The English Department and Writing Program offer a number of courses that support writers' development in a variety of genres and contexts. For First-Year students, we offer Academic English & Academic Inquiry seminars. For all undergraduates, we offer a variety of Communication Intensive and other courses in areas such as:

  • rhetoric & writing studies
  • language & linguistics
  • professional/technical communication
  • literature, film & media studies
  • creative writing & journalism

Each semester, the English department publishes detailed course descriptions, which include additional information about the courses being offered. For a complete set of department courses, please consult the General Bulletin or the Student Information System (SIS), using course codes ENGL (English), WRIT (Writing & Rhetoric), AIAE (Academic English), and/or AIQS (Academic Inquiry).

For personalized writing support, ENGL 180: Writing Tutorial (1 credit) is a weekly tutorial with a consultant from the Writing Resource Center that is designed to meet the specific writing goals of each student.

Sample courses from our literature, professional/technical communication, non-native speaker, language and linguistics, and creative writing offerings are described below. Many of these courses also count as Communication Intensive (CI) courses in the CWRU Unified General Education Requirements (UGER). In addition to the courses described below, we offer topical seminars that highlight the diverse scholarly interests of our students and faculty. 

Sample Literature Courses

  • ENGL 200: Literature in English (CI) - This course introduces students to the reading of literature in the English language. Through close attention to the practice of reading, students are invited to consider some of the characteristic forms and functions imaginative literature has taken, together with some of the changes that have taken place in what and how readers read.
  • ENGL 257A: Reading Fiction (CI) - This course introduces students to prose narrative forms in English by exploring their intersecting histories and their contemporary developments. We will introduce and develop the key terms, concepts and practice of literary studies. The specific focus of the course may vary. Recommended preparation: Academic Inquiry Seminar or SAGES First Seminar.
  • ENGL 257B: Reading Poetry (CI) - This course will help you to read and enjoy poetry by introducing you to the history of poetic forms in English. We will introduce and develop the key terms, concepts and practice of literary studies by turning to poems for our test-cases; examples may include the sestina, sonnet and villanelle, ghazal, pantoum, haiku, and open forms. The specific focus of the course may vary. Recommended preparation: Academic Inquiry Seminar or SAGES First Seminar.

Sample Professional & Technical Writing Courses

  • ENGL 217A: Business & Professional Writing (CI) - An introduction to professional communication in theory and practice. Special attention paid to audience analysis, persuasive techniques in written and oral communication, document design strategies, and ethical communication practices. 
  • English 217B: Writing for the Health Professions (CI) - This course offers practice and training in the professional and technical writing skills common to health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, dentistry). Attention will be paid to the writing processes of drafting, revising, and editing. Typical assignments include: letters, resumes, personal essays, professional communication genres (e.g., email, reports, patient charts, and histories), and scholarly genres (e.g., abstracts, articles, and reviews).

Sample Courses Designed for Non-Native Speakers of English

  • ENGL 146: Tools, Not Rules: English Grammar for Writers - This course provides an introduction to English grammar in context for academic writers. It focuses on the study of language in use, including parts of speech, sentence grammar, paragraph structure, and text cohesion.
  • ENGL 147: Writing Across Disciplines (CI) - In this course, students will develop their genre knowledge and metacognitive skills to prepare for the advanced writing, reading, and research tasks required in upper-level writing and disciplinary courses across the university. Through individual and group inquiry, students will analyze and discuss the conventions of academic genres to understand the textual and linguistic features and disciplinary expectations of each form of writing. Then, students will apply these generic conventions through the production and revision of writing within each genre. Throughout the semester, students will engage in workshops and discussions that foster skills in the areas of seminar participation, collaboration, rhetorical awareness, and critical thinking.

Sample Rhetoric, Language & Linguistics Courses

  • ENGL 255: Rhetoric and the Art of Public Speaking (CI) - This course uses the lens of classical rhetoric to explore contemporary political debate. While the word "rhetoric" is often used today to deride precisely what's wrong with political discourse, it more properly denotes the techniques of effective persuasion. By learning how rhetorical devices are used, we can empower ourselves to analyze policy debates and to make our own contributions. 
  • ENGL 301: Linguistic Analysis - Analysis of modern English from various theoretical perspectives: structural, generative, discourse analytical, sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, and cognitive linguistic. Some attention to the major dialects of American English. 
  • ENGL 310: History of the English Language - An introductory course covering the major periods of English language development: Old, Middle, and Modern. Students will examine both the linguistic forms and the cultures in which the forms were used. 

Sample Creative Writing Courses

  • ENGL 203: Introduction to Creative Writing - A course exploring basic issues and techniques of writing narrative prose and verse through exercises, analysis, and experiment. For students who wish to try their abilities across a spectrum of genres.
  • ENGL 213: Introduction to Fiction Writing - A beginning workshop in fiction writing, introducing such concepts as voice, point of view, plot, characterization, dialogue, description, and the like. May include discussion of literary examples, both classic and contemporary, along with student work.
  • ENGL 214: Introduction to Poetry Writing - A beginning workshop, focusing on such elements of poetry as verse-form, syntax, figures, sound, tone. May include discussion of literary examples as well as student work.