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 2024-25 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.

FALL/WINTER 2024-25 COURSES (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

1000-Level Introductory Writing Courses

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.  NOTE:  All sections of 1000F/G will have an in-person exam on campus.

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

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.  NOTE:  All sections of 1031F/G will have an in-person exam on campus.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus
Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 001 Syllabus
Winter Section 650 Syllabus

2000 and 2100-Level Introductory Writing Courses

 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

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. 

Fall Section 001 Syllabus
Fall Section 650 Syllabus
Fall Section 651 Syllabus
Fall Section 652 Syllabus

Winter Section 001 Syllabus
Winter Section 650 Syllabus
Winter Section 651 Syllabus
Winter Section 652 Syllabus

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. 

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

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

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

2131F/G - 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

2202F/G - 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

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. 

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

2204F/G - 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 650 Syllabus

2209F/G - 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

2210F/G - 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 650 Syllabus

2214F/G - 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

2215F/G - 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. 

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

2218F/G - 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. 

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

2219F/G - 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. 

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

2220F/G - Introduction to Writing Poetry
As students develop their own poetic voice, they will explore a range of contemporary styles and techniques. In addition to class workshops, craft discussions, and writing exercises, this experiential course will immerse students in current small press publishing trends, including hands-on editorial opportunities and direct engagement with London’s poetry community.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

2223F/G - 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. 

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

2224F/G - 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 650 Syllabus

2225F/G - 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

2226F/G - 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

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.  More details >>>

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

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. 

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

2550A/B - The English Language for Creative and Professional Writers
This course will teach you how to write more effectively in English. You’ll learn about rules and when to ignore them, about sound, about systems, about word order, about meaning, and about the importance of context and situation. This is not a remedial or introductory grammar course.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

3200-Level Advanced Writing Courses

3221F/G - 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

3225F/G - Writing and AI in the Digital Age
This course equips students with writng tools for the digital age.  Topics include copyright and remix culture, neuroscience and the impact of online reading, collaborative writing with humans and artificial intelligence, and how to craft compelling content for a variety of online mediumds and platforms, including social media and webisites. 

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

3228F/G - 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

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.

3402F/G - 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. 

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

3610F/G - Creating Youth:  Writing for Young Adults
This course considers the craft of writing for young adult readers. We will read several YA texts to examine craft and write literature for adolescents. We will complete several pieces geared specifically to young adult readers. Assignments may include a novel pitch, short fiction piece, novel chunk, and poetry collection.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

3620F/G - Writing Horror Fiction
This course teaches students how to effectively author and successfully market creative projects that traverse the various subgenres of horror fiction. From the earliest Gothic works to current trends in techno-horror, this course will focus on writing short stories and novels as well as adjacent platforms for horror, including film, streaming, and video games.

Winter Section 001 Syllabus

3640F/G - Crime Writing: Black Dahlias, Red Herrings, and Tequila Sunrises
his 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.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus

4000-Level Advanced Writing Courses

4880F - Seminar in Creative Writing (cross-listed with English 4871F - Seminar in Creative Writing)
Theory meets creative writing. We will read passages from over 2000 years of theoretical work, ranging from such thinkers as Aristotle and Longinus to Gerard Genette, from classical considerations of rhetoric to discussions of what constitutes the fantastic (no prior theoretical knowledge is required). The readings will be grouped into four modules: defamiliarization or estrangement, language as material, and détournement; Todorov’s definition of the fantastic, his notion of hesitation, and the uncanny; the sublime; and narratology, specifically focalisation and different kinds of discourse. Using the readings as constraints, we will write four creative pieces in different genres. The objective is to become better writers by having more tools at our disposal.

Fall Section 001 Syllabus 

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. 

Fall Section 650 Syllabus

Winter Section 650 Syllabus

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. 

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

Spring/summer 2024 COURSES (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Distance Studies (May 6-June 14)

Course Number

Course Title

Writing 1000F

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.

Spring/Summer Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2101F

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.

Spring/Summer Section 650 Syllabus

Writing 2130F

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

Spring/Summer Section 650 Syllabus

Distance Studies (May 6-July 26)

Course Number

Course Title

Writing 2111F

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.

Spring/Summer Section 650 Syllabus

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.

Spring/Summer Section 650 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