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English: The Art of the Essay

ENGS 050 OL1 (CRN: 61577)

3 Credit Hours

About ENGS 050 OL1

In this intermediate writing course, students explore and practice variations in the genre known as the nonfiction essay, attending to audience, purpose, context, style, and medium.


Related Program

High School & Pre-College Programs


Dates: July 17 - August 11, 2023; Asynchronous online

More Information

Section Description

This course explores occasions for essay writing beyond the genres usually required in college courses. In other words, you will be writing (and reading) essays that may not match, in terms of content or structure, what you expect from a "homework assignment." The work you do in this class should prepare you to do stronger writing of that sort, but our writing goals will be more journalistic in nature: descriptions of place; investigations into other people's professional work; probings of the culture around us.

Section Expectation

Weekly reading and almost weekly writing assignments, beginning with grammar and style instruction and then opening up into short descriptive or explanatory essays. We will take, as our models, feature essays of the sort that appear in The New Yorker or Harper's, though your pieces will of course be shorter. Instruction on English grammar is a serious part of this course. You can expect the grammar material to be supported by exercises and quizzes in the first week or two of the course. All students registering for this section should, before the class begins, purchase a subscription to Harper's magazine (at Instructor will contact the class early in the summer with a discount code for the subscription. We will primarily be using their online archives for our reading assignments. Because this is an online course, discussion and workshop of your work will happen in discussion forums. Timing of your participation in these conversations is flexible (and asynchronous), but you should expect to be online and communicating (briefly) at least daily on weekdays.


Grade comes from class participation (and preparation) and writing in roughly equal amounts. Some of class participation will be engagement with your peers' work in (online) workshop.




Online (View Campus Map)

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Last Day to Add
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Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
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