This course is designed for students interested in the craft of writing and who wish to write about ideas, personal experience, and the sort of general interest topics (e.g., the arts, medicine, sports, nature, science, education) that appear in magazines such as The New Yorker and The Atlantic. It addresses three different genres of non-fiction: the feature article, a 4,000-word piece of investigative reporting; the essay of ideas, a 1,500-word reflective essay; and the memoir, a 4,000-word personal narrative. In each genre, students first read models and complete short, experimental writing assignments. The course differs from other Class I English courses in its high ratio of writing to reading and in its requirement that students revise each major piece of work to a high standard of professionalism. Critique by peers is an essential part of the writing process; students should expect to share their work with the class and to read and comment on the work of their classmates.
This guide created by Laura Pearle; updated March 2022