Faculty of Arts




A course developing university-wide skills of reading, writing and analysis. Addresses the needs of students in English and other disciplines where both writing and reading have an important role in learning. The course fosters personal writing skills and also introduces writing as a subject of study in itself.


ENGLISH 121/121G aims to help improve your ability to read, write and think, no matter what your major or degree. The course targets and strengthens literacy skills which are important for academic success, equipping you with the ability to read and write more effectively and to navigate the university environment with greater confidence. The course also focuses on transferable literacy skills that will assist you in workplace, digital and professional communications.

Readings include academic publications, online journalism, blogs, multimedia texts, literary texts and visual texts. We also deal with objects such as graffiti, comics and advertising billboards, and we reflect directly on how to interpret the communications, resources and tasks associated with a university course.

Techniques for taking notes and writing essays and paragraphs are a key focus of ENGLISH 121/121G. We also deal specifically with grammar and punctuation, and with how to manage referencing and citations. Questions of authorship, originality, plagiarism and what it means to write "properly" lead us to consider conditions and rules of writing in the contemporary world, and the particular conventions of academic, public and online communication.

Coursework tasks invite you to respond to different text-types and genres. Two essays ask you to read and engage critically with selected texts, and to identify and address cultural and social issues posed by specific modes of writing. Three smaller writing activities invite you to experiment with different forms of written expression such as paragraphs and bullet points, and provide you with practical and creative skills in composition, peer reviewing and editing. A final exam asks you to put your reading, writing and thinking skills into action.

Specific goals

By the end of the course, you should have improved your ability:

  • To recognise different text-types and genres
  • To grasp the purpose of a text, its audience and the case it makes
  • To read and respond to academic and non-academic texts that deal with a range of topics
  • To understand the effects produced by different types of grammatical and stylistic expression within your own writing and the writing of others
  • To construct, shape and deliver writing that is appropriate to a set task
  • To mobilise a technical vocabulary associated with writing
  • To cite and reference in a manner appropriate to the genre of writing
  • To evaluate and edit the work of others using constructive, informed feedback

Note: This course is also available as ENGLISH 121G in the Open Schedule for General Education.


Coursework + exam

Availability 2020

Summer School, repeated Semester 1 and 2


Coordinator(s) Dr Anna Boswell
Sparkle Gibbs


Coursework and exam


ENGLISH 121: 15.0 points

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