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Independent Learning: English & Writing

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Academic Administrative Team at DCS: Sarah Korpi, David Werther: il@dcs.wisc.edu

Student Services: 1-877-895-3276

Tech Support: 1-877-724-7883

Online Writing Lab: owl.wisconsin.edu

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English and Writing Courses

Our distance learning programs in English and Composition offer you the flexibility and convenience of taking a class at “your place, your place” from experienced, highly qualified and caring instructors.

English and composition courses are a requirement of many degree programs and are a popular elective. The flexible pace of our distance education history courses allows you to fully absorb the material and enjoy the experience. English courses may earn up to 3 university-level credits (seek pre-approval from your department or institute). Classes are available by correspondence or online.


Freshman Composition (Online, 3 Credits)

Designed to provide a “persuasive edge” for academic and most other kinds of writing, this course focuses on the techniques of persuasion as well as on detecting connon writing and documentation problems and learning ways to correct them. For most units, students write a short paper based in the reading assignments. Students also write a slightly longer, resource-based paper. All necessary resource materials for the assignments are available in The Language of Argument and (if the student selects the novel option for the final paper) in the critical edition of the optional novel.

The Bible as Literature (Print, 3 Credits)

Careful analysis of the prose and verse of the Old and New Testaments. No systematic knowledge of the Bible is required. You will do close readings of scriptural passages to identify their use of narrative, imagery, suspense, dialogue, and other literary elements.

Intermediate Composition: The Essay (Online, 3 Credits)

Expository essays leading to a final project. In writing the essays, you are encouraged to begin with inspiration—with an idea you care about—and then to structure your thoughts in ways that present that idea clearly to your audience.

Modern African Prose and Poetry in French (Online, 3 Credits)

Modern fiction and poetry by Francophone Africans from West Africa and the Caribbean. Explore great works by Mariama Bâ, Aimé Césaire, Birago Diop, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Ousmane Sembène, Léopold Senghor, and others. While much of the course is written in French, students in U104-454 have the option of completing the written assignments and exams in either French or English. Students in U400-454 are required to complete the written assignments and exams in French.

Introduction to 20th Century African American Literature: The Fictional Vision (Online, 3 Credits)

Written by a nationally recognized scholar of African-American literature, this course examines African-American fiction from the 20th century and beyond. You will investigate a history of racial injustice transformed into fiction of extraordinary power and importance, in works by Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and others.

American Indian Literature (Print, 3 Credits)

Fiction, prose, and poetry of America’s original inhabitants. You will read works that explore our relationship to nature, the struggle between old traditions and new ways, American history, the family, spiritual values, and the roles of women.

WIlla Cather (Print, 1 Credit)

Portraits of the immigrant experience, the fear of aging, and the hunger for love and acceptance. You will study three novels—My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and The Professor’s House—that demonstrate Cather’s remarkable versatility.

History of the English Language (Print, 3 Credits)

In this course, you will learn the changes in vocabulary, syntax, spelling, and sounds that the English language has undergone since its beginnings nearly fifteen hundred years ago, as well as the historical reasons that these changes have taken place. You will also learn the principles by which the English language continues to change today and will continue to do so in the future. In addition, you will have an opportunity to classify your own regional dialect and pronunciation of words in the English language.

The Structure of English (Online, 3 Credits)

The course offers an introductory look at, and practice working with, the structure of the English language, with the goal of being very useful to students or teachers of English, ESL, foreign languages, and linguistics.

Ernest Hemingway (Print, 1 Credit)

This course examines two of Hemingway’s greatest novels, The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea, as well as a selection of short stories. This course does not assume prior knowledge of close-text analysis or conducting research online and offers students a comprehensive introduction to these skills while exploring Hemingway’s code of behavior along with his style, worldview, and belief systems.

The Contemporary Short Story (Print, 3 Credits)

Provocative short fiction of our time. You will examine high-interest contemporary issues such as relationships, self-discovery, poverty, career and workplace, and escape from reality, in works by Raymond Carver, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Louise Erdrich, Richard Ford, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Iris Murdock.


English Facilitators:

Joan Bell