Writing Studies Courses

featured courses

Web Registration: If you have a question or concern about registration (Writing course selection, Writing module/program requirements, and related matters), please first read the course descriptions and module/program descriptions (and linked ‘Worksheets’) as applicable. To view calendar descriptions and recent course outlines for 2022-23 courses follow the links below. If your questions are not answered by the information in those documents, or if you wish to apply for Special Permission to take a Writing Studies course, please feel free to contact the Undergraduate Program Director/Writing Studies, Dr. Jamie Johnston, directly by email at jjohns6@uwo.ca.

*Students registered in FIMS please note: If you have at least 65% in each of MIT 1020E (or both of MIT 1021F/G and MIT 1022F/G) and MIT 1025F/G (total 1.5) you now have the prerequisite for most senior Writing courses.

See Western Academic Timetable for course delivery details.


1000-Level Introductory Writing Courses

Course Number

Course Title

Writing 1000F/G

Writers' Studio
Students are introduced to the creative process of writing through in-class exercises, peer workshop, analysis of creative texts, journaling, essay writing, and a review of writing mechanics. Students learn strategies for idea generation in a variety of genres, composing a first draft, approaching revision, and effective editing and proofreading.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus
Fall Section 002 Syllabus
Fall Section 003 Syllabus
Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 001 Syllabus
Winter Section 002 Syllabus
Winter Section 003 Syllabus
Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 1030F

Writing For Professional Success in Nursing
This course serves as an introduction to the basic principles and techniques of good writing, an integral tool for learning and a vital source of communication in the Nursing profession. The course will emphasize practical work and the development of writing skills for a variety of styles and genres appropriate to the profession.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus
Fall Section 002 Syllabus
Fall Section 003 Syllabus
Fall Section 004 Syllabus
Fall Section 005 Syllabus

Writing 1031F/G

Global Positioning: Introduction to Rhetoric and Professional Communication
This course will introduce students to the rhetorical principles and practices of written and oral communication in professional contexts. Particular attention will be paid to understanding audience, context, and purpose; modes of persuasion; and the negotiation of cultural difference.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

2000 and 2100-Level Introductory Writing Courses

Course Number Course Title
Speech 2001

The Major Forms of Oral Discourse
For effective communication of ideas: Public Address, with basic purposes; Group Discussion; Debate; Voice and Diction; Interpretative Reading.

Full Year Section 001 Syllabus
Full Year Section 002 Syllabus

Writing 2101F/G

Introduction to Expository Writing
An introduction to the basic principles and techniques of good writing. The course will emphasize practical work and the development of writing skills for a variety of subjects and disciplines. Antirequisite(s): The former Writing 2121F/G.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus
Fall Section 650 Syllabus
Fall Section 651 Syllabus

Winter Section 001 Syllabus
Winter Section 650 Syllabus
Winter Section 651 Syllabus

Writing 2111F/G

Writing in the World: Introduction to Professional Writing
This course will introduce students to various genres of workplace writing such as letters, memos, and reports. Topics include: employment communications (application letters and resumes); business writing style; positive, negative, and persuasive messages; cross-cultural communication; oral communication. Antirequisite(s): Writing 1031F/G.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus
Fall Section 002 Syllabus
Fall Section 003 Syllabus
Fall Section 650 Syllabus
Fall Section 651 Syllabus
Fall Section 652 Syllabus
Fall Section 653 Syllabus

Winter Section 001 Syllabus 
Winter Section 002 Syllabus
Winter Section 003 Syllabus
Winter Section 650 Syllabus
Winter Section 651 Syllabus
Winter Section 652 Syllabus
Winter Section 653 Syllabus
Winter Section 654 Syllabus
Winter Section 655 Syllabus

Writing 2130F/G

Building Better (Communication) Bridges: Rhetoric & Professional Communication for Engineers
This course introduces students to rhetorical principles and the practices of written, oral, and visual communication in professional engineering contexts. Students will learn strategies for drafting and designing technical and academic documents and for approaching the editing and revision of those documents.

