We are going to look very closely at sentences to see how they work,
how the individual parts of speech draw together into syntax, and what effect (artistic and otherwise) these
patterns of syntax create. The course will mix technical study of sentence structure and reflection upon the
artful potential of those sentence elements, with the goal that each of us is able to see and describe how
sentences achieve their effects. Grammar by Diagram will provide an introduction to (or review of) English
grammar, and the process of diagramming sentences will also develop our sense of sentence structure.
Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Style as Syntax is a collection of and reflection upon sentences that serves as a
starting point for each of our own descriptive and analytic work. In individual projects and in our pooled
observations about writing from class discussions, we will each develop a critical language based in grammar
for describing prose style. We will be looking at our own sentences and writing styles in order to gain more
artistic and technical facility. Throughout, we will reflect on the process of learning and engaging with
sentences at this level of detail. We may also, perhaps, enjoy the possibilities of English and have some fun
Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reasoning Certificate courses strengthen students' abilities to write well, to speak effectively in public, and to think critically. This certificate program is built on courses in English, Writing, and Philosophy and is taught by professors from English, Philosophy, and the Honors College.
The interdisciplinary minor in Writing, Public Speaking, and Critical Reasoning offers students a coherent program of courses that strengthen students' abilities to write well, to speak effectively in public, and to think critically. This minor is built on courses in English, Writing, and Philosophy and is taught by professors from English, Philosophy, and the Honors College.