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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Taylor J Boulware
ENGL 281
Seattle Campus

Intermediate Expository Writing

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

Class description

Contemporary Television Criticism.

This course has two primary and equally important goals: to introduce students to the various modes through which contemporary television criticism is written and to further develop students’ composition skills, including genre analysis, audience awareness, tone, argumentation, and research. We will engage with television shows as literary and cultural artifacts that require contemplation, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation for how they function as entertainment as well as for how they to expose, obscure, and shape complex social and political issues in 21st century American culture. These shows, as well as a variety of contemporary writing about television, will serve as the jumping off point for students’ original lines of inquiry and analysis, with the goal of developing writing skills.

Students will write 4 short papers (3 – 4 pages each) in various genres, as well as a scholarly essay (6 – 8 pages) about the television show(s) of their choice. As such, students should have a strong interest in television as a medium and in television programming, and students are expected to have access to watch the shows of their choice (suggested options: Netflix Streaming, HuluPlus, iTunes, Amazon Instant, DVDs, cable, and various network websites). Weekly informal writing assignments will also be required.

Because the vast majority of contemporary television criticism is published online, this course will utilize a computer-integrated classroom, and questions and issues around writing for an online audience will shape many of our discussions and assignments.

THIS COURSE ASSUMES that students 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 those introductory courses. With that in mind, this class also takes as a basic assumption that writing is a skill and that, like any skill, it can always be furthered and improved through guided practice and experimentation. We will work to develop, challenge, and enhance the writing skills students already possess into the skills and intuitions necessary for successful writing.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

As mentioned above, because the vast majority of contemporary television criticism is published online, this course will utilize a computer-integrated classroom (CIC). The class will meet one day a week in the CIC, and one day in a traditional seminar room. Instruction will be a mix of lecture, small group work, and discussion.

Recommended preparation

A 100-level composition class (109/110, 111, 121, 131 or equivalent) is not required, but strongly recommended.

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 Taylor J Boulware
Date: 11/06/2013