March 6, 2017

Welcome to English 110 with Farrah Goff

In this course, you will learn the expectations and strategies of academic writing by writing about monsters. On ancient maps, one would often find the warning: Hic sunt dracones. “Here be dragons.” This statement demarcated the known world, beyond which lay the vast and often terrifying unknown. Despite great advances in science and technology, such monsters of long ago persist in modern entertainment: zombies continue to lumber across dystopian landscapes; King Kong and Godzilla still run rampant through New York and Tokyo; vampires and werewolves remain undetectable among us. However, monsters can even be found in our news and politics since it seems as if anything and anyone can be “monsterized” or portrayed as a monster: immigrants, foreigners, homosexuals, Muslims, atheists, welfare programs, the poor, the rich, the list goes on. But, why? Why do monsters exist? To terrify us? To titillate us? To teach us? Where do they come from? What, if anything at all, do monsters represent and what do we label as monstrous? These are some of the questions you will explore in order to learn and practice academic writing this semester.


Academic writing itself might seem monstrous to many college students, but it is crucial to participating in the many conversations that exist in our intellectual communities at QC and beyond. Therefore, in College Writing I, you will learn and practice a dependable, manageable and reproducible writing process that allows you to find and develop your own strong ideas and also express them clearly and persuasively. Over the course of the semester, you will read and discuss texts from a number of fields, complete regular informal reading and writing exercises, and write three longer essays in which you analyze the many monsters all around us. To do so, you will pay special attention to the practices of close reading and analysis, research, collaboration, and revision. My hope is that you will learn to see writing as a means of discovery, a process of continual refinement of ideas and their expression. Rather than approaching writing as an innate talent, we will understand writing as a skill that anyone can learn and improve through hard work.