Course Description – Open the Box (10.1)

Advanced Composition (ENG 3003)

Academic writing is nobody’s first language. You probably struggled, like we all do, when you first started writing for college: How “formal” do I have to sound? How do I balance my own style with what my professors want? How am I supposed to start an essay without a classic “hook”?

By now, you’re no academic neophyte; you’ve written an essay or two (or three hundred). You’ve got a style. You’ve negotiated the needs and expectations of different professors in different fields.

In this class, we’ll lean into those experiences. You’ll reflect on your academic writing and intuitive genre features. To deepen that intuition, we will read widely for meta-knowledge about academic writing—how it came to be, what its forms and purposes are, how it’s used in English departments and the university more broadly. Meanwhile, we’ll study the form of the essay in popular culture.

Ultimately, I will ask you to perform an intervention into the standard academic form, breaking it purposefully somehow in your final essay.

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