learn to write expository and persuasive essays with us
What you'll learn
You'll expand your abilities and versatility in reading, language awareness, and composing for a range of purposes, audiences, and situations. This is a super-condensed course, so we work through just two major writing projects. You will write two revisable essays (one 3-4 pages in length and one 4-7 pages in length). You will also keep a reading-response journal for the course readings.
When we meet
We also have a virtual session at Skype on Sunday nights; join us synchronously at 8 p.m. and plan to chat with us until 9 or so.
Get ready to surprise yourself. That's the first rule of the course.
- Aristotle's Rhetoric. You can get it for free via MIT, or you can purchase it at Amazon for as little as $5.99 including shipping.
- Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. Used or new, you'll want your own copy to keep, and at $9, it is a steal.
Our three project readings -- Hugo, Akhmatova, and Scarry -- are listed with the projects below.
Virtual Office (and hours)
Instead of standing office hours, I have open times during the week when you can set an appointment to drop in and talk. Just go to YouCanBookMe to schedule your appointment.
Project 1: a time my body failed me
WORKING DRAFT: 10 points
FINAL DRAFT: 25 points
This expository essay will explore a turning point moment focused on the fallibility of the body. Our readings will focus on Scarry's The Body in Pain.
Project 2: an essay of witness
DRAFT: 15 points
FINAL DRAFT: 35 points
READING RESPONSE JOURNAL: 10 points
This persuasive essay will focus on an event or circumstance you witnessed and wish to explore to its trigger or origin. Our readings will focus on Akhmatova's poetry of witness and Hugo's theory of triggers and repetition as attached to witness.
for project 2: Akhmatova's Collected Poems
for project 2: Richard Hugo's Triggering Town
for Project 1: Elaine Scarry's The Body in Pain