (asynchronous) once a week.

ENG 204-801 & 802: Introduction to Professional Writing
An introductory survey of concepts in professional writing, including audience analysis, research methods, visual thinking, and composing processes. Includes a service-learning component. Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Writing Intensive. Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Information Literacy. Satisfies University Studies V: Explorations Beyond the Classroom.

ENG 204-805: Introduction to Professional Writing
This course will introduce students to the fundamental technical concepts of professional writing in order to help develop students' professional presentation and written communication skills. Students will interact with a variety of business texts and documents, including résumés, proposals, reports, and digital communicative forms, such blogs, tweets, and posts for business social networking communication. Students will also explore how issues of audience design, context, persuasion, genre, and multimodality affect various types of business texts.  In this face-to-face class, students will learn to design and evaluate business documents by working independently and through collaboration with peers.

ENG 210: Mythology
In this course, students will become familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. In addition to critical analysis of the myths, students will learn different approaches to the study of mythology. They will also explore how mythological narratives affect our own culture and can inform our reading of literature. This is a fully online course. Assignments may include various weekly online activities, quizzes, and exams.

ENG 226: World Literature Since 1600
Travel the world through the pages of literature! In this class we will read some of the most acclaimed literary works (in translation) from around the world including China, Japan, Argentina, India, Czech Republic, Mexico, and beyond. In doing this, students will hone both their knowledge of literary terms and analysis, as well as develop their awareness and appreciation of different histories, political contexts, cultures, and religions. This course partially satisfies University Studies II: “Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives;” it satisfies University Studies II: “Living in a Global Society;” and it partially satisfies University Studies IV: “Writing Intensive.”

ENG 230-800: Women and Transfolk in Literature
In this course we will examine literary representations of gender by authors who at some point identify as women and/or trans. We will begin with the introduction to Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s landmark work, The Madwoman in the Attic, as well as Alice Walker’s “In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens,” and discuss the cultural, economic, and political factors that historically have affected western writing. We will explore multiple genres, and look at how women and transgender people create narrative about gendered experiences. We will consider factors including class, sexuality, race, gender identity, modes of production, and social justice activism.  Our work together will not seek to reduce women’s and transfolks’ writing to a common denominator of qualities, but rather, explode existing categories.

*Our study will be inclusive of trans identities. Historically, to not be classified as a man in American and British culture tended to automatically mean classification as a woman. We will bring a broader understanding of gender to our exploration of writing in patriarchal cultures.

ENG 230-801: Women in Literature
From iconic literary texts such as “A Jury of Her Peers” and “The Yellow Wall-Paper” to more contemporary writers, such as Sula, we will explore women’s literature using a cultural, biographical, and historical lens. We will ask and examine questions such as: How does a writer’s gender influence the way a story is told? How does a writer’s own life—her own story-- influence her writing? How does the time period in which a writer composes influence her themes, characters and conflicts? We will consider factors including class, sexuality, race, gender identity, modes of production, and social justice activism.  As we read these texts, we will also explore topics such as women’s rights, female sexuality, and traditional and non-traditional gender roles.

ENG 312: Writing for Business           
Why enroll in Writing for Business? What do you want, my sixty second or six-volume answer? You’re right—it depends on how much and what you want to know. Writing for Business is precisely about finding how much your audience in workplace wants and how they want it. It is less about what you know and want to tell and more about what someone else wants to hear. In this sense, the course marks a transition from academic to professional/workplace writing in four major ways:

  • Action-oriented: writing that influences actions in your audience
  • Collaborative: writing situations will invite you to work in groups to meet real-life workplace challenges
  • Genre-orientated: writing that spans across communication channels— memos, resumes, reports, and proposals (traditional); Twitter, podcasts, Wikis, and blogs for business
  • Strategic: writing that utilizes various organizational techniques in the writing process

These three features will help you to realize and identify the basic goals and objectives of ‘another’ kind of writing that exists when you’re ready to explore the professional space. You will learn to separate between two very important skills in writing: creative and critical skills. According to Peter Elbow, an eminent theorist, we need creative skills to generate ideas, topics, sentences, and words while require critical skills to decide which ones to use. Most often writers are unable to separate the two skills and create miscommunications in reports, proposals, and even in regular emails. Some of the areas we will cover include creating social media resume, writing persuasive messages, and developing social media marketing skills. 

ENG 325-800: Studies in Sociolinguistics: Language, Linguistics, and Popular Culture
In this class we will examine the interaction between language and society, with a special emphasis on the portrayal of language in popular culture.  We will explore issues of language variation, dialectology, language and power, language and race/ethnicity, language and gender, and language and social class through the lens of popular media.  We will apply basic course concepts to analyze reality TV, cartoons, comic books, films, music, and social media.