Writing Seminar: Writing the Expository Essay

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Course registration will be available once courses are confirmed and scheduled.

Course Description

This course is designed to teach you how to introduce your voice into an academic conversation. You will learn how to closely read primary texts, summarize arguments, evaluate and respond to critical sources, incorporate evidence and cite references, and employ a variety of rhetorical tools and strategies that will strengthen your position.

Students will study and practice the skills necessary to successfully compose expository essays in response to provided prompts and course materials. Working with the instructor, they will learn how to generate original responses and thus learn how to introduce their voice into an academic conversation. By developing students' abilities to analytically relate a series of sources to each other, this course will provide the initial groundwork for independent research.

Feedback will be given as students develop their work through the multiple stages of the writing process; brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing. The course aims to help students achieve greater scholastic success through developing critical thinking skills, creating academic arguments, employing various writing techniques, and incorporating sources.

Based on Brown's popular "Critical Reading and Writing: The Academic Essay," this course, is one of the three writing courses offered in Summer@Brown that together focus on the three core elements of this first year, undergraduate writing course: self-expression (Putting Yourself Into Words); responsive writing (Writing the Expository Essay); and research, analysis and argumentation (Composing the Academic Essay). Taking all three courses effectively exposes students to the full range of writing taught in "Critical Reading and Writing: The Academic Essay." Students may take a single one of these writing courses, or any two, or all three, and may take them in any order that suits their schedule.

Writing the Expository Essay (two weeks) models college-level, expository writing; after analyzing primary texts, students write an argument in response to them, correctly incorporating paraphrases and quotations.

Putting Yourself Into Words (one week) explores the balance between self-expression and effective communication essential to writing powerful personal narratives, college admissions essays, and creative reflections.

Composing the Academic Essay (three weeks) stresses observation, investigation, and argument through close reading, evaluation and analysis of academic sources, developing an argument, and writing a research paper.

Prerequisites: A proven facility with the English language, including grammar, and some confidence as a writer.


Course Information

  • Course Code: CEEL0983
  • Length: 2 weeks

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2020.

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