Sample Syllabi and Assignments | Words from Former Students | Courses Designed and Taught

Sample Syllabi and Assignments

English 105, Rhetoric and Composition

English 137, Literature in a Digital Age

English 125, Introduction to Poetry


Words from Former Students

Literature in a Digital Age, English 137 (Fall 2016, instructor of record)

"Adam has been an incredible teacher this semester. He is overly-understanding of anything that may come up and has never turned down the opportunity to help. He welcomes new ideas and encourages us to be creative. He offered creative options or unique ideas as projects rather than the essay prompts provided in case someone wanted to express themselves differently."
"Adam was excellent at relating to the students, as he made an effort to talk to each student individually at some point in the semester. His presenting skills were excellent, as he kept the students engaged in the topic at hand."
"The teacher should continue to bring the enthusiasm to the class that he has brought every day to this one and continue assigning the unique assignments that give the student a hands on chance to work with the material in a completely new way."


Introduction to Poetry: Drugs, Sex, and Death, English 125 (Fall 2015, instructor of record)

"Poetry is truly an art, and for someone who hasn't analyzed an art piece since high school art class, analyzing poetry was not only fun, it conjured a side of my intelligence that I do not use on a daily basis. As a math/science major, being able to be in this class (and excel in it) was a pleasure."
"Adam is a fantastic teacher. The themes he chose to cover in this course have been extremely challenging, but he has done a wonderful job of engaging our class in discussion and helping us chip away at difficult texts."


English Composition and Rhetoric, English 105 (Fall 2012, 2013; Spr. 2013, 2014, 2016; Sum. 2016, instructor of record)

"This was the most helpful class I've taken thus far at Carolina. Mr. Engel was awesome at giving me feedback and I feel like I've grown so much as a writer."
"Professor Engel was very approachable and I could come to him with anything I needed help with. He was always willing to help and very easy to talk to."
"Class time was highly organized and at the same time, laid back. It was a very low pressure environment that allowed me to learn well."
"I think this class did a fantastic job in getting me involved with different media. For one, I like that the second assignment had to be an oral presentation; this gave me practice with an audience, as well as having to write an entertaining, yet educational piece that others could understand. Also, the third unit was very unconventional and new to me, I like how out of the box the assignment was. It was so much more interesting having to do a video essay, than actually writing a traditional one. This class was very hands on and I appreciate the difference—it was not the same old boring english class!"
"I learned how to write long papers effectively and manage my time wisely. I also learned that writing a research paper I care about is a lot less daunting than imagined and it inspired me to do research on other subjects in my spare time."


German Philosophy and Youth Culture, German 280, 2 sections (Spr. 2016, recitation leader)

"I loved how Adam graded our work very quickly. This way if I did something incorrectly, I could fix it for the next assignment."
"[Adam] obviously cares about his students and never shows up to class without a smile and enthusiasm. His assistance with any matters related to the course was vital to my success."


Children’s Picture Books, English 291, 2 sections (Spr. 2015, recitation leader)

"[Adam] let the students lead discussion some classes which allowed us to really take ownership of what we learned which was great."


Shakespeare, English 225, 2 sections (Fall 2014, recitation leader)

"I think that I can say [Adam] is one of the best section leaders that I have had in my three years here at Carolina. He made coming to recitation a joy and a delight. His incorporation of multimedia, outside references to pop culture, as well as his always pleasant attitude allowed me to gain a lot of perspective on the material and made Shakespeare's works seem a lot less 'boring' and deeper than the surface level."
"Recitation was great - best recitation I've had at UNC. Adam was wonderful at facilitating discussion and making sure that we all felt like our comments were valued. He was really helpful when it came to helping us shape an idea that we had."
"I loved the enthusiasm every week in recitation! Adam made the material much more interesting with engaging discussions about themes within the text we didn't cover in lecture. Never a dull moment."
"I loved this class. I'm a junior at UNC, and Adam Engel is my favorite teacher I have ever had (including professors). I wish I could take more courses with Adam, but unfortunately I'm a Business major. With that said, I've never been a huge fan of Shakespeare or poetry, but Adam always made coming to recitation exciting and intriguing. I learned so much and I'm so thankful that I took this class."

Courses Designed and Taught

Literature in a Digital Age, English 137 (Fall 2016)

  • Designed a syllabus to explore post-internet intersections between print and digital culture
  • Taught 35 students for 75 minutes twice weekly in a discussion-centered class
  • Facilitated students' creation of video poems using Camtasia, a screencasting and editing software

Introduction to Poetry: Drugs, Sex, and Death, English 125 (Fall 2015)

  • Designed a syllabus to survey major nineteenth- and twentieth-century poets' treatments of transitional social roles and spaces
  • Taught 35 students for 75 minutes twice weekly in a discussion-centered class
  • Evaluated 5- and 8-page essays, midterms, final exams, and 20-minute group presentations

English Composition and Rhetoric, English 105 (Fall 2012, 2013; Spr. 2013, 2014, 2016; Sum. 2016)

  • Composed assignments to emulate real academic and professional genres, including conference paper, journal article, grant proposal, literature review, annotated bibliography, and video essay
  • Taught 19 students in each section for 75 minutes twice weekly in workshop-style classes, with a focus on developing research and peer-review skills
  • Organized the PIT (People, Ideas, Things) Conference for Undergraduate Research, a public venue for ENGL 105 students to present their ongoing research projects (held six semesters)
  • Managed and edited the affiliated online PIT Journal

Courses Assisted

German Philosophy and Youth Culture, German 280, 2 sections (Spr. 2016)

  • Led two discussion-centered recitation sections of 30 students each for 50 minutes weekly
  • Mentored students as they learned to apply social and political theory to modern film
  • Graded 780 sets of reading questions, 120 film analyses, 60 8-page essays, midterms, and finals

Children’s Picture Books, English 291, 2 sections (Spr. 2015)

  • Led two discussion-centered recitation sections of 20 students each for 50 minutes weekly
  • Facilitated students' curation of interpretive image exhibitions using PowerPoint and Prezi
  • Graded brief essays, midterms, and finals

Shakespeare, English 225, 2 sections (Fall 2014)

  • Led two discussion-centered recitation sections of 20 students each for 50 minutes weekly
  • Graded 40 5-page and 40 7-page close-reading essays, midterms, and finals

Guest Lecturer

The British Novel from 1870 to World War II, English 355 (Spr. 2014)

  • Lecture: "Strange Spots of Unknowing in Conrad's 'The Secret Sharer'"

Research Consultant

Introduction to Fiction, ENGL 123 (Fall 2013)

Literature and the Other Arts: Modernist Movements, English 366 (Spr. 2013)

English Composition and Rhetoric: Research Exposure, English 105 (Spr. 2012)

  • Advised undergraduate students on responding to writing prompts, seeking out scholarly sources, using university resources, and managing time
  • Attended several course sessions and three 15-minute conferences with each student

Athletic Tutor

Philosophy, literature, writing, and religious studies, UNC-CH Athletics (Fall 2011 – Sum. 2013)

  • Helped student-athletes develop their reading comprehension and argumentation skills
  • Provided drop-in sessions for composition students to workshop their essay drafts