The goal of this course is to learn to analyze the structure of English sentences, or syntax. The method is sentence diagramming, a technique for identifying and separating the elements of a sentence, the subject, object, verb, conjunctions and clauses, in a graphic arrangement. We will only occasionally be concerned with English usage (choosing the appropriate word, on the basis of signification or register), and rarely with punctuation and capitalization. A secondary goal of the course is for students to improve their writing by knowing how to construct better sentences. Rather than simply try to respond to the admonitions of writing and literature teachers, who complain about awkward or flabby writing and mark up grammar and punctuation errors without explaining the reasons behind their complaints, students can learn the rules and structures of sentence-level grammar.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
Writing Requirement courses focus on the technical terms and conceptual principles needed to write clear, grammatical prose aimed at communicating with force and logic. Upper-division courses focus on professional writing and the creation of individual styles.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience.