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Course Of Study
ENGL 276G: The Art of Life Writing
Life writing includes personal essays, biography, autobiography, memoir, and literary journalism. This course engages students in close analytical reading of life writing and theoretical discussions related to life writing.In doing so, it pays special attention both to each writer’s cultural milieu and to the writer’s choices regarding language and structure.
This course is writing-intensive and group work oriented. Writing assignments will include short analytical papers, a piece of life writing, longer analytical papers, and responses to every reading assignment. Group work assignments will include discussion of the writers’ purposes and stylistic choices and analysis of different readers’ responses to the texts.
Papers will analyze the texts in relationship to critical discussions of the genre, and at least one paper will be appropriate for submission in the Writing Proficiency Portfolio. This is not primarily a creative writing course, although occasionally the course will offer opportunities for personal life writing. All of the reading and writing assignments as well as our work in class is designed to enhance students’ awareness of the structure and organization of the texts we study, their knowledge of the contexts that surround this genre, and their attention to the language in which life writers describe their own and others’ lives.