Analysis of English grammar and style in literary and academic contexts. Offered alternate years.
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 their artful potential so that each of us is able to see and describe how sentences achieve their effects. The course uses two textbooks: Cindy Vitto's Grammar by Diagram is an introduction to (or review of) English grammar; Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Style as Syntax is a collection of and reflection upon artfulness in sentences that serves as a starting point for each of our own descriptive and analytic work. In individual projects and in our pooled observations, 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 with words.
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.
Upper-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.
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.
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.
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.