Spring 2022 - ENGL 371 D100

Writing: Theory and Practice (4)

Class Number: 5151

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 12:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    RCB 5118, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    30 units or two 200 division English courses. Recommended: One of English 199, 199W, or 214.



Students will engage in theoretically informed practice of writing in various non-academic genres. Emphasis will be placed on the kinds of writing that students are likely to use after graduation. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught, though students who obtained credit for English 371 prior to Summer 2015 may not take this couse for further credit.


Style: Forms of Linguistic Expression for Writers
This course focuses on style, the third of the five canons of classical rhetoric, and in particular on "The Official Style," a current prestige standard.  Richard Lanham describes "The Official Style" as "bureaucratese or jargon" and shows how it is an obfuscating yet prestigious outgrowth of the bureaucratization of North American life.  In the course, we analyze and revise texts from a variety of domains and genres with an emphasis on business, government, science, and law because these are domains where "The Official Style" predominates and because these texts often carry high stakes for general audiences. We pay sustained attention to the details and structures of English as it is used in particular texts. In the course, students learn how to analyze and revise prose, their own and others', to increase clarity and coherence for particular audiences. They practice self-reflexivity about their own language choices and learn to identify and articulate relationships among context, situation, and writing style.


  • Revision 1 25%
  • Test 25%
  • Revision 2 35%
  • Drafts 5%
  • Participation 10%


The Revision assignments ask students to analyze and revise a text from a public or professional domain like business, government, science, or law using the methods of analysis we have studied in the course.



Selected articles, available on Canvas.

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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.