Greg Schwipps

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Form & Genre is a course designed for English Writing majors (and minors), and its goal is to better prepare writers for Senior Seminar (and the rest of their writing lives) by providing contemporary literary models for close study. It’s not a writing workshop; it’s not really a literature course. It’s a hybrid course where students can read more for class than a workshop schedule allows, while also having discussions and conversations about decisions the published writers made. Craft talk.

This class is built around the principle that you can become a better writer by becoming a better reader. Think reverse engineering – a start-up car company is likely to take apart a couple of Chevys to see how they’re built. As students in this class, you will read published work in the same way – reading with a critical eye and examining the form. After seeing how the tried-and- true models work (and don’t), you should have ideas about how to build your own stories. Not exact replicas, mind you – but working models that bear your own signature.

Obviously, this class will require plenty of active reading and discussion. You will write, both analytically, as you study the models, and creatively, as you create your own pieces. Each Form & Genre class covers two genres: this section examines (mostly short) fiction and creative nonfiction, in the form of personal essays and memoirs. You will write in those genres, as well.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Identify and interpret various literary techniques utilized in creative writing
  2. Analyze and describe the effectiveness of various literary techniques
  3. Apply literary techniques to boost effectiveness of one’s own written creative art

Course Objectives

Identify and interpret various literary techniques utilized in creative writing
Critically evaluate the work of other writers
Demonstrate understanding of the value of various literary techniques