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Course Outline: This course is a practical one for adults who want to improve their writing. The first step is to identify what types of writing the individual wants to improve. To do this, s/he chooses from a list of options. Once the type of writing is selected, the instructor acts as a “coach” to enable the student to progress rapidly towards the goal. Each session requires the student to come prepared with a writing sample, either created for the class or from his/her work environment. Grammar issues that surface in the student’s writing are addressed by the instructor, and the rest of the class is spent editing and discussing the style and structure of the writing sample. The instructor looks for areas to “coach” the student in to improve both style and structure.
Writing Types to select:
- Academic (essays, thesis, dissertation)
- Business (emails, reports, letters, proposals)
- Creative (stories, articles, journal)
A half an hour of each session is devoted to the discussion of grammatical concepts as they apply to the students writing. This may include handouts on various topics with examples, and discussions with the student of what the instructor sees as areas to focus on in the student’s writing in terms of structure.
Following the grammatical portion of the session, the instructor collaborates with the student to work on a given writing “assignment” that the student has brought with him or her. This could be an email, report, proposal or business letter if the business category is selected. If academic, it could be an essay or any stage or a research paper, term paper, masters thesis or doctoral dissertation. If creative, the student will work on different types of creative writing assignments. This may include fictional writing, with work on character development, plot or theme development, climax, and denouement. Other topics could be non-fiction articles or journal writing (with a focus on writing comfortably in English).
Each session focuses on different grammatical and stylistic concepts that support the writing type and style the student needs to use to be effective in the chosen category. Sessions are interactive with the goal of asking questions to stimulate creative thinking and application of traditional and modern ideas to the study of writing. Understanding one’s audience and one’s primary goals/intent, as well as discovering the proper tone and style to fit one’s message are topics of discussion.
The student is encouraged to try new and difficult structures as well as styles and approaches that may be challenging or confusing in order to gain the most insight and personal growth from the course.