Mar 23, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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HU 490 - Creative Nonfiction

2 lecture hours 2 lab hours 3 credits

Course Description
Literary nonfiction borrows from fiction: strong character development, well-developed, nuanced scenes, and a tangible narrative arc. It also bears the hallmarks of good journalism: thorough secondary and primary research, live reporting, and a writer’s intelligent stance. This course meets directly at the intersection of fiction’s energy and journalism’s integrity. The course is also designed to introduce the techniques of storytelling to nonfiction prose pieces, including personal essays, features, commentaries, reviews, reports, journal entries, and memoirs. Together, the instructor and the students offer support and critical feedback about each student’s work. Weekly class discussions and writing assignments focus on story principles-such as plot, tension, scene, and dialogue-that increase the readability of the work and form the students’ material into publishable pieces. (prereq: GS 1001  or GS 1010H , GS 1002  or GS 1020H , and junior standing)


Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Display the discipline of the daily writing process
  • Describe the difference and overlap between fiction and nonfiction
  • Produce a significant amount of original work
  • Demonstrate how to edit on macro and micro levels
  • Practice reading, annotating, and discussing the work of their peers
  • Describe the vocabulary and critical skills necessary for revising creative nonfiction
  • Explain how to publish nonfiction prose

Prerequisites by Topic
  • None

Course Topics
  • Introduction to the genre of creative nonfiction
  • Generating ideas
  • The difference between fiction and nonfiction
  • Writing about what is true
  • Developing a written voice
  • Finding an audience based on voice
  • Learning to write both qualitatively and quantitatively
  • Dealing with obstacles such as writer’s block, writer’s discipline, and writer’s doubt
  • Stretching authorial limits
  • Macro-editing
  • Micro-editing
  • Revising, editing, and proofreading
  • Appling feedback
  • Knowing when it’s finished
  • The publication process

Dr. David Howell

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