Writing

All tuition rates listed on the Summer Term 2017 website are pending approval.

Colleges: College of Arts & Sciences | College of Communication

Courses in: Academic Writing for ESL Students 2 (WR 098) | Writing Seminar (WR 100) | Writing and Research Seminar (WR 150) | Creative Writing | College of Communication Writing Program

College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences Writing Program

The purpose of the CAS Writing Program is to help students read challenging works with critical discernment, to write with a refined sense of style, and to speak with appropriate eloquence. Although the topics of the seminars differ, all seminars are designed to foster lively discussions about works that serve as models for effective writing. Every writing seminar teaches grammatical correctness and stylistic versatility. All seminars lead students through a common assignment sequence that stresses the process of revision. Students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences are required to complete two courses of formal instruction in writing, reading, research, and speaking. The two-course sequence CAS WR 100 and WR 150 is the usual means of satisfying this requirement. WR 097 (not offered in summer) and WR 098 are reserved for ESL (English as a Second Language) students whose score on the Writing Placement Test indicates a need for preparatory work prior to enrolling in WR 100-150. Students who register for WR 098 will be required to take the Writing Placement Test if they have not taken it yet. If a Boston University student places into a different level than WR 098 after taking the test, he or she will be required to drop the WR 098 course. The student may switch to a class that matches the student’s placement level if one is available.

Tutorial assistance is available to students enrolled in summer composition courses. To make an appointment with a tutor, please go to bu.edu/writingprogram/the-writing-center or call 617-358-1500.

Academic Writing for ESL Students 2 (WR 098)

Academic Writing for ESL Students 2

CAS WR 098

Prereq: (CAS WR 097) or placement test results. Emphasis on critical reading and analytical writing in response to various theme-based texts. Review of grammar and mechanics in context. Intensive practice in the patterns of academic argumentation through multiple writing assignments of increasing complexity. Refinement of speaking skills through discussions and oral presentations. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing Seminar (WR 100)

Topic-based seminar in academic reading and writing. Attention to reading and analyzing primary and secondary sources, argumentation, prose style, revision, and citation. Significant writing and individual conferences.

Writing Seminar

CAS WR 100

Topic: The Graphic Self. This seminar explores the construction of the self in graphic memoirs. While exploring this visual-textual form of autobiographical writing, students engage in important conversations about the blurry boundary between truth and fiction, past and present, public and private. The seminar also explores how images contribute to the construction of the author’s identity. Exposure to graphic self-writing both in print and online allows students to consider how form and style impact the author’s voice and the reader’s experience. Readings include Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis; Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened; along with supplementary scholarly articles and theoretical texts. This section is reserved for non-native English speakers. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing Seminar

CAS WR 100

Topic: Short Fiction. Muriel Ruykeyser once said, “The world is made of stories, not of atoms.” This seminar takes Rukeyser’s quote as a guide and examines the world through the lens of short fiction. Does literature reflect or direct society? What insights can be gleaned about a culture or period from reading? To answer these questions, the class studies major figures of American fiction, such as Ernest Hemingway, John Updike, and Jhumpa Lahiri and combines a deepening appreciation of varied short stories with energetic, critical readings of their works. The seminar also introduces a critical vocabulary for discussing fiction. This section is reserved for non-native English speakers. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing Seminar

CAS WR 100

Topic: Boston in Film and Literature. This seminar looks at Boston as subject and setting of a number of different works in order to understand the social, political, historical, and artistic forces that have shaped this great American city. Texts include the fiction of Henry James, Sylvia Plath, and Dennis Lehane; the nonfiction of Thomas O'Connor, Susanna Kaysen, Nick Flynn, and Michael Patrick MacDonald; and the films of Tom McCarthy, Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, and Martin Scorsese. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing Seminar

CAS WR 100

Topic: Inventing the American Individualist. “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” So wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, expressing a sentiment that seems native to the American character. From mountain men to entrepreneurs, from pioneers to beatniks, from suffragettes to senators, Americans have identified with roles that are individualistic, independent, and self-reliant. This seminar investigates the degree to which this attitude is rooted and reflected in our literary tradition. Readings include Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” Ginsburg’s “Howl,” and Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing Seminar

