The Art of the Essay (CUL 306)

The Art of the Essay: Principles and Practice (CUL 306)

Course Description

This course will begin by reading examples of great writing and then begin to explore the principles and practice of the essay form. Good writing is not done by formula but rather by attention to communicating to a reader exactly what we wish to say, using all the gifts of language we possess. It is a truism that good writers are first good readers. They absorb the sound and sense of good writing and may initially copy good writing but eventually, if they are fortunate, they find their own voice. In undergraduate and graduate work, the student’s ability to write well is crucial, and this course will offer an opportunity to study the principles of good writing and the practice of writing a series of short essays.

Course Sessions and Topics

Week 1  |  Getting Organized and Writing Foundations

Week 2  |  The Narrative Essay and Emerson on Writing

Week 3  |  Revising Essays and Good Writing Habits

Week 4  |   Descriptive Essay Writing and Advise and Perspectives on Writing

Week 5  |  Learning from Revisions and Writing Philosophy Essays

Week 6  |  Writing Expository Essays and Learning from Your Writing Journal

Week 7  |  Writing Persuasive or Argumentative Essays and Learning about Your Writing Strengths and Weaknesses

Week 8  |  Persuasive Writing and Writing about Complex Ideas

Week 9  | Your Personal Writing Voice and Learning from Good Writing

Week 10  |  Synthesis and Writing Your Final Course Paper

Learning Outcomes for this Course

Outcome 1:  Students will be able to improve their essay writing skills by reading examples of good writing.

Outcome 2:  Students will be able to distinguish the essay from other forms of writing and understand the basic types of essays (expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive).

Outcome 3:  Students will be able to improve their essay writing skills by writing essays and revising them

Outcome 4:  Students will be able to use effective syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling in writing essays.

Outcome 5:  Students will be able to critique their own essays and those written by others by examining an essay’s content, organization, style, and correctness.

Outcome 6:  Students will be able to write in appropriate language consistent with the audience, situation and purpose.

Outcome 7:  Students will be able to write concisely, using the strongest and fewest words possible to communicate.

Outcome 8:  Students will be able to incorporate and accurately document outside sources using proper documentation format into their essays.

Outcome 9:  Students will be able to use identified creative techniques, including verb choice, descriptive nouns, metaphors, and imagery, to make their essays more interesting and helpful to readers.

Your Professor

Don Iannone, M.A.

Undergraduate degree in Anthropology, graduate studies in Management, professional diploma in Economic Development, and M.A. in Consciousness Studies from the University of Philosophical Research. Economic development expert with over thirty years of experience in the field, including running my own consulting company for thirteen years and working fifteen years at Cleveland State University as a center director, researcher, change agent, and teacher. Recognized nationally and internationally in the field. Practicing artist as a photographer, poet, and writer. I create in both images and words.

Lifelong writer: Three photography books, two poetry books, a co-authored book on economic development, nearly forty professional and academic articles in economic development and civic affairs, professional and academic journal editor, and a blog author for ten plus years.