Introduction to Academic Writing

Professor: Cynthia Messenger
Course code: WRR103H1
Format: Lecture/Tutorial

About this course

Even at the best of times, essay assignments can be intimidating. WRR103 is designed to help students develop a toolkit for essay-writing in the humanities. Over the course of the term, we move from the sentence level to the paragraph and essay levels in order to equip students with a skill set that empowers them to engage in a wide variety of practical writing tasks. By focusing on the most pervasive general categories of writing (what rhetoricians call the “modes” of writing), WRR103 provides students with a rhetorical arsenal that can be applied to academic essays, scholarship applications, and creative writing.

What you’ll learn

  • Craft effective sentences, paragraphs, and essays.

  • Analyze models of critical analyses, narrative-descriptive essays, and argumentative essays.

  • Devise an outline and annotated bibliography.

  • Use the MLA style guide effectively.

Good to know

This is an introductory course open to all students. No specific background in Writing & Rhetoric is required. There are three major writing assignments.

Your instructor

Cynthia Messenger

Cynthia Messenger

As someone who publishes essays, articles, and book reviews, I have long been fascinated with writing as both a practical skill and an art form. One of the first things I noticed when I began to teach writing at a post-secondary level is that we’re all so immersed in our communicative habits that it’s actually quite difficult to develop any critical distance from our habitual writing strategies. WRR103 is designed to help students cultivate some of that critical distance by studying relevant writing genres and learning how to make the most of constructive feedback.

Good to know

Recommended preparation:


Distribution requirements:

Breadth requirements:

Have a question?

Need more info? Want to discuss if the Writing & Rhetoric Program is right for you? Looking for help in choosing courses? Jannie Chien, the Innis College academic program coordinator, can help!