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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CW 352"
COURSE NAME: "Creative Writing Workshop: Creative Nonfiction "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Allison Grimaldi Donahue
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 6:00-7:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This creative writing workshop is designed to help students develop their writing and editorial skills, as well as the reading habits necessary for the production of works of creative nonfiction. The class will focus upon the creative process and the generation of several different forms within the nonfiction genre including the personal essay, the memoir, travel writing