ENGL 0401: Reading and Writing English

This course is designed to develop skills as a writer by practicing the stages of writing from rough draft, grammar and sentence structure, revising the draft, editing, and final draft. The course covers both narrative and expository writing, with an emphasis on the expository form for both academic and business purposes. (Grade 10 equivalency)


By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Show what is meant by "correct" English
  • Demonstrate the distinctions between narration and exposition
  • Practice good reading habits
  • Show how proper punctuation creates effective writing
  • Use knowledge of sentence structure to create interesting prose
  • Demonstrate basic essay structure in your own writing
  • Identify common errors in use of language
  • Use a dictionary effectively
  • Increase your vocabulary

Course outline

Unit 1

  • Narration and exposition
  • Drafting your narrative
  • Standard English
  • Traditional parts of speech
  • Clauses and phrases
  • Commas
  • Revising and editing your narrative

Unit 2

  • Reading for main ideas
  • Drafting an expository paragraph
  • Canadian English
  • Using a dictionary
  • Complete sentences
  • Periods, semi-colons, and colons
  • Revising and editing your expository paragraph

Unit 3

  • Facts and opinions
  • Drafting an expository essay
  • A brief history of English
  • Spelling
  • Agreement
  • More about commas and semi-colons
  • Revising and editing your narrative and opinion paragraphs

Unit 4

  • Recognizing irony
  • Drafting a business letter
  • What's English like?
  • Building a vocabulary
  • Parallel structure
  • Sentence interruptions
  • Revising and editing your letter

Unit 5

  • Recognizing metaphor
  • Drafting a short report
  • Etymology (origins of words)
  • Useful prefixes
  • Sentence variety
  • Apostrophes
  • Revising and editing your short report

Unit 6

  • Reading fiction
  • Drafting a short essay
  • Language abuse
  • Some often confused words
  • Misplaced and dangling modifiers
  • Quotation marks
  • Revising and editing your short essay

Required text and materials

There is no required textbook for this course.

Additional requirements

A standard dictionary is required (e.g. The Gage Canadian Dictionary).


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory examination.

Assignment 1 12.5%
Assignment 2 12.5%
Assignment 3 12.5%
Assignment 4 12.5%
Assignment 5 12.5%
Assignment 6 12.5%
Final Exam (mandatory) 25%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty member is available to assist students. Primary communication is by phone at a mutually convenient time. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.

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