Introduction to Writing 2082


  • Demonstrate proficiency in English grammar, vocabulary and syntax.
  • Create abstracts, outlines and drafts.
  • Recognize idiomatic English.
  • Develop a ‘writing voice’ and write short grammatically correct and coherent papers.
  • Know how to conduct research in the digital age, ascribe citations and write a bibliography page.
  • Identify different genres of literature, both fiction and nonfiction.
  • Understand how specific social and cultural circumstances shape trends and styles of writing.


This foundational course is an interdisciplinary study of American literature, history and art. It is designed to equip the European student with knowledge of the American experience from the first colonial settlements to the present day. We will examine how the traditions of the early settlers shaped a new culture of conflict and possibility and how this culture evolved into a society of progress and discourse. In a famous poem written in 1923 the English writer D. H Lawrence hailed America as ‘The Evening Land’ and exclaimed: ‘Oh, America/The sun sets in you. /Are you the grave of our day?’ In the twentieth-century America emerged as the most influential western culture of modernity, a culture of innovation, wonder and contradiction that Europeans at the same time often admired and occasionally distrusted. From the time of slavery to the days of social media, America has crossed various paths of crisis and rebirth. Our objective is to examine how different stages of the American experience –the influence of religion, the impact of the Civil War and the Reconstruction, Industrialization, Urbanization- led to the creation of a powerful nation. Some of the topics we will consider are the origins of the American Dream, the idea of the Melting Pot and a multinational society, the emancipation of the American Woman, the legacy of Individualism and the evolution of America as a ‘photogenic culture’ through the lens of

The course provides an introduction to writing in English for beginners. Learning the practical aspects of language -grammar, structure and development- will be combined with a theoretical perspective on writing which will help the student to emerge from the course as a skillful and knowledgeable writer. We will read widely both classic and contemporary essays from the age of Plato to our time when writing has evolved into the ultimate medium of communication.

A comparative approach between eras and cultures will be encouraged with emphasis not only on the content of the text but also on the constructive analysis and critique of it in writing. Moreover the students will be learning how to conduct research and effectively applying it to their writing.

Part of our task is to recognize the two main categories -fiction and nonfiction- that separate the different genres of literature, and familiarize ourselves with some forms of both, such as, novels, memoirs, essays, academic treatises and journalism. We will further study and practice the various components of figurative language. Inevitably, in order to follow and understand the evolution of writing and develop a critical perspective, we will study and discuss the impact of crucial historical ages on writing, such as the classical and the medieval period, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and the modern world that followed.

Arbeids- og læringsformer

This course will run like a workshop with formal and informal assignments. Reading, research and writing are all parts of our work. During the semester, a variety of writing assignments will be completed in class and at home. There will be a selection of readings that will serve as writing examples. The readings will include essays/chapters from the three textbooks as well as the handouts that I will distribute in class: newspaper and magazine articles, excerpts from fiction and non-fiction books and academic essays. Students will be instructed to do certain exercises from the books and the other sources but they will not be required to read all complete all tasks in the books. The course is a combination of Practical English and


There will be two term paper projects, a final examination and a series of informal written assignments. All informal writing exercises will be assigned as we proceed.

First Term Paper 20% of the grade

Second Term Paper 30% of the grade

Final exam 40% of the grade

Informal Writing Assignments 10% of the grade

Det tas forbehold om mindre justeringer i planen.

Publisert av / forfatter Inger-Anne Søfting <>, sist oppdatert av Ralph Ingemar Stålberg - 15.02.2013