"Writing 2130F/G is one of the most important courses in Western’s curriculum that any aspiring engineer will take. In all types of engineering, the successful outcome of a project is directly related to how effectively every team member communicates with each other and with the project stakeholders. As a professional in your chosen field, you will be solicited for advice and direction by clients, colleagues, superiors, and the public.  Key skills developed in the course include knowing your audience and guiding the reader through the document.  Speaking from experience, I have found that taking the time to incorporate key communication concepts is crucial to having your work approved by superiors and authorities in a more timely manner." -- Markus Eichenbaum, Development Engineering Technologist, City of Mississauga, MESc (2020), Civil & Environmental Engineering

Fall Section 650 Syllabus
Fall Section 651 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus
Winter Section 651 Syllabus

Writing 2131G

No Bones About It: Writing for the Sciences
Writing in the Sciences introduces students to the basic principles and genres of writing required for science students in their undergraduate careers: lab reports, summaries of scientific research, and scientific review essays. The course will focus on drafting and revising various reports written on scientific topics.

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

2200-Level Advanced Writing Courses

Course Number Course Title
Writing 2202F

Winning Your Argument: Rhetorical Strategy in a Visual Age
An intensive and practical study of exposition in discursive prose, this course reviews the foundations of grammar, introduces students to the rhetoric of presentation and persuasion, and considers diverse types of prose across multiple disciplines, focusing an analysis of visual rhetoric and argumentation, including websites, advertisements, and other visual media.

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2203F/G

From Headline to Deadline: Writing for Publication
The course will improve writing intended for various forms of publication, including media releases and public letters, reviews and reports, newspaper and magazine articles. Students will develop skills in the preparation, writing, copy-editing, and formatting of materials for publication, focusing on effective organization at every level of writing. Antirequisite(s): MIT 3829F/G; MIT 3870G if taken in 2009-10, 2010-11, or 2011-2012.

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2204F

Short Flicks: An Introduction to Screenwriting
In this course students will analyze short and feature film scripts, workshop their own scripts and respond to the scripts of other students, and draft and revise a 15 minute short film script. Topics will include image, three-act structure, dialogue, character development, theme, scene construction, and point of view.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2209G

Visual Information Packaging: Document Design
This course introduces students to principles of document design and methods of integrating visual and verbal information in print documents such as brochures, manuals, and flyers. Students will apply these principles to a variety of design projects using the computer lab facilities.

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2210G

GrammarPhobia Demystified: Contemporary Grammar for Writers
A study of how the English language works in practice, the course will include consideration of writing processes and the practical application of various theories of rhetoric and syntax. Students will analyse and imitate a variety of types of writing samples, and will develop a sophisticated understanding of writing in English.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2211F/G

The Naked Writer: Fundamentals of Creative Writing
Students will explore fundamentals of creative writing and challenge their creativity through the writing of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. In craft talks and in small workshop settings, students will examine their work and the work of others for the use of basic elements such as character, voice, and setting.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Winter Section 001 Syllabus
Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2214F

Memoir, Memories, and Disclosure: Creative Non-Fiction
This course is designed for students who wish to write what's true in the form of personal essay, memoir and literary journalism. We will explore how writers use narrative techniques and structure to create essays both to the traditional forms and challenge them in unexpected, important and engaging ways.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2215F

Encoding Persuasion: Rhetorical Theory
This course introduces students to basic precepts of rhetorical theory, and their application to communication analysis and the practice of writing. Topics will include rhetorical argumentation, 'publics' theory, and conceptions of rhetoric as both a social practice and a method. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2292F (2008-2009).

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2218F

To Make a Long Story Short: Introduction to Writing Short Fiction
In this course students will develop not only fiction writing ability, but also critical reading skills. The short story will be the focus of the course. Students will produce their own short fictions based on professional models, instructor guidance, and class discussion. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2295F/G (2009-2010; 2008-2009).

