English 355: Writing about Literature

Fall 2021

Course Details

Course Number: 14037

Meeting Time: W 11:00 am-12:15 pm

Office Location: Sierra Tower 803

Office Hours: See Teaching

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About the Course

Writing about literature is an art requiring both insight into how literature generates meaning and mastery of the professional conventions of literary criticism. This course is designed to help you write better essays about literature in other courses, but it also has a variety of other applications. It will help increase your appreciation and understanding of literature and hone your skills as an editor of the written word, a valuable skill in many professions beyond the university.

Students in this course will:

  • Read literary texts in a variety of genres from different time periods.
  • Practice interpreting literary texts to find meaning beyond superficial observations.
  • Practice discussing literary interpretation in written form following professional standards.
  • Develop skills in editing formal written text.


Cover Image of Writing Essays About Literature

Our main textbook is Katherine O. Acheson's Writing about Literature.

We will be reading numerous literary texts which will be distributed as "handouts" on Canvas. I highly recommend that you print the handouts so that you have them in front of you during Zoom sessions when we will be looking at individual passages. That way you will not have to swap between the Zoom screen and the text.