Spring 2019 - ENGL 114W D900

Language and Purpose (3)

Class Number: 1527

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    SUR 5080, Surrey



Introduces students to the relationships between writing and purpose, between the features of texts and their meaning and effects. May focus on one or more literary or non-literary genres, including (but not limited to) essays, oratory, autobiography, poetry, and journalism. Includes attention to writing skills. Students with credit for ENGL 104W may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


The readings in this class explore issues of love, loss, and conflict in the context of familial and intimate relationships. Our attention to language and purpose will involve discussions of prose techniques and strategies, historical contexts, and the interconnection of purpose and audience. With Franz Kafka, students will examine how a writer interrogates his contentious relationship with his father in the form of a “letter” which broaches the boundaries of memoir and essay. With Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Katherine Anne Porter, students will consider how writers imaginatively reconstruct challenging experiences in their lives in the form of “stories” which blur the boundary between fiction and non-fiction. And with Viktor Frankl, Theodore Fontaine, and Frederick Douglass, students will consider some of the different ways in which writers, in the form of memoir, reflect on personal traumatic experiences for specific political and cultural purposes. As ENGL 114 is a writing intensive class, students will be engaging these readings through various forms of writing throughout the semester. Activities will include regular weekly posts in on-line discussion forums (on Canvas), in-class written reflections, personal narratives, and essays. Revision will be woven into the longer written assignments (which include narrative writing and essay writing.)


  • On-line discussion forum (weekly postings) 15%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Critical reflection essay (includes a first and revised draft) 30%
  • Personal narrative pieces (that employ one or more of the writing strategies discussed in class) 30%



Kafka, Franz  Letter to my Father
ISBN: 978-­‐1847997517

Porter, Katherine Anne  Pale Horse, Pale Rider
ISBN: 978-­‐0141195315

Fontaine, Theodore  Broken Circle:  The Dark Legacy of Residential Schools:  A Memoir
ISBN: 978-­‐1926613666

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins The YellowWall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings
ISBN: 978-0143105855

Douglass, Frederick Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass 
ISBN: 978-1974380176

Frankl, Viktor E. Man’s Search for Meaning 
ISBN: 978-0671244224

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html