ENGL398A: Writing about the Arts

English 398A satisfies the Professional Writing requirement for undergraduates at the University of Maryland, College Park. Students study the situations and genres in which working professionals write about art and artists, as practitioners, advocates, administrators, and educators. The course covers the complex process writers need to learn, including how to accommodate information to specific audiences; how to use stylistic and visual devices to make information more accessible; and how to edit their own work as well as that of their peers. 

Assignments parallel the writing demands that students will face in the workplace. Assignments may include analyzing and composing artist statements, an arts manifesto, art education guides, press releases about artists and their work, critical reviews of exhibits and performances, and proposals to funding agencies and foundations. 


English 101 or equivalent and a minimum of 60 credits. 

How student learning is assessed: 

Students complete five to six major writing assignments encompassing approximately 6500 words, in addition to in-class exercises, readings, peer review workshops, group work, and oral presentations. Each major assignment is evaluated according to a set of criteria provided to students with the assignments sheets. Students are responsible for the information provided on the course syllabus, as well as on ELMS or other class websites, and for any material provided in a course packet or on handouts distributed in class. Readings may come from an assigned textbook and from other relevant, timely sources. Students are responsible for the readings, which form the basis of class discussion; students may also be required to write responses to reading assignments.