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 Location: Innis College, Room 314

Brief Description of Course: Students will learn to write a research-informed undergraduate humanities 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.

Each student in the course will be encouraged to meet with the course instructor at least once in a one-on-one meeting. In addition, Innis College Writing Centre instructors are available to provide one-on-one assessments of each student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Required Reading: The two main course texts are a course reader and Katherine O. Acheson’s Writing Essays About Literature. Both will be available at the U of T Bookstore in the fall. I will also assign online readings. Helpful material will appear on a Blackboard site that will be launched in the fall.

A schedule of weekly readings will be posted on Blackboard and emailed to students.

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: I urge all students in JEI 206H to book a one-on-one appointment with the Innis College Writing Centre at some point this term. Book online by visiting the following site:

Bring to this appointment a sample of your essay writing from a course you completed last year. A writing instructor will go over your writing with you and identify your strengths and weaknesses. You may also bring in rough drafts of the essays you will write for JEI 206H. Book well ahead.

In the last thirty minutes of selected lectures, I will ask you to write an in-class reflection piece on one of the readings assigned for that reflection exercise. Also, you will have the opportunity to participate in discussion and in some group work during class. It is essential, therefore, that you always have copies of the assigned texts for each lecture.

Method of Evaluation: See the Assignments page on Blackboard for more details.
Analysis of an essay (25%); essay outline for research-informed essay (15%); research-informed academic essay (30%); term test in the form of an in-class essay (close analysis of a personal essay), last day of
class (20%); attendance and participation (10%); attendance is essential.

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