Spring 2024

Reading, Writing, and Teaching

Listed in: , as EDST-120  |  American Studies, as AMST-220  |  English, as ENGL-120


Kristina H. Reardon (Section 02)


(Offered as ENGL 120 and EDST 120) ​​This Intensive Writing course functions primarily as an introduction to academic writing. It also considers from many perspectives what it means to read and write and learn and teach both for ourselves and for others. As part of the work of this course, in addition to the usual class hours, students will serve as weekly tutors and classroom assistants in adult basic education centers in nearby towns. Thus, this course consciously engages with the obstacles to and the power of education through course readings, through self-reflexive writing about our own varied educational experiences, and through weekly work in the community. As an Intensive Writing course, this class further supports students as they hone deep reading strategies and multi-step writing processes themselves.

Although this course presses participants to reflect a great deal about teaching, this course does not teach how to teach. Instead it offers an exploration of the contexts and processes of education, and of the politics and desires that suffuse learning. Course readings range across literary genres (ex: essays, poems, autobiographies, and novels) in which education and teaching figure centrally, as well as readings from other disciplines, which may include ethnography, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. As part of the work of Intensive Writing, students will examine not only the content of these readings but also how they are constructed. Specifically, they will study rhetorical features (ex: audience awareness and genre expectations), as well as the structures of argument and analysis, with an eye on developing reading and writing skills they can use in other courses across the College.

Ultimately, students will come together as a community of writers who support one another as they reflect on their experiences as tutors and develop their own academic writing voices.

Preference given to first-year Amherst College students recommended for Intensive Writing. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester: Professor Frank. Spring semester: Lecturer Reardon.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to first-year Amherst College students recommended for Intensive Writing

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Fall semester: emphasis on written work, readings, tutoring at off-campus sites. Spring semester: emphasis on close reading and written work, oral presentations, tutoring in the community, co-editing group work.

AMST 220 - LEC

Section 02
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CONV 209
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM CONV 209


Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025