students writing

Writing Courses Fall 2020 – Winter 2021

Our WRIT courses are small classes mostly run as workshops. All WRIT courses at the 1000 and 2000 level are capped at 25 students; LIBR 2100 at 30 students. 3000 and 4000-level courses have no more than 20 students. These small classes let your professors give you individual attention and plenty of feedback on your writing.

Writ 1120 students (1)

WRIT 1120: The Writing Process: Theory and Practice / half unit

Half (0.5) unit — Fall or Winter term

In this course, you will approach writing from a rhetorical perspective: that is, writing is not just a matter of following a series of rules or applying a set of templates. Instead, writing involves making choices that are appropriate to the situation. Assignments will include, but also extend beyond, traditional academic writing. You will get practice in drafting and substantial revision as well as editing and polishing. Issues of academic integrity and accurate citation will be addressed in the process of developing research-informed papers.

This course is the foundation of the Writing Minor; it is recommended that you take 1120 before you attempt any other WRIT or WRIT/ENGL courses.

In WRIT 1120, you will be challenged and assisted to develop new strengths, whether or not you consider yourself to be a “good writer “already. This course is not “remedial;” it is university-level. There is a firm exit standard: all students must demonstrate the same minimum competence in university-level writing in order to pass the course. To help you and your professor understand the challenges ahead, you will be asked to write in the very first class, for an entry benchmark. That is the purpose of the Calendar note which reads “A writing exercise will be assigned in the first class. Students whose performance is judged inadequate will be strongly recommended to withdraw from the course.”



01F Monday & Wednesday 9:00 – 10:15. Synchronous online.  Dr. Scott Stoneman

02F Monday & Wednesday 1:30 – 2:45. Synchronous online. Clare Goulet

03F Monday & Wednesday 4.30 – 5:45. Synchronous online. Dr. Scott Stoneman

04F Tuesday & Thursday 10:30 – 11:45. Synchronous online. Dr. Nathaniel Street

10F Monday & Wednesday 10:30-11:45. Sychronous online. Dr. Liam Young

18F TLCOL Thursday 6:00-7:15. Synchronous online. Dr. Kristin Domm



06W Monday & Wednesday 9:00 – 10:15 TBA

07W Monday & Wednesday 4:30 – 5:45 TBA

08W Tuesday & Thursday 9:00-10:15 TBA

09W Tuesday & Thursday 10:30 – 11:45 TBA

19W TLCOL Thursday 6:00 – 7:15 TBA


This course is the foundation of the Writing Minor; it is recommended that you take 1120 before you attempt any other WRIT or WRIT/ENGL courses.

ENGL/WRIT 2220 Writing to Influence: Introduction to Rhetorical Persuasion / half unit

Winter term
01W Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 2:45 Dr. Nathaniel Street
Fall term 18F TLCOL Wednesday 6:00 – 7:15. Synchronous online. David Wilson

Pre-requisite: WRIT 1120 or five units of university study.

If you are taking this course in the Writing Minor, you are recommended to complete WRIT 1120 first.

This class will take Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric as “an ability, in each case, to see the available means of persuasion” as a starting point for theorizing and practicing the persuasive power of writing. We will study rhetorical concepts and techniques — such as invention, kairos, ethos, stasis, and topoi — for discovering, creating, and analyzing rhetorical argument. Students will do this by learning the theory and history of these concepts, practice using them to analyze the rhetorical power of example texts, and mobilize them in their own writing. This work will culminate in a semester-long research project written for a popular audience in the spirit of essays written for publications like The Walrus, The Atlantic, or The New Yorker.

ENGL/WRIT 2221 Introduction to Creative Writing/ half unit

Fall term
Monday and Wednesday 4:30 – 5:45. Synchronous online.
Instructor: Clare Goulet

Pre-requisite: 0.5 unit of English at the 1000 level or permission of the instructor.

If you are taking this course in the Writing Minor, you are recommended to complete WRIT 1120 first.

A study and practice of creative writing, including poetry, fiction, and/or creative non-fiction, in a workshop environment driven by writing exercise and peer review. Instruction will be grounded in contemporary creative writing from peer reviewed journals. Additionally, the course may be supplemented by visits from or to creative writers.

WRIT 2222 Introduction to Editing/half unit

Winter term
Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 – 10:15

A practical and historical study of text editing. Particular attention will be paid to practices of manuscript analysis, substantive editing, copy editing, and proofreading, using standard practices set by the Editors’ Association of Canada. Students will practice editing texts from a range of genres: literature, scientific and humanist scholarship, and popular writing. Students will have access to a number of professional resources, including processional editors

Pre-requisite: WRIT 1120 and ENGL/WRIT 2220 or permission of the instructor.

