Courses

Our newly independent program is expanding and developing. Beginning in Spring 2023, our program will teach foundational courses to every first-year student. We are also expanding our offerings to include upper-level writing classes in various genres and modes. All courses in the program aim to help students “recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers and speakers.” 

Please see SIS for the current courses in a given semester. Beginning Fall 2022, our courses will be found under our new prefix: AS.004. 

Reintroduction to Writing (100-level)

Reintroduction to Writing, JHU’s first-year writing course, steps beyond the writing skills necessary to get to college: our shared project is to help you learn how to write for the rest of your life. 

We approach writing as an adaptable process of inquiry and action, as deeply informed by reading, and as reflective, embodied, and always emerging practice. In this course, we will rethink writing in ways that will help you throughout college, professional career, personal life, and civic responsibilities in democracy. Toward that end, this course teaches you to become an agile, curious, creative, and resilient writer. You will read and write academic texts; rhetorically analyze a wide variety of sources, including for the conventions of diverse genres; and write across genres, developing skill and precision in your writing, as well as fluency across contexts, audiences, and media. 

Classes are capped at 15 students and often involve discussion, workshops, and conferences. Our courses engage with many topics and disciplines; consider carefully which course will most interest you. Reintroduction to Writing is intended for first-year students, though it is available to others by special permission. 

Academic Writing (200-level)

Academic Writing engages writers in writing assignments like those they are likely to encounter throughout their university education. The course invites students to read and summarize academic essays, and then apply this style of writing in essay form. Subjects include the moves of academic writing, engaging with scholarly arguments, and building one’s own arguments, as well as the styles and formats of academic writing. Classes are small, and they are organized around at least three major academic writing assignments.

Each course guides students’ practice through pre-writing, drafting, and revising, and includes discussions, workshops, and tutorials with the instructor. In addition to its central focus on the elements of academic argument, each course teaches students to write with academic integrity and document sources correctly. 

Narrative Writing (200-level)

Telling stories is one of the first and most important ways that human beings aim to make sense of the world and our experience of it. Narrative informs fiction and nonfiction alike, and is central to the writing of history, anthropology, crime reports and laboratory reports, sports stories, and political documentaries. What happened? The answer may be imagined or factual, but it will almost certainly be narrative.

This course focuses on narrative, a nonfiction mode that answers the question of “what happened” in a variety of contexts and aims to make sense not only of what happened, but how and why. Students summarize and analyze narrative essays and write narrative essays of their own. They learn the power of narrative to inform and persuade as they test that power in their own writing.  

Advanced Academic Writing (300-level)

Advanced Academic Writing is designed for experienced student writers who want to engage more deeply with academic research and to write in related academic genres. The course will focus on asking research questions, conducting original research, evaluating and synthesizing diverse sources, reading critically, and developing arguments that deliver an original argument.

Students will work with a research librarian at the Eisenhower Library, with whom they will learn to navigate traditional databases as well as new media sources. The course culminates with a substantial, polished research paper that draws upon the cumulative skills of the semester.