Visit the Course Catalog for the official course description and listing

ENG 250: Writing Genres

Writing Genres introduces students to the expectations and purposes of a particular written genre and offers them intensive practice composing texts that function within the conventions and boundaries of this genre. Students will compose multiple texts in drafts, participate in workshops and discussions, and produce critical analyses and reviews. Sample genres include the essay, autobiography, hypertext and electronic media, travel writing, and science writing. The English Department will distribute a description of the specific genre(s) under consideration before the registration period each semester. [W]
Prerequisite: Eng 110

English 250: Writing Genres: Playwriting

Playwriting introduces students to the expectations and purposes of writing for the theater and offers them intensive practice composing texts that function within the conventions and boundaries of the genre. Students will compose multiple texts in drafts, participate in workshops and discussions, meet with practicing playwrights, attend plays and readings, and write and revise a one-act play. Special attention in the course will be given to the ways playwriting differs from writing for film or television. Readings will include numerous contemporary plays. Students should note that this course will require attendance at some evening and weekend events. [W]

English 250: Creative Nonfiction

This is workshop course that focuses on a broad range of nonfiction prose writing including literary journalism, lyrical and persuasive writing, travel writing, reviews, profiles, memoir, biography, etc. By exploring how nonfiction engages with creative literary devices such as voice and point-of-view, students will be asked to analyze how these techniques push at the genre conventions of nonfiction’s uneasy commitment to “truth-telling.” Students will examine how contemporary trends in nonfiction storytelling have evolved over the last century and furthermore, explore nonfiction in a professional publishing context. [W]

 ENG 251: Screenwriting

This course introduces students to the basic elements of screenwriting: developing characters, writing dialogue, plotting scenes, and structuring narrative. Writing assignments build from initial treatments to individual scenes and story outlines with emphasis on drafting and revision. By viewing films, reading screenplays, and critiquing the work of peers, students learn about the role of the screenwriter in the collaborative process of filmmaking, and work towards a final portfolio that will include a polished script of their own. [W] Permission of instructor required.
Prerequisite: ENG 110

English 252: Writing for Television

In this class, we will be exploring the craft of writing for television.  We will practice how to develop a premise and populate the world of a TV show with intriguing characters and dramatic conflicts.  We will discuss scene design, the act structure of a television episode, series-long story arcs, and how to write compressed but believable dialogue.  We will develop a critical vocabulary for analyzing TV shows as writers, and will also examine the shifting landscape of the industry as it relates to cable and internet distribution.  Writing assignments will build from short loglines to developed scripts.  Particular emphasis will be placed on drafting and revision.  By viewing TV shows, reading scripts, and critiquing each other’s work, students will learn about the collaborative craft of writing for television.

English 254: Humor Writing

A seminar in which we closely examine the work of exceptional humor writers and try to write a whole lot better than they ever did. No, seriously: a seminar in which we study selected strategies of writers such as Steve Martin, David Sedaris, and Jenny Lawson to determine how such strategies might inspire and enliven our own writing and allow us to generate new perspectives. Supportive atmosphere in which we destroy one another’s will to live. No, seriously: supportive atmosphere. Students will compile a final portfolio of humor writing in varied genres, including essays, flash fiction, and short scripts, with a research-based introduction. Impromptu exercises and collaborative writing, occasional arm-wrestling. Required: a great, big (or even middling) sense of humor, tolerance. [W]

English 256:  Fiction Writing Workshop

An intensive workshop course in fiction writing at the intermediate level. Students will compose short stories, study the art and craft of accomplished fiction writers, and participate in revision and editing workshops. Increasingly complex short story structures will be analyzed and practiced as the semester develops. A final portfolio of fiction will be required.

Prerequisite: English 151 OR English 255 OR English 256 OR permission of instructor.

English 257: Intermediate Poetry Workshop

An intensive workshop course in poetry writing at the intermediate level. Students will compose poems, study the art and craft of major poets, and participate in revision and editing workshops. Students will strengthen close reading and workshop skills, produce a polished portfolio of poems, experiment with different writing prompts, and analyze contemporary poetry.

Prerequisite: English 151 OR English 255 OR English 256 OR permission of instructor.

English 351: Environmental Writing

This is a workshop class focused on personal, journalistic, and creative writing about the environment.  We will examine questions about the natural world from a variety of perspectives: personal, scientific, socio-political, ethical, and aesthetic.  Students will be encouraged to think broadly about environmental issues, as we ask: why and how does place matter?  How do we define terms such as “nature” or “wilderness”?  Who (if anyone) controls it, and why, and how?  How do environmental issues intersect with matters of class, race, and gender?  How is our relationship to animals evolving?  What role does technology play in our interactions with the natural world?

Students will produce environmental writing in a variety of styles, drawing upon their experiences, opinions, research, and individual voices. Reading and commenting on student writing will also be a significant part of the class.

ENG 361: Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

The course extends upon the writing skills that students developed in introductory courses in imaginative writing. Students engage in regular intensive workshops in which their poetry is critiqued. The course requires completion of advanced exercises in structure and style and the composition of a final portfolio of imaginative writing. [W]
Prerequisite: English 205, 250, 251, or 255; Permission of instructor required.

ENG 362 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

The course extends upon the writing skills that students developed in introductory courses in imaginative writing. Students engage in regular intensive workshops in which their fiction is critiqued. The course requires completion of advanced exercises in structure and style and the composition of a final portfolio of imaginative writing. [W]
Prerequisite: English 205, 250, 251, or 255; Permission of instructor required.

ENG 390, 391: Independent Study

A program of tutorial study, initiated by the student and pursued independently under the guidance of an instructor from whom the student has gained approval and acceptance. [W]
Prerequisite: English 205 and a literary history course (English 206, 210, 211, 212, or 213), or permission of the instructor.

ENG 495, 496: Thesis

Tutorial sessions related to the student’s investigation of the area chosen for his or her honors essay. Open only to candidates for honors in English. [W]
Prerequisite: English 205 and a literary history course (English 206, 210, 211, 212, or 213). Permission of the Associate Department Head required.