Department of English Language and Literature



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Composition II - Course Descriptions

ENGL 1150: Languages and Identities

Inthis class, we consider the ways languages construct identities through interactions of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, and religion, among other things. Instructors will bring their own particular scholarly expertise to shaping each class, so assignments and focus will vary class to class, but assignments are likely to include considerations of how what we are named and who names us helps us make sense of who we are and we fit in the world. For example, if someone names us as friend, it places us in a reciprocal and caring relationship with that person. If, on the other hand, someone in a position of power calls us by a hate-inflected racial epithet, it places us in a relationship of subordination and cruelty. The class will also consider the way common language is gendered—just what does it mean to throw like a girl, take it like a man—as well as how different groups of people use language differently, through conversational conventions, dialects, voice, and other practices.

While languages and identities are our topics of discussion, our primary purpose in this course is to explore how and why we write for an audience.  Though not every assignment will ask you to write a traditional academic essay, the skills you will be refining in your writing can be applied to such a task.  To that end, you will be expanding on the things you worked on in Composition I (focus, rhetorical sensitivity, essay development, argumentation, research, citation, and revision) expanding your capabilities in academic writing.  Significant time will also be d evoted to the research process, including discussions on finding, evaluating, and incorporating research into texts, reviewing at least two documentation practices, and establishing ethical practices when researching human participants.

Most ENGL 1140 courses are web-enhanced with Blackboard sites. Expect to post responses to discussion boards, submit papers online, and engage in chatroom discussions and live collaborative sessions as well as meeting in a traditional classroom. Critical reading and a research paper are required.

For more information concerning Composition II courses, please see our Common Syllabi page:

Last Updated: 8/8/17