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English 202B

Course Coordinator: Heather Holleman

What is 202B?

ENGL 202B, Writing in the Humanities, is an upper-level writing course that accomplishes two tasks.  First, we’ll develop professionally by designing a stellar resume and cover letter, and second, we’ll develop academically as scholars of the humanities.  This course (unlike other 202 courses) allows us to identify questions and topics common to the humanities. As we examine what it means to be “human,” using various methodologies applied to various texts, we can learn how to ask good questions, enter into sophisticated conversations, and make claims that we skillfully argue with advanced writing techniques.

Who should take 202B?

ENGL 202B is designed for students who fit into the broad category of the study of the humanities-art, music, theatre, philosophy, history, literature and languages, woman's studies, media and film studies, journalism, speech communication, and other related major--and will become artists, fiction writers, historians, museum curators, journalists, teachers, lawyers. These students will be focusing on issues in their fields and/or expanding on basic research topics and techniques they are pursuing in their courses.

What else do I need to know?

Typically, ENGL 202B shares qualities with the sciences, the social sciences, and business. As a result, the course design attempts to accommodate that overlap by addressing a range of assignments that include job application materials, proposals written to an advisor in one of their fields, translations of specialized terms, literature reviews, position papers, and business letters and memos. However, ENGL 202B differs from the sciences, the social sciences, and business in its focus on textual analysis. In response to this unique "humanities" orientation, some ENGL 202B courses assign rhetorical analysis or evaluation of texts (critical texts, films, plays, novels), often integrated into a collaborative research project or a critical perspective on the relationship between the writer and the disciplines.

With these goals in mind, the course seeks to have students

  • Become familiar with some of the genres and disciplinary conventions of the humanities and explore what those genres and conventions do for the discourse communities that employ them. Such genres include essays, journals, letters, speech, and narratives.
  • Study rhetorical situations and critical thinking in selected texts.
  • Examine the differences in published versions of expert and lay discourse and write arguments directed at both expert and lay audiences.
  • Discover more about writing in the humanities by gathering information from professionals and presenting it to a lay audience.
  • Become more familiar with the journals (such as American Historical Review) and professional literature (such as Art News) in their fields by analyzing how people in the humanities report on new research and argue for new approaches.
  • Improve the skills necessary for effective research in the humanities and then successfully employ them in papers. Practice incorporating multiple voices into one coherent argument.
  • Become familiar with MLA and related citation styles and their implications.
  • Become aware of how the disciplines and the professions help define a "life," a critical perspective on the projects assigned for this course.
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