Writing for College and Beyond

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Three Sections Available to Choose From:

Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
June 21, 2021 - July 21, 20216/21 - 7/214 WeeksOnlineWaitlistedOnlineMolly Rice
June 21, 2021 - July 21, 20216/21 - 7/214 WeeksOnlineCancelledOnlineMinta Zlomke
June 21, 2021 - July 21, 20216/21 - 7/214 WeeksOnlineCancelledOnlineChristopher Carr
June 21, 2021 - July 21, 20216/21 - 7/214 WeeksOnlineCancelledOnlineJonathan Readey
July 19, 2021 - August 18, 20217/19 - 8/184 WeeksOnlineOpenOnlineNicholas Kahn
July 19, 2021 - August 18, 20217/19 - 8/184 WeeksOnlineOpenOnlineMolly Rice

Course Description

Are you ready to start writing the way college students write in their academic essays and their longer research papers? In this course, students will challenge themselves intellectually and creatively as they explore and experience writing as a form of inquiry, research, and argumentation. The course meets the needs of writers at any level, from students who are concerned about their academic preparation to those seeking the next challenge of university-level writing.

The first half of this course offers students the chance to think carefully about writing narrative and argumentative prose. Thus, students begin the course thinking carefully about what ideas and arguments matter to them and why, while writing in a form that resists conventional structures. The second half of the course focuses on college-level academic writing: making a debatable claim and defending that claim through careful reasoning using primary and secondary sources.

The challenge here is to write with clear evidence, effective organization, clarity and cohesion, and incisive revision to develop an engaging and well-supported academic essay. Gaining fluency in these modes will prepare students well for writing at the college level and even for the job world beyond. Thus, the online course will enable students to:
-Develop a clearer, more confident, more academic approach to writing
-Arrive at an understanding of what it means to write well and why that matters
-Develop their academic essays—and their understanding of college writing—through every stage of the writing and revision process
-Develop critical reading skills through the study of cultural and literary texts and sample essays
-Become well-versed in university-level discourse through group discussion, peer review, and revision processes required of college writers
Instructors vary by section to maintain small, writing workshop-style class sizes.

Please Note: Although we will tackle narrative prose first, we will hit the ground running with academic essays immediately after. In order to be prepared to write an academic essay, it is recommended that you select a primary text to analyze by the first week of class. Below is a list of “texts” from which you can choose your primary text for the academic essay. You might want to acquire and review your selected text now, but this is not required. I have included links to the materials for your convenience, but they also are available elsewhere, possibly including from your local library. Please also note that once the course opens, you will have access to the films for free, streaming through the Brown University Library Electronic Reserves, should you wish to select those options.

Instructors vary by section to maintain small, writing workshop-style class sizes.
An '*' indicates that a text may be more accessible or less time-intensive than others on the list, in case you are balancing English-language or time-availability challenges.

Warning: Some of the following selections contain mature content: strong language, adult themes. Please contact your instructor if you need assistance in choosing a text that is comfortable for you.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

The Flick by Annie Baker*
Top Dog/ Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks*
The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe*
HIR by Taylor Mac*

Graphic Novels
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes*
Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi*

Visual Texts (Movies)
The Great Gatsby*
Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele*

Television Shows
The Wire (Season 1), created by David Simon (NOTE: adult themes, some nudity and language) Black-ish (Season 1), created by Kenya Barris

Short Stories
“Things You Should Know” by AM Homes, in her anthology Things You Should Know* “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman*

Story-Based Video Games
Journey by thatgamecompany

Prerequisites: No specific prior experience or knowledge is required.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEEL0962

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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