Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Writing the Essay

ENGL 125.301
TR 1:30-3

This advanced writing workshop is for students who are already comfortable with the standard essay format, and want to move beyond it. The course will concentrate on advanced essay-writing techniques: how to move beyond writing "what the teacher wants" to writing what YOU want to say, how you want to say it. Our focus will be the persuasive essay, a form which can include elements of formal analysis, personal narrative, satire, logical argument, fiction--whatever it takes to make your point. For the first few weeks, we'll read, discuss, and write essays on a topic of interest to me (freedom of expression). After that, the course content will be completely determined by student interest; you will choose your own topic to read and write about. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to take this course, and previous topics have been as diverse as the Constitutionality of cigarette taxes, the problems of Irish terrorism, and the morality of the right-to-die movement.

You will be expected to share your work with the class, and to read and critique the works of others. Frequent short writing assignments and listserver participation will help prepare for a longer final essay on your topic. No final exam.