In this course—through reading, group discussion, and frequent writing—we will explore the art of the essay. The essay has proven to be a resilient and effective vehicle for communication, and it is also more flexible and a better outlet for creativity than your previous experiences may have led you to believe. Readings will include numerous brief examples of this form by authors ranging from Jonathan Swift to Virginia Woof to Al Gore. Writing assignments will mostly take the form of essays (including one research-based piece), although we will also write creative narratives and brief response papers to the readings. Additionally, we will read and discuss students’ work in class, and an important aspect of the course will be the giving and receiving of constructive criticism. Our discussions and readings will help you to improve your skills as a writer and thinker and to profit from sharing your writing and your ideas with others.
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