ENGL 281: Composing Generic Nonsense
This course not only asks “how is a raven like a writing desk?” but also “how is a resume like a research proposal?” Using nonsense and nonsense literature to examine the boundaries of sense, language, and most importantly genre, this course will play with a variety of genres as a way to further develop students’ composition skills, including genre analysis, audience awareness, tone, argumentation, and research. As the central theme, nonsense will serve as the jumping off point for students’ original lines of inquiry and analysis, with the goal of inspiring critical thinking and improving on writing skills.
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.