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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kellie D. Holzer
ENGL 281
Seattle Campus

Intermediate Expository Writing

Writing papers communicating information and opinion to develop accurate, competent, and effective expression.

Class description

English 281D: "WTF? (Why The Fangs?)" Our theme this quarter is the enduring popularity of the vampire figure in various cultural artifacts, from stories and novels to TV series and movies. We will pursue the question, how has the figure of the vampire enabled cultural critique since its establishment as a Romantic myth early in the nineteenth century? You can expect to read both academic and non-academic responses to this question. While we may consider Bram Stoker’s Dracula as an originary text, we will also go back further in time to read stories by Polidori, Le Fanu, and Braddon that may have influenced Stoker’s version of the vampire figure. Additional texts under analysis may include Philip Burne-Jones’ painting “The Vampire? and Rudyard Kipling’s poem by the same title, various film adaptations of Dracula, other selected vampire films like Let the Right One In, and episodes from the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood.

Student learning goals

Hopefully, by the end of the term you will have formed the habit of approaching any writing task with greater attention to its rhetorical situation (that is, you will habitually identify your audience, define your purpose, and consider the communicative context). You will also make a regular practice of revising and editing your writing.

General method of instruction

You will write in order to figure out what you think, you will read and talk to each other in order to hone your thoughts and your writing, and you will revise regularly. Assignments include short response papers and literary analyses, film reviews, an expository essay, and an argument-driven paper. Peer review sessions will be a norm in this class. You’ll also have opportunity to expand your collection of “writing tools” weekly with recourse to Roy Peter Clark’s useful resource Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer.

Recommended preparation

This course assumes that you have previous experiences in college-level writing (such as ENGL 109/110, 111, 121, or 131 or equivalent), as we will be building on those skills and techniques begun in your introductory courses. With that in mind, a basic premise of this class is that writing is a skill that can always be improved through guided practice and experimentation. We will work to develop, challenge, and enhance the writing skills you already possess into the skills and intuitions necessary for academic, professional, and creative "readable things."

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kellie D. Holzer
Date: 08/29/2011