ENGL 3026 Syntax, Citation, Analysis: Writing About Literature

Instructor Contact :

Teresa Nugent, PhD
Senior Instructor, English Department
Email: teresa.nugent@colorado.edu

About the Course:

ENGL 3026, Syntax, Citation, Analysis is designed to help you refine your writing and analytical skills specifically for literary studies. Developing a detailed understanding of syntax and citation practices will enhance your writing ability for a range of fields. You’ll review fundamental concepts of sentence structure, study advanced close reading analysis based on syntax, and practice syntactical analysis of literary texts. Specifically, we will study sonnets. You will conduct research and use MLA citation to compose an annotated bibliography. In a series of revisions, you’ll craft a research paper for an academic audience and a blog plot for a general audience.

This class runs for 14 weeks. Expect to do 10-12 hours of work per week. You will have activities to complete several days each week, in addition to your reading and writing assignments. Note: this is not a self-paced class.

This is an upper-division, advanced writing course, focusing on analysis of literature. It is recommended that you have taken a college-level introductory academic writing class before taking this course.

Learning Goals:

Students who actively participate in this upper-division writing class and complete all assignments on time will improve their writing skills by performing the following tasks:

  1. Define the eight parts of speech and identify how specific words and phrases fulfill specific roles in a given sentence.
  2. Analyze sentence structure by accurately diagramming sentences.
  3. Apply understanding of syntax to analyze and interpret literary texts.
  4. Perform research on academic criticism and summarize a current scholarly conversation on a specific text by composing a Literature Review.
  5. Develop your own original interpretation of a literary text and engage in the scholarly discussion on this text by formulating a research question and thesis.
  6. Communicate your insights effectively and clearly in your research paper on the selected text.
  7. Demonstrate ability to provide feedback to peers and respond to peer and instructor feedback by significantly revising and improving drafts of your research paper.
  8. Craft an article for a general audience on your research and analysis of a literary text.

Regular and active engagement in this class will help you achieve these goals.

Required Texts:

Books can be purchased from the CU Bookstore.

  • June Casagrande, The Joy of Syntax: A Simple Guide to All the Grammar You Know You Should Know. 2018. ISBN: 978-0-399-58106-9
  • Elizabeth O’Brian, Sentence Diagramming Reference Manual: How to Diagram Anything. 2012. ISBN: 978-1-470-09980-0
  • PDFs of additional readings will be available in Canvas.


Start Here Module Assignments                      2%
Discussion Posts/Perusall Annotations          35%
Quizzes & Worksheets                                    10%
Zoom Conferences                                            5%
Syntax Paper                                                   12%
Literature Review                                           12%
Research Paper                                               12%
Literature Blog Article                                     12%


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8:00am to 5:00pm


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1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado