Fall 2016 English Graduate Courses

How to Publish Articles

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Thursday - 1:10 p.m.  
MU 305

How to Publish Articles 

Henry Turner

A workshop-style seminar directed toward producing publishable academic criticism with an original, animating sensibility; in short, a composition course for graduate students. Emphasis will fall on clarity of argument, with thesis-writing exercises; paragraph structure and control; sentence types, styles, and voice; kinds of evidence and movement between evidence to argument; questions of methodology (historicism, theory, the place of “reading”); identifying and addressing field-organizing questions, and then pushing beyond them—in short, on practicing the movement between criticism that assembles and criticism that creates. We will also spend some time on other forms of academic writing such as the book review, the web essay, and the conference abstract. Students will write short revision exercises taken from a piece of criticism that they are trying to work up into publishable form; they will perform analytical exercises on model criticism published by others; and they will conduct research on individual journals that they will present to the group (the journal field, audience, and essay “type,” submission procedures, rate of acceptance, etc). All along, we will consult examples of current academic criticism, as well as writers working self-consciously and effectively in the essayistic tradition. Our primary work each week will be work-shopping essays written by the students in the course.

The course is open to all students as of their third year, although it is aimed primarily at students in their fourth years and above. Any student in the third year should consult with his or her academic advisor before enrolling in the course. All enrolled students must enter with a draft of a long essay (seminar paper or similar) that they are aiming to revise into publishable form and which they will submit to a journal at the end of the semester.