ENGL /WRIT 2223-18W: History of Writing, Reading, and the Book / half unit

Winter term
TLCOL Tuesday 6:00 – 7:15. Synchronous online
Instructor: Dr. Anna Smol

Book history is an interdisciplinary field that opens up many avenues of study. In this course our topics will range from literary and rhetorical analysis to historical and cultural research. We still study the book as a material object, from scroll to codex to digital text, as we review the development of various writing systems in manuscript and print culture from antiquity to the contemporary era, setting Western developments in a global context. We will discuss the social, political, and economic factors at play in constituting readers, authors, patrons, scribes, libraries, and publishers in different eras, including contemporary developments in digital writing and publishing. We’ll examine the book’s relation to power in discussions of censorship, sacred texts, and the revolutionary power of books. We’ll consider the nature of oral traditions and their interaction with written literacies. Course readings will alternate between non-fiction (in theoretical and historical articles) and fiction (People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, short stories by Thomas King, and Fangirl, a young adult novel by Rainbow Rowell). The course will offer options for creative projects and exercises. This course schedules discussion forum posts, a Collaborate session, and individual written responses as a regular part of the coursework each week on Moodle. For more details about the course, see

This course may also count as a 0.5 elective in the Cultural Studies program.


ENGL / WRIT/ PHIL 2225: Tricksters, Liars, and Sophists: The History of Rhetoric /half unit

Fall term
Tuesday and Thursday 3:00 – 4:15. Synchronous online.
Instructor: Dr. Nathaniel Street

This course focuses on the history of the rhetorical tradition in the West from ancient Greece to contemporary thought. We will survey major and marginalized works on rhetoric from a variety of perspectives, including some that are (ostensibly) hostile to rhetoric. The class will study rhetoric as a historical phenomenon that gives insight into its contemporary place and read course texts as live interlocutors that may change and/or enrich how we theorize and practice rhetoric in the present. Additionally, the course will offer counter-histories of more established traditions that emphasize the role of women in rhetorical scholarship and practice, question the supposed “disappearance” of rhetoric after the fall of the Roman republic, and interrogate the ever-change relationship between rhetoric and the practice of invention.

ENGL/WRIT 3330 Myths and Theories about Writing / half unit

Winter term
Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 – 11:45
Instructor: Dr. Nathaniel Street

Is writing just second-rate speaking? What does it mean to be an author? Does writing communicate and, if so, what? And what is writing, anyway? Beginning with Plato’s Phaedrus, wherein Socrates warns that writing will degrade “living” thought, this class tackles several cornerstone assumptions — or are they myths? — about writing.

This class is structured as an extended meditation on the question of writing. At all points, we could reduce the class and its texts to a handful of simple questions: what is writing? how does it work? how does it affect us? Our course texts will engage these questions from a variety of angles that take into account the mythos of writing. We will treat myth in several ways: as false beliefs about writing that must be re-considered, as legendary points of origin that need to be sifted through, and as a kind of power that must be articulated. We’ll do this by discussing key philosophical and literary texts in class, but you’ll do much of your thinking-work by writing through the texts and the problems and theories they engage Thus, part of the class’ goal is to both theorize and perform the mythological and thinking power of writing.

ENGL / WRIT 3377: Old English: Translation Theory and Practice/ half unit

Fall term
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 – 1:15. Synchronous online.
Instructor: Dr. Anna Smol

Translation is both an academic subject of study and a creative art. Learning to translate Old English will give you the opportunity to experience first-hand the processes and challenges of translation, raising your awareness of translators’ choices no matter what language you are reading. In this course, you will start with the basics of grammar while reading widely in modern translations of Old English poetry to gain an understanding of this early medieval literature. You will then learn to translate for meaning before crafting a polished translation of a short passage on your own. Our readings will cover theories of translation and introduce you to a growing body of contemporary texts that have been termed the “New Old English” poetry.

Old English is a language that was spoken and then written in Britain between approximately the fifth and eleventh centuries. We study the language in order to read and translate it but not to speak it as you would a modern language. Learning to read Old English will acquaint you with a fascinating literature, challenge your historical preconceptions, and allow you to engage creatively with the texts in workshopping your own translations – and, of course, in the process improving your understanding of how language works, essential knowledge if you hope to become a teacher, writer, editor, or effective communicator in any role.

This course is a pre-requisite for ENGL 3378 Beowulf: Then and Now. Students who have taken ENGL 3361 cannot take this course for credit.

For more information, see

LIBR 2100 Introduction to Research in the Information Age / half unit

Prerequisite: recommended that students have completed one term of study
An introduction to research including frameworks for the organization of information in print and online; critical strategies for acquiring, evaluating and communicating information; and ethical and legal (intellectual property, copyright, plagiarism) obligations of using information. Information sources across various disciplines, formats and media will be considered.

PLEASE NOTE: This course is taught by Library faculty. Look under “Library” (LIBR) and not WRIT in order to register for the course.