Course Detail

Writing Nonfiction Prose A: Advanced Nonfiction or B: Creati

Writing Nonfiction Prose



Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.
Both A and B satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

301A Advanced Nonfiction


This workshop-driven course pursues the advanced study of nonfiction in a variety of genres in the arts and sciences (e.g. science/nature writing, the review, food writing, travel writing). In each genre studied, students read professional model essays, write an essay in the genre, and respond to one another's work. For the final independent project, students submit an article for publication.

301B Creative Nonfiction

The core of this class is the writing workshop, in which students review of one another's work develops objectivity on their own writing and essential editorial skills. In preparation for drafting each writing assignment, students read and discuss model essays representing such approaches as description, scene-setting, interviewing, analysis, argumentation, story-telling, personal narrative, and art reviewing. At the end of the semester, students craft longer essays on topics of their choice. The course also features attention to style, voice, and key choices that constantly face a working writer.

Offered Fall 2016

301B Creative Nonfiction

In "Why I Write," Joan Didion argues that "In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind" (n.p.).  Writing creative nonfiction, to expand on Didion's description, means discovering, creating, and "saying I" through writing and revising.  Thus, English 301is substantially individualized:  you will set and work toward specific goals.  To complement these individual efforts, the class will explore connections between critical reading, careful observation, and effective writing.  Overall, English 302 emphasizes the entire composing process and relies heavily on your contributions and collaborations. My course goal is to demonstrate that understanding and addressing expectations and responses--both as writers and as readers--to writing helps us create nonfiction that entertains, informs, moves, and provokes.


First-year students require permission of the instructor.

Course may be repeated for credit if taught by two different professors.