Department of English

University of Toronto

JEI206H1F L0101

JEI206H1F L0101 LEC M1-3; TUT: W1, W2, or W3
(Please note: on ROSI, students must sign up for a tutorial on Wednesdays at 1, 2 , or 3 p.m.)
Writing English Essays
Instructor: Ms. C. Messenger
Office Phone: 416-978-6508
Office Location: Innis College, Room 314
Office Hours: Mondays 3:15-5:00, or by appointment

Brief Description of Course: Students will learn to write a research-informed undergraduate English essay, in part by reading and analyzing other forms of the essay, including the personal essay, literary criticism, the new journalism, the scholarly article, and the literary review. The rhetorical differences among the various essay forms will provide opportunities to study tone, audience, voice, purpose, and rhetorical strategies, such as tropes and schemes. Analyzing persuasive strategy and genre will help students learn about the use of evidence and the cultural assumptions at play in a text. The disadvantages of a large lecture format will be mitigated in two main ways. Teaching assistants will help students learn both written and oral communication skills in weekly tutorials, where students will study argument, write position statements, and defend their positions orally, in a manner that reflects the ancient roots of oral rhetoric. In addition, Innis College Writing Centre instructors will provide a (mandatory) one-on-one assessment of each student’s strengths and weaknesses, and will then stream students into one of three small-group workshops.

Required Reading: A course reader will be provided at the beginning of each term. It will include essays, mainly on literary subjects and on the essay as a form (for example, William Hazlitt’s “A Farewell to Essay Writing,” and Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth”). It will also feature selections from Janet Giltrow’s Academic Writing: An Introduction; Hugh Robertson’s The English Essay: Writing about Literature, and Margaret Atwood’s Writing with Intent: Essays, Reviews, Personal Prose 1983-2005. This is a partial list. Some readings will be assigned from online sources such as Quotidiana.

First four Authors/Texts: Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth”; Margaret Atwood’s “Haunted by the Handmaid’s Tale”;“A Few Figures of Speech” from A Matter of Style; Joan Didion’s “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”.

Method of Instruction: Lecture, in-class discussion, tutorial, one-on-one assessment.

Method of Evaluation: Essay analysis (analysis of text) (25%); essay outline (25%); research-informed essay (30%); term test: last day of fall term (20%).

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