Essay and Feature Writing

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Essay and Feature Writing

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    English, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    One 100-level ENGL paper (excluding ENGL 126) or 36 points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    A practical course developing the skills of rhetoric and persuasive writing, in a variety of popular essay genres, through regular workshopping, and the reading and analysis of non-specialist texts from a variety of media.

    Most of the writing we encounter on a daily basis is not what we traditionally think of as 'literature' (fiction, drama, poetry), but rather what we rather unconvincingly call 'non-fiction'. This is writing that is intended to inform and explain, amuse and argue, describe and persuade; and whilst such writing is often 'professional' (rather than 'creative'), we often overlook the obvious fact that the best of it is read for the same reason as literature: that is, for pleasure. This paper will focus on the rhetoric of prose and on writing (and reading) in the range of non-fiction genres, including travel writing, profiles, argument and polemic, autobiographical reflection, social and political commentary and reviews (books, film, music, etc). That being said, students have a great deal of choice about their precise subject matter. The paper assumes competence in writing in English, including grammar and construction, and it is strongly recommended that students have successfully completed ENGL 127.

    Learning Outcomes
    -To experience writing in a variety of non-fictional sub-genres
    -To become aware of the mindset and skill set to be deployed in writing pleasurable prose
    -To learn and practise various rhetorical strategies
    -To develop and exercise an informed and critical judgement in and of their own and each other's writing
    -To produce a folio of polished personal writing

    Paper Structure
    -Lectures on rhetorical issues
    -Workshopping/peer review of work for assessment
    -8 weekly assessments requiring writing in a variety of specified genres (on topics of students' choosing)
    -Two final essays

    All assessment internal

    Course Reader (available at the Print Shop)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.