2022 Master Class【English Literature】Creative Writing & Critical Thinking

Course Description

Students will have short readings from American Literature and focus on developing skills of critical thinking and effective writing. As students complete the assigned writing exercises, they will develop effective skills in English expression and personal narratives used towards diverse purposes such as public speaking, political advocacy, and artistic persuasion.

Students will also participate in discussions around diverse forms of American writing, including memoirs, essays, news articles, poetry, and fiction. Critical thinking skills will be developed by reading and analyzing works from these diverse genres. Students will also engage in different forms of writing and discussion throughout the course.

The goal of this class is to use critical thinking skills to become an effective writer. Ideally to discover their interest in writing or speech.

Course Outcome 

Personal paper (4 pages double space)
Letter of recommendation (Applicable if the student finish classwork)

Introduction to Professor


Ph.D. 1996 (History of American Civilization), A.M. 1992 (history), Harvard; B.A. summa cum laude 1987 (literature and history), Yale

Thomas Augst teaches courses in American literature and culture. His writing focuses on literary history of the nineteenth-century, interpreting diverse forms of literacy and media in relation to questions about ethics and self-cultivation, the organization of knowledge, and the cultural politics of modern liberalism. He is the author of The Clerk’s Tale: Young Men and Moral Life in 19th Century America (Chicago, 2003), co-editor of Institutions of Reading: The Social Life of Libraries in the United States (UMass, 2007), and co-editor of Cultural Agencies and American Libraries (2001). He earned his doctorate from Harvard University, and has received research fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. He is project director and with Nicholas Wolf, principle co-investigator of NewYorkScapes, a CAS initiative dedicated to place-based learning and project-based collaboration exploring the documentary record of the city.

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