English 143D

Expository and Critical Writing : The Art of the Critical Essay

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2019 Donegan, Kathleen
TTh 11-12:30 107 Mulford

Book List

Poe, E.A.: The Gold-Bug and Other Tales

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader


This course in the critical essay is designed for students who are writing a thesis-length research paper. For the first weeks of class, we will explore and share our own experiences, processes, obstacles and goals as writers; this will give us a baseline to measure your growth over the course of the semester.  We will also discuss academic writing and the “classic style,” in order to identify models and methods to support your own practice.  Although each of you will be working on his or her own project, we need a common critical object as a class.  Therefore, the second part of the syllabus focuses on Edgar Allan Poe from a range of literary and critical approaches.  We will have several in-class workshops and exercises on Poe. The third part of the syllabus is devoted to exploring elements of critical writing:  research, argument, structure, style, and revision.  We will devote our final unit of class to workshops, in which you will read and respond to advance drafts of each other’s work.  By offering as well as receiving detailed feedback, you will learn how to engage productively with the challenges of producing critical work that is complex, clear, and relevant.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-7 pages of your non-fiction prose, by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or.rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is 11 PM, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25.

Also be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such classes.

Back to Semester List