Summer 2020 - ENGL 114W D900

Language and Purpose (3)

Class Number: 5339

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    SRYC 5140, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 18, 2020
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    Betty Schellenberg
    Office Hours: Mon. 10h30-11h30; 14h30-15h20; and by appointment



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.


Are You with Me Yet? Short, Sweet, and Persuasive
“A young healthy child well nursed is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food.” “It struck me, as I stood there holding a bag filled with several dozen stiff weightless bats, that I was watching mass extinction in action.” “Among your characters you must always include The Starving African.” “Today, let us resolve to make our country better for our children and grandchildren, and remember that Canada will only be at its best when we all succeed.”

Who said these things, and why?  Who heard them, and did it make any difference?

The expository essay is one of the most common forms of writing. It harnesses the power of words to invite reflection and change. The essay writer consciously chooses a voice, images, and style to evoke the feeling of a particular place, to tackle a hard question, or to advocate for a political position. Often writing as if simply thinking aloud, the essayist in fact wants to take you along, to change how you think about something. In this course we will read essays that were communicated as speeches, as political pamphlets, as magazine or newspaper articles, in scholarly journals, or on social media. We will be paying careful attention to these essays’ original speakers and audiences. Many of the essays deal with topics important to readers here and now—war and peace, being Canadian, climate change, reconciliation, the global economy.


In this course you will develop critical tools for reading, talking, and writing about some of the most famous and influential essays ever written (as well as some very recent ones that may be remembered as influential in our own time). You will practise these skills by imitating and adapting parts of the essays you are reading. Tutorials will also focus on stages of the writing process—planning, writing, self-editing, peer-editing, and revising. You will create a portfolio of short writing exercises in tutorials and will also submit two formal essay assignments. Together, this reading, discussion, and writing will help you learn to read literature critically, and also to develop general university writing skills.


  • lecture and tutorial preparation, participation, and peer editing 10%
  • tutorial writing portfolio, including draftsof essay sections 20%
  • first essay assignment: imitation & analysis (900 words) 15%
  • second essay: analysis (1600 words) 25%
  • mid-term test 5%
  • final exam 25%


Students are expected to complete the assigned reading BEFORE each tutorial and lecture. Attendance at both tutorial and lecture is a course requirement.



Buzzard, et al. The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose. 3rd ed. Broadview, 2017. (The readings in this text will be supplemented by materials available on Canvas or on-line.)
ISBN: 9781554813469


Doug Babington, et al. The Broadview Pocket Guide to Writing. Rev. 4th Cdn. ed. 2017.
ISBN: 9781554813360

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 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.