Course Description

Course Name

Essay and Feature Writing

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

One 100-level ENGL paper (excluding ENGL 126) or 36 points

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


A practical course developing the skills of rhetoric and persuasive writing, in a variety of popular essay genres, through regular workshopping, and the reading and analysis of non-specialist texts from a variety of media.

Most of the writing we encounter on a daily basis is not what we traditionally think of as 'literature' (fiction, drama, poetry), but rather what we rather unconvincingly call 'non-fiction'. This is writing that is intended to inform and explain, amuse and argue, describe and persuade; and whilst such writing is often 'professional' (rather than 'creative'), we often overlook the obvious fact that the best of it is read for the same reason as literature: that is, for pleasure. This paper will focus on the rhetoric of prose and on writing (and reading) in the range of non-fiction genres, including travel writing, profiles, argument and polemic, autobiographical reflection, social and political commentary and reviews (books, film, music, etc). That being said, students have a great deal of choice about their precise subject matter. The paper assumes competence in writing in English, including grammar and construction, and it is strongly recommended that students have successfully completed ENGL 127.

Learning Outcomes
-To experience writing in a variety of non-fictional sub-genres
-To become aware of the mindset and skill set to be deployed in writing pleasurable prose
-To learn and practise various rhetorical strategies
-To develop and exercise an informed and critical judgement in and of their own and each other's writing
-To produce a folio of polished personal writing

Paper Structure
-Lectures on rhetorical issues
-Workshopping/peer review of work for assessment
-8 weekly assessments requiring writing in a variety of specified genres (on topics of students' choosing)
-Two final essays

All assessment internal

Course Reader (available at the Print Shop)

*Course content subject to change