Writing Poetry

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 203

       Course Name: Writing Poetry

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Successful completion of EGL 101 or Consent of instructor

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers students the opportunity to develop an individual style as poets. Content includes basic elements and techniques of writing poetry: line, meter, free verse, imagery, and metaphor.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Writing in the conventional literary mode of poetry.
    1. Developing a unifying theme appropriate to the poem.
    2. Using figurative language effectively.
  2. Recognizing basic literary conventions in poetry.
    1. Recognizing themes and basic elements of style in selected models.
    2. Recognizing strengths and weaknesses in peer writing samples.
  3. Discussing basic elements of theme and style in professional and student samples.
  4. Receiving and giving criticism on material presented in class.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Week 1: Introduction to Course, Keeping a Journal
Week 2: The Writing Process
Week 3: Verse
Week 4: Free Verse
Week 5: Meter
Week 6: Diction, Alliteration, Assonance
Week 7: Stanzas and Fixed Forms
Week 8: The Line
Week 9: Imagery
Week 10: Metaphor
Week 11: Process
Week 12: Symbol
Week 13: Style and Tone
Week 14: Re-vision
Week 15: Revision

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, writing exercises, use of film and other media, with emphasis on workshop format; activities presented to introduce and clarify principles of writing poetry.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Students produce 1 to 3 major finished pieces of either traditional or prose poetry, weekly or daily writing exercises involving literary exploration or written critique of student or professional writing, and critical essays.  A minimum of 25 pages of original work will be assigned.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

To be determined by the instructor in consultation with the department chair.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods include grading of student writings, exercises, and other class activities.  Examinations are optional.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance policy
  2. Procedures/information required by individual instructor


If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.