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Welcome to ENGL 105, Writing at the Research University! 

In this course, undergraduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill will investigate how writing works across the disciplines at the research university (specifically the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities). They work to discover how different disciplines frame research questions, evaluate evidence, and make knowledge claims. In order to accomplish the objectives set for this course, students cannot think about writing as merely an assignment that satisfies a list of requirements to achieve a grade. Thinking about writing only as a means to this end renders it artificial, solitary, and static.

Instead, the course pushes students to view writing as dynamic and problem-based. In this class, students participate in writing activities that call upon them to think about and place themselves in realistic rhetorical situations. Their writing becomes dynamic by actively responding to practical situations common to academic communities and engaging with those communities. They are encouraged to view their writing, and themselves as writers, as works in progress. This course is more than a series of essays for grades; it is a progression of encounters with rhetorical situations and genres that prepares students to be effective writers and communicators in college and in their professional lives after college.

This site is designed for Section 050 of English 105 for the spring 2020 semester, taught by Paul Blom at UNC-Chapel Hill. The site is intended to showcase students’ final drafts of each of their unit projects from across the semester. Additionally, one student will post to our course blog each week, reflecting on the week’s material and work. Please explore the site, visit the course’s online syllabus or download the course syllabus, read about the students, and contact me if you have additional questions.

To see the students’ work in a specific unit/discipline (Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, or Humanities), choose the appropriate category in the “Categories” drop-down menu or visit that particular page on the site.

For other information, you are also encouraged to view the Course Blog Post Assignment Prompt or the extra credit assignment prompt on Writing in Business.

Thank you for your time and consideration!


NOTE: As of March 2020, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, UNC has asked that almost all courses move to being taught online for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester, including this course. We will work hard to maintain educational continuity and achieve our course goals and learning outcomes while also maintaining the practice of social distancing for everyone’s safety. I commend my students for their fortitude and dedication during this difficult time and wish them all the best.  —Paul Blom

To acknowledge the unprecedented event we are experiencing, an event worthy of careful and critical reflection, I have offered my current students extra credit to submit their own reflection on their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the posts they submitted, click here.



Final Week Reflection

  We have finally come to the end of a very long and strange semester. In addition to the end of the semester, it is the conclusion of our first year at Carolina. What a whirlwind it has been! I’ve … Read more

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The Story of an Hour

Personal Interpretation: The Story of an Hour     Written by Kate Chopin, the story is about things happened in an hour. The story took place in the late nineteenth century. At that time, women were men’s possession in marriage. … Read more

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How “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Commentates on Society

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is a short story written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The story was published in the year 1955. In the story, a winged man crashes onto the property of a young family. Because they … Read more

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Perceiving Magic Where Nature Lies

      Transcript To be accused of witchcraft is to receive an execution sentence. These accusations served to systematically root out female power and autonomy, as well as those that posed a threat to the structures and systems of … Read more

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