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2219F

Word Travels: Introduction to Travel Writing
Great travel writing is a balance of colourful description, practical advice and history. Students will learn a variety of article styles including personal essay, guidebook writing and destination pieces for a variety of publications. Relevant issues will also be discussed including the evolution of the genre and ethical issues. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2296F/G (2008-2009, 2009 - 2010.

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2222G

Food Writing
In the novel "Like Water for Chocolate", Mexican author Laura Esquivel reveals the powerful force of food to educate, and to influence emotions, culture and life. In this course students will practice food writing (through memoir, history, reportage, biography and narrative) while developing specific research methods to understand food systems. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2295G (2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011).

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2223G

Fashion Writing: Elements of Style
Using high fashion magazines as well as select books, film/video, and internet resources, this course covers the basic areas of fashion writing (review, trend reports, profiles, etc.) and explores how fashion can be used as a lens to discuss other areas of cultural and social significance. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2293G 2010-2012; Writing 2293F 2012-2013.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2224G

Writing for the Big Screen: Introduction to Feature Film Writing
Explore the art of writing a feature-length screenplay in a workshop setting. Course work focuses on the fundamental elements of screenplay theory while the workshop guides students through the stages of the screenwriting process. Students will complete the first act of a feature-length film and collaborate on a film trailer.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2225G

The Inside Track: Sport Writing
Good sports writing fuels the fans' love of the game and combines elements of emotion, event coverage, and opinion. This course offers students a chance to cover the world of sports through interviews, attending events, and going behind the scenes to create stories about these popular pastimes.

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2226G

Out of the Book: Contemporary Experimental Writing Practices

In this experimental creative writing course students use a variety of media, online platforms, and source material to create innovative projects that challenge traditional modes of literary expression. They will be introduced to experimental writers/artists. Assignments will incorporate appropriation, collage, and sampling.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2227F

Crime Writing: Black Dahlias, Red Herrings and Tequila Sunrises
This course introduces students to the process of writing crime fiction for a variety of media. Drawing on classic works, students will also learn about the criminal mind and investigative procedure as they create realistic portrayals of the genre's archetypal crimes, including murder, ransom kidnapping, and the theft of antiquities. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2291F if taken in 2013-2014.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2520A Write Now! Writers on Writing
Through a series of guest lectures by contemporary writers, this course explores the art, craft, and process of creative writing in a variety of genres. Course topics include inspiration, overcoming creative blocks, revision, social media, publishing, literary citizenship, and the writing life. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2504A if taken F/W16 or F/W17. More details >>>

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2530B TV or Not TV: Writing for the Television Industry
This course teaches students how to write and pitch creative projects reflecting today’s dominant television broadcast models. By exploring a variety of formats and genres, this course will also help prepare students for professional careers in writing and production in the television industry in both Canada and the United States. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2500B if taken F/W16 or F/W17.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

3200-Level Advanced Writing Courses

Course Number Course Title
Writing 3221F

Crime Scene to Courtroom: Forensic Writing
From true crime exposés to writing search warrants and wiretaps, this course introduces students to the process of investigating and documenting incidents likely to result in criminal prosecution, litigation, or inquiry. Students will also learn the art of drafting rhetorically complex documents capable of withstanding public, political, and media scrutiny.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 3223G

Hot Type: Technical Writing
Students will examine how the technical writer interprets and appropriately presents specialized information. Assignments will increase in complexity from letters and memos to document design, technical definition and description, instructions, proposals, the research report. Students will combine analysis, organization, and visual design to craft oral and written communications.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 3225F/G

My Name is url: Writing for the Web
This course will explore the theory and practice of digital writing technologies. Topics covered include: the production, management, and reception of digital texts; web writing style; hypertext and linking; authorship; copyright. Students will evaluate the design and content of web texts and create their own web sites. Antirequisite(s): The former Writing 2207F/G.

