Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG100H1S L5101

ENG100H1S L5101 MW 6-9
Effective Writing
Matthew Risling
Office Phone: 
Office Location: 
Jackman Humanities Building, Room TBA

Brief Description of Course: This course focuses on critical writing and reading. We will work to improve competence in writing expository and persuasive prose for academic and other purposes. The course aims to teach the principles of clear, well-reasoned prose and their practical applications. To this end, we will focus on the writing process as a whole, including prewriting, initial drafting, and editing. We will practice composing argumentative academic essays and writing exercises in other related genres, including critical analysis, precis, abstracts, and interpretation using secondary sources.

This course will also consider larger questions of style and function of the genre of academic writing in general, and the essay, in particular. We will interrogate the question of what the essay is for, what an argumentative essay is intended to do, and how we—as readers and as writers—can determine whether that work is being done. This course will encourage students to consider their own writing as part of a larger tradition. To this end, in addition to writing, we will also engage in an active critical reading practice: we will read a broad selection of academic essays in various disciplines, including art history, architecture, and art criticism; we will analyze what these essays are doing and how this work is being done, and try to emulate the various styles of argumentation that we observe.

Each class will be divided into three sections: an opening lecture or activity, a grammar lesson, and a concluding lecture or activity. The length of these sections will vary depending on that day’s topic. This course is designed for native speakers of English, and so assumes a working knowledge of basic formal writing and grammar. However, we will discuss important grammatical and stylistic issues in some detail, and will be a useful course for students of all writing abilities and confidence-levels.

Required Reading: TBA.

Method of Evaluation: TBA.

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