In response to requests from recent graduates who felt that their studies here did not properly prepare them for the realities of the working world for writers in the current market, the Department of English is pleased to announce the following slate of new classes for the Spring semester (registration preference will be given to seniors nearing graduation):
ENGL 304: TV RECAPS
(optional lab: ENGL 305, Snarky TV Livetweeting)
Episode-by-episode recaps of popular television shows are one of the hottest – some would say the only – growth sectors for young writers entering the market. In this class, students will receive hands-on instruction in the delicate art of writing 1500-word recaps of TV episodes to post to entertainment websites to attract search engines and spur long, heated discussions in the comments. Special attention will be paid to identifying and coining derisive nicknames for “good” and “bad” characters on reality shows, and to working up witty in-text rejoinders to things said onscreen.
In the optional lab, students will gain practice tweeting sarcastic responses to TV shows as they air, with emphasis on making up catch hashtags. #RequiredTextDuckDynasty
ENGL 308: LISTICLES
(lab: ENGL 309, Your Jaw Will Hit the Floor When You Learn These 12 Things Obama Doesn’t Want You to Know About SEO-Friendly Headlines!)
Dream of Internet fame via BuzzFeed, Upworthy, or Cracked? Then this is the class for you! Learn 16 amazing tips for conveying information in numbered lists of bite-sized thoughts. Students will practice lists with items of varying length, ranging from Cracked-style multiparagraph entries to the more succinct, pithy list composed entirely of animated GIFs. Special consideration will be given to the process of finding a hook to make an essentially random list of unrelated items all seem both relevant and flattering to a desirable demographic or locality.
The lab for this class, in which students master the art of the listicle headline, is required, and actually begins before the seminar portion; this mimics the real-world circumstances under which many listicles are created.
ENGL 314: ONLINE COMMENT MODERATION
(lab: see Professor Ludovico)
No online newspaper article or YouTube video is complete without a lengthy, acrimonious trainwreck of semiliterate comments underneath it. But these trainwrecks don’t just happen- a properly awful garden requires tending, and this class will hone your editing skills to become that awful gardener. Learn how much xenophobic racism should be allowed and when the proper time is to ineffectually cite Godwin’s Law as chaos rages around you.
In the required lab, students will be strapped into a chair and forced to watch hours of video of mankind’s greatest atrocities. This – and only this- might sufficiently deaden students on the inside enough to be able to spend large amounts of time in online comment threads.
ENGL 316: TELEPHONE CUSTOMER SERVICE
(lab: ENGL 317, University Internship)
The hands-on practical techniques learned in this class will be of great value to the over 70% of English Department graduates who go on to careers in telephone customer service. Topics include following telemarketing scripts, dealing with irate callers, escalating calls to the manager, and how to work a modern industrial telephone.
In the required lab, students gain real-world experience by manning the customer service line for either the University’s Billing or Information Technology Support lines.