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 3228G

Concept to Product: Publishing
This is a workshop course in which students work in teams to develop a consumer magazine. It is of particular interest to students considering a career in print/digital publishing as the roles of managing editor, copy editor, creative/art director, photo design editor, and freelance writer are part of the classroom experience.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 3300F/G Internship in Writing
Students registered in a Certificate or Minor degree module in Writing and who have a cumulative average of 80% in Writing courses may elect to do an internship with an approved institution as a course at the 3300 level. Course requirements will be set individually prior to registration.
Writing 3401F You're A Strange Animal: Writing Nature, Writing The Self
What is nature, how do we write about it and, how is writing about the natural world and the animals in it inextricable from writing about the self? Students should expect to spend a portion of each class outdoors, investigating the flora, fauna, and geological features on campus.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus
Writing 3402G Hitting the Right Notes: Song Lyric Writing
Do you want to write lyrics in your favourite musical genre—blues, rock, folk, pop, hip hop, and others? Learn essential lyric writing tools including imagery, repetition, metre, persona, and storytelling structure while studying master songwriters and workshopping your own lyrics. No previous music theory experience required. Antirequisite(s): Writing 2294G F/W15; Writing 3902G F/W17; Writing 3901G F/W19.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

4000-Level Advanced Writing Courses

Course Number Course Title
Writing 4998F/G

Re-visioning Self: Creating Your Professional Portfolio
In this half-course students will write new documents and revise documents written in previous Writing classes to include in a portfolio of their work. The portfolio will be both online and printed. Class time will be devoted to a combination of lecture and writing workshop. Antirequisite(s): The former Writing 2299F/G.

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 4999E

Creative Writing Thesis
Individual instruction in selection of a topic, preparation of materials, and writing of a creative writing thesis. To take this course, students must apply to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Writing Studies. Restricted to students in fourth year of an English Honors Specialization module. Antirequisite(s): English 4999E if taken prior to the 2014-15 academic year.

Please fill out the Agreement/Consent Supervisor Form and return.
Full Year - September-April

Special Topics Courses

Course Number Course Title
Writing 2291F

Creating Youth: Writing for Young Adults
In this course, we will consider the art and craft of writing for young adult readers. We will begin by reading and discussing a range of YA texts. The purpose of the reading will be to discover and examine principles of craft, paying particular attention to narration, character development, and style. As we read, we’ll consider the differences and similarities between great YA literature and great adult literature. We will then write literature for young adults, completing a variety of assignments and in-class workshops, commenting on one another’s work. Our goal is to complete several pieces geared specifically to young adult readers. Assignments may include: novel pitch, short fiction piece, a novel chunk, and poetry collection.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2292F

Getting Well-Versed in the Craft: Introduction to Poetry
Calling all poets! Explore a range of poetic forms, styles, and techniques as you develop and expand your own voice in verse. Students will study exceptional contemporary Canadian poets while workshopping their own poems and learning about ways of engaging with Canada’s larger literary community.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 2292G

True Crime: Writing Podcast and Purplish Prose
This course interrogates the multimedia evolution of “true” crime over the last two centuries and what exactly such a designation means. With a focus on writing for podcasting productions, it additionally explores the impact of the genre on the administration of justice, particularly narratives focused on cold cases and the wrongfully convicted.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

Writing 3903F

Macabre Manuscripts: Writing Horror Fiction

This course teaches students how to effectively author and successfully market creative projects that
traverse the various subgenres of horror fiction as broadly defined. From the earliest Gothic works to
the anodyne novels of R.L. Stine; from zombie apocalypse narratives and vampire erotica to the iconic
multimedia works of Stephen King, David Lynch, and Anne Rice, this course will also critically examine
the evolution of horror fiction as a domain of serious literary scholarship. Students will additionally
learn how to navigate the different distribution models for horror today, from conventional book
publishing and screenwriting to collected short stories and anthologies, graphic novels, video games,
and even podcasting as the latest trend in a longstanding tradition of radio theatre performances of
horror stories.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

Course listings are subject to change. See Western Academic Timetable for date, time, and location of specific courses. See Undergraduate Sessional Dates for more details and deadlines.

Previous Courses Offered & Course Outlines