Sample Syllabuses

Sample Assignments and Student Work

  • Students conduct market research in an industry of their choice and propose a new product/service to fill a market void.
  • Working in groups of three, students research and propose a re-design of an existing product complete with mock ups and technical specs.
  • Students choose a Word of the Year nominee from the American Dialect Society‘s archives and write a profile analyzing its linguistic composition and cultural significance.
  • Students profile a writer (or content creator) of their choice and explore their identity through an analysis of their published work.
  • Students select a statistic of their choice to profile, analyzing the narratives constructed from the stat and debates about its calculation and interpretation.

Selected Recent Student Evals

  • Professor Ernst does an amazing job of explaining concepts and connecting them to things I know. I hope that he continues to be the fun and engaging teacher that he is. Professor Ernst made a subject like English not so terrible and boring for an engineering major like me.
  • He is very skilled at making the subject interesting and thought provoking. I never dreamed I would’ve been so interested in a writing class. I wish there were more subjects like this that focus more on discussion than worksheets and assignments.
  • Ernst has been a really good professor and he has handled the adaptation to online very well. I felt like I truly learned how to write better argumentative and research papers. This was my only academic class that I felt like I actually mastered the content despite the switch to partially online.
  • I really enjoyed this course and learned a lot, for this is the best and most engaging course I’ve had this semester. In general, the course was flexible, comfortable, and a positive learning experience. As a math major, I wish I could say something similar about my math course but it wouldn’t be true.
  • Dr. Ernst is by far one of the best professors I’ve ever had the pleasure of being taught by. He is very passionate about what he does, which in turn makes his students passionate about it as well. He pushes his students to think critically and ethically. It is quite obvious to anyone who gets to witness his teaching method that he really cares about the success of his students. I will forever be grateful for everything I’ve learned from him this semester.
  • Daniel Ernst is an excellent professor. I feel as though I could write a research paper describing how good his course was with the skills he taught me. His teaching style is a nice blend of instruction, discussion, and course work. His demeanor is very professional and realistic. His expectations of the students are logical. He is careful to not force his own opinions and he respects the students as adults. His instruction: Even with this partially online, twice-a-week schedule, I have retained the instruction. Before class each day, there is an expected amount of reading to be done beforehand. However, the reading is always a manageable amount and I never struggled to maintain it. While we were in class, he would present and explain the topic for the day that expanded on the readings for that day. After that, we usually have a discussion portion where we speak up and discuss the matter ourselves. I really enjoyed this format because it touches base with the three prominent learning methods. We SEE the reading and are exposed to the topic. We LISTEN to his lecture and are exposed to his understanding. And we DO discuss the topic to bring in our ideas and set in the topic. His projects: As one would expect out of a writing class, there are several writing projects. Initially, I thought I was going to struggle with projects like these. However much to my surprise, this is a very well structured class with polished projects that had clear expectations, a given sensical rubric, and lenient deadlines. In these hard and confusing times, he seems to care more about us making a complete and fully finished project than meeting a deadline.
  • By far, Daniel Ernst was my favorite professor this semester. He encourages thinking and learning inside and out of the classroom and truly displays a passion for teaching and education. He himself is a professional, sophisticated, compassionate, and understanding individual who cares for and puts in his best efforts when helping his students. What I admire most about him is how well spoken he is, his extensive knowledge, and passion that goes beyond his position as a professor: he truly appreciates learning for the sake of learning and embodies this belief into his teachings.
  • Professor Ernst is extremely good at making the class enjoyable by involving students in interesting discussions, and how different aspects of literature and writing can be applied to everyday life.