CAS WR 100

Topic: Ethical Missteps in Public Health. This course addresses the contemporary relevance of selected ethics issues that have arisen in the public health arena over the last 100 years. Topics include theories about the biology of race and “fitness” in the Progressive Era; the U.S. Public Health Service’s 40-year Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis; and the American eugenics movement, which culminated in the Supreme Court decision in Buck v. Bell. Students read firsthand accounts by public health practitioners and policymakers at the time, as well as more recent scholarship that seeks to make reasoned “trans-historical moral judgments” about past wrongs. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Writing Seminar

CAS WR 100

Topic: Revisiting Fairy Tales. Students in this course read multiple versions of several fairy tales, examining themes of violence, adolescence, and maturation, side by side with critical essays by scholars working from anthropological, literary-critical, and psychological viewpoints. The course engages students with issues including oral vs print transmission and the significance of the continual revisioning of tales, as well as the meanings of recurring motifs such as the monstrous bride/groom. Authors examined include the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, Nalo Hopkinson, Anne Sexton, and Angela Carter, among others. This section is reserved for non-native English speakers. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Writing and Research Seminar (WR 150)

Topic-based seminar in academic reading, writing, and research. Continuing attention to argumentation, prose style, revision, and citation, with additional emphasis on college-level research. Significant writing and individual conferences.

Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Interrogating Race in Contemporary America. Despite claims that Americans live in a “post-racial” time, the idea of race has undeniable consequences for American citizens and institutions alike. This seminar examines the ways in which the lived experiences of Americans of various backgrounds are represented (and misrepresented) in contemporary literature, television, and other media. It considers such topics as assimilation, citizenship, cultural appropriation, erasure, intersectionality, visibility, and worth. Texts may include essays by Eula Biss, Jeff Chang, Roxane Gay, and Claudia Rankine, among others. This special “Genre and Audience” section asks students to identify a question related to the representation of race that they would like to spend the term writing about and exploring through research. Students in this seminar focus on one independent research project that they write up first for an academic audience, then for a public one, highlighting the similarities and differences between writing for scholarly experts and writing for intellectually curious non-expert readers. These experiences demonstrate how scholarly research and writing can be relevant to public discourse. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Albums of the 70s and 80s. Students study a number of albums by critically acclaimed singer-songwriters. Emphasis is on the song lyrics and the ways in which individual songs work together to produce a cohesive album. Students analyze the albums by Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, and Bruce Springsteen. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Graphic Representation. Since the 1970s, graphic texts have been growing in popularity and acclaim. This class hones students’ skills in literary analysis and visual literacy while celebrating the diversity of the genre. Students explore the many interests of these graphic texts including sexual orientation, gender identity, family, politics, anxiety, illness, death, aging, time, and more. These topics inspire students to pursue original research in the areas that are most compelling. Authors may include Bechdel, Brosh, Chast, David B., Pekar, and others. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Declaring Independence/Responding to Oppression. “We hold these truths to be self-evident….” These words from the Declaration of Independence inspired millions in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, including abolitionists fighting against slavery, the women’s rights movement, and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With the current generation’s enthusiastic resistance to oppression and injustice, the ideals of the Declaration should be revisited. In this course, students select a specific case to research in depth, exploring how advocates (from the past or today) have used the Declaration’s ideas and ideals for freedom, equality, and social justice either here in America or abroad. The course encourages writers to use a wide range of resources: visual images, audio recordings, and written documents. Key texts include the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: The Memoir. The memoir is usually viewed as a private genre of personal recollection. Yet some contemporary writers have used the form to explore larger questions of historical, religious, philosophical, and social significance. This course focuses on writers of memoir who have examined their lives and the lives of their families through lenses wider than the personal. Readings include Kathryn Harrison's The Kiss, Lauren Slater's Lying, Nick Flynn's The Ticking is the Bomb, and Thomas Lynch's The Undertaking. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Narratives of Finance. This class teaches writing through a comparison of how different groups of people, such as journalists, executives, and financial analysts write about the world of Wall Street. Though the financial services sector is often described in terms of quantitative analysis, the act of storytelling is central to such work. By interrogating financial narratives, from journalistic exposés to ostensibly sober business reports, this class examines the political and cultural work such narratives perform. Course readings include Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys, Karen Ho’s Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street, and Stephen Fraser’s Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Literary Monsters. This course investigates some of literature’s most famous and hideous creatures: humans, beasts, and the wild things in between; what lurks under the bed and out on the moors. Surveying texts from Anglo-Saxon England to twentieth-century America, students consider what monsters show (de-monst[e]r-ate) about the cultures that create them and about the generations of readers drawn to them. Readings and films include Beowulf, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, King Kong, Shelley's Frankenstein, Godzilla, and Pan's Labyrinth. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: True Crime! Relating the facts of a crime would seem to be a straightforward matter. The problem is that a story must be fashioned. By arranging events into sequence, by suggesting causality, certainly by ascribing culpability, a writer shapes—manipulates—the understanding of what happened. This class reads In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, and watch the documentary film Capturing the Friedmans. Students do independent research to consider what role the author plays in constructing the narrative. Are these books and film about the crimes or something else? How can the audience tell when and if the author is interfering with the subject? Students also ponder how reporting transfers to their role as researchers. What makes a source reliable? How much research is enough? Is there such a thing as objective truth or is the whole sad enterprise doomed from the start? Together, students figure out how to tell the truth about crime. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: The Novel Now. For some, the interactive, instantly gratifying world of online entertainment spells doom for the art of the novel. But there are signs that the contemporary novel is not only surviving but thriving in the new millennium. This research course focuses on the particular kind of linguistic inventiveness, passion, originality, and energy that powerful novels provide. Readings are the following: Haruki Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and Tim Winton's Breath. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Sympathy for the Devil. A study of the treatment of the Devil in literature. The course starts with a very quick run-down of the accounts of the Devil in Biblical, theological, and traditional folk sources. Students then read C. S. Lewis's satirical letters from a Senior Devil to a junior tempter and the Satan sections of Milton's "Paradise Lost," which transformed Europe's image of the Devil. Students also look at the tradition of the Faustian bargain (selling one's soul to the Devil), especially as treated with romance and philosophy by Goethe, and deft comedy by Max Beerbohm. Finally, in separate groups, students research on their own to prepare symposium papers on one of four ways in which the Devil is used in fiction: the Devil in folklore; witches as followers of the Devil; the Devil in social and political satire; the Devil on the screen (in films and television). 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Writing and Research Seminar

