ENGL 808 (01) - Nonfiction: Form and Technique

Nonfiction: Form and Technique

Durham   Liberal Arts :: English
Credits: 4.0
Term: Spring 2022 - Full Term (01/25/2022 - 05/09/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   15  
CRN: 51843
A writer's view of contemporary nonfiction, emphasizing the choices the writer faces in the process of research and writing.
Department Approval Required. Contact Academic Department for permission then register through Webcat.
Instructors: STAFF

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
1/25/2022 5/9/2022 M 9:10am - 12:00pm HS 250C
Additional Course Details: 

English 808/Form & Technique of Nonfiction: On Structure.

As master nonfiction writer John McPhee says, “A piece of writing has to start somewhere, go somewhere, and sit down when it gets there.” What McPhee knows and we will explore is the myriad of structures that move true stories from beginning to end.  In this seminar, we will focus on narrative architecture and how to determine the arrangement that best suits the nonfiction tale, from straight chronology to reverse chronology to braided to lyric to circular to collage and beyond. We will read a range of long form and short form works by authors including McPhee, Maggie Nelson, Jerald Walker, Jaquira Diaz, Leslie Jamison, and Ander Monson, paying close attention to how they build tension and add layers. We will also play with structure in our own writing each week, culminating in a portfolio comprising a variety of narrative construction. Too often, we approach story assembly the same way. This course will shove us out of our comfort zone.