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Students in this semester’s Mindbenders: Shifting Paradigms course will examine the Eureka Phenomenon, or epiphany, as a means to improve their writing skills.

An epiphany is a moment of insight that liberates a person from previous assumptions and leads to revolutionary discoveries. According to Suzanne Westfall, professor and head of English, these insights are necessary for all writers.

She says students in the class will use the concept to break free of their prejudices and traditional habits of thought, and create new concepts, views, and ideas.

“I hope students gain courage to take risks in thinking and writing, a new perspective. A ‘toolbox’ of writing techniques that will make their papers more interesting, persuasive, and authoritative,” she says.

This class is one of more than a dozen sections of the required College writing course English 110, taken in the spring semester of the first full year or the fall of the second year. The course complements and extends the writing experience of the First-Year Seminar.

All English 110 classes enable students to improve their reading, writing, and thinking skills, and the classes stress writing as a process, with students spending time organizing, drafting, revising, and conducting peer reviews before writing a final draft. The courses are constructed like workshops, helping students to craft prose that is creative, persuasive, sophisticated, and correct.

Other topics students will be pursuing in English 110 this semester are science writing, examining the American Dream, academic writing, and aesthetics.

“English 110 is the only course that is required of all students, and for good reason. Our alumni and those who employ them tell us constantly that Lafayette provides a better writing education than most other institutions,” Westfall says. “Being able to communicate clearly enhances our professional and private lives. In College Writing, we ask students to engage actively in their writing and to hone their skills so that they can express, in clear, persuasive, and exciting language, their own unique ideas. What could be better than that?”

Categorized in: Academic News, Creative Writing, The Arts