Spring 2020 - ENGL 114W D100

Language and Purpose (3)

Class Number: 1433

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    AQ 3150, Burnaby



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.


Designing Public Arguments

In this course students practice inquiry, a crucial skill of public and professional literacy. A principal goal is for students to act as authors rather than as compilers of information, transcending bandwagon positions in order to develop interesting, original, and substantive arguments that engage relevant audiences of decision makers. In order to make progress toward this goal, students learn a rhetorical framework for analyzing and constructing arguments, a framework that aims to support their becoming more independent as readers and as writers. In addition, they learn techniques for exploring issues, defining problems, and synthesizing debates, seeing arguments and arguers in relation to one another in time and place. Finally, they make contributions of their own, based on their experience with and investigations of particular cases. Throughout the course, students are challenged to reflect on their own writing processes, as productive self-reflexivity is one of the qualities that distinguishes novice from expert writers. With this in mind, all writing assignments and class discussions emphasize planning and revising of arguments and texts.


  • Argument Analysis Paper (~1000 words) 20%
  • State of the Debate Paper (~1750 words) 35%
  • Contribution Paper (~1750 words) 35%
  • Participation 10%


Revision is built into the process of writing, and revision is accomplished through successive similar assignments.



Charney, D., Neuwirth, C. M., Kaufer, D. S., & Geisler, C. (2006). Having your say : reading and writing public arguments. New York: Pearson/Longman. (0321122305 (pbk.))

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