Writing Intensive Courses
Many courses in English are writing intensive (W). Students at Queens College must complete at least three W courses to graduate, but a student majoring in English is likely to take significantly more than this. In English courses, writing will often be practiced as a vehicle for understanding literature and can take a variety of forms—including the traditional academic essay, poetry and fiction writing, experimental or journalistic writing, and writing for electronic media.
The diversity of English Department’s W courses reflects the department’s commitment to giving students the variety of experience they need to become proficient writers and thinkers. English 110 and 120W introduce students to the fundamentals of college-level writing, including thesis, motive, evidence, analysis, and reflection. English 140W (Introduction to Poetry) and 150W (Introduction to Literary Study) tend to integrate a range of informal and formal writing designed to help students take ownership of some of the ideas and methods that are foundational to the study of literature—for example, close reading of a text or the ability to apply literary theories in order to interpret a text. Creative writing courses offer students intensive experience writing in various genres (including fiction, poetry, and non-fiction) and developing a critical vocabulary for understanding, discussing, and writing about these genres. Many 300-level courses, including senior seminars, incorporate writing and research to enable students develop original ideas, gain historical perspectives, and engage critical debates about specific genres, periods, or fields of literature.
Writing-Intensive courses at Queens College are designed to help students meet the College’s ambitious writing goals by the time they graduate. Students should think carefully their strengths as writers and the areas where they would like to improve when they are considering which W courses to take.