CAS WR 150

Topic: Marijuana in American History. Marijuana prohibition in America evolved to reflect political, social, economic and scientific trends in twentieth-century US history. This course evaluates three periods—the prohibition years in the first half of the century, the countercultural period after the 1950s, and the medicinal marijuana era that followed the 1980s—to question the role of science and morality in drug enforcement policy and evaluate the recent push for the decriminalization. Sources for this course include Dan Baum, Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure; Richard Nixon's presidential recordings; Dorm Room Dealer: Drugs and the Privileges of Race and Class by Mohamed and Fritsvold; as well as examples of popular culture, from Reefer Madness to Cheech and Chong. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Creative Writing

Introduction to Creative Writing

CAS EN 202

An introduction to writing in various genres: poetry, fiction, plays, and/or creative non-fiction. Students' work discussed in class. Designed mainly for beginners in creative writing, although all skill levels are welcome. Does not give concentration credit. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Writing Nonfiction: True Stories Well Told

CAS EN 301

Students write nonfiction pieces for critique and learn principles of narrative through readings. Focus is on writing about people, place, events, one's personal history, among other subjects. Individual conferences with the instructor. For writers of all experience levels. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

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Writing of Fiction

CAS EN 305

The writing of short stories and perhaps longer fiction discussed in a workshop setting. Includes one-on-one meetings to discuss student work. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 2 (July 6-August 10)

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College of Communication

College of Communication Writing Program

The College of Communication Writing Center, located in Room B27A at the College of Communication, is available to Communication students who would like help with their writing. Writing fellows staff the Writing Center four hours a day, Monday through Thursday. Students may sign up for an appointment online at bu.mywconline.com. Call 617-353-6632 for further information.

College of Communication Writing Program

Introduction to Communication Writing

COM CO 201

Prereq: (CAS WR 100) or equivalent. The core writing course for communication students. Students review editing skills and apply those skills to professional writing assignments for the web and print: news stories, memoirs, proposals, film scripts, and profiles. Weekly written assignments and writing workshops offer an emphasis on revision. Students consider how text and media work together in informational, persuasive, and narrative writing for specific audiences. Prepares students to write with confidence in communication fields. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

Summer 2 (July 3-August 10)

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Writing for Communication

COM CM 331

Prereq: (COM CO 201). Intensive exposure to some of the basic writing formats in communications: news releases, letters, features, and profiles. Lead writing, editing, and techniques of interviewing. Extensive writing and rewriting. Develops basic writing skills for various audiences. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29)

Summer 2 (July 6-August 10)

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