As a writing minor, you will be exposed to a full range of courses in the writing of poetry, fiction, drama and various forms of non-fictions, as well as advanced courses in expository writing. You will have access to a nationally ranked writing program with an esteemed faculty who will aid you in refining the craft of writing, and in exploring new forms and styles. Writing courses can range from rhetoric, to creative and analytic writing, to journalism courses, effectively offering you the tools to become a skilled writer in a range of contexts.
The study of rhetoric, one of the original seven Liberal Arts, is perhaps more relevant today, in a world where diverse opinions reverberate 24/7 from television and the internet, than in ancient times when rhetors invented arguments to help people choose the best course of action when they disagreed about important political, religious, or social issues. How do we make our voices heard? How can we invent and present compelling written discourse. This course will introduce students to common rhetorical principles and to the disciplinary history of rhetoric and compositional studies. We will examine rhetorical principles (audience, context, kairos, exigency, ethos, pathos, logos, and so forth) that are employed, for example, not only in literary analysis but in law, politics, education, and science.
Philip Larkin says the first stage of a poem happens when the writer is "obsessed with an emotional concept to such a degree," that they are "compelled to do something about it." In this writing course, we will examine obsession and its role in poetry. Balancing a study of poets who have navigated, channeled, and discovered their obsessions through writing, we will explore what it means to be obsessed, periodic and lifelong obsessions, how research can help develop, temper and navigate those obsessions, and how the resulting poems stand out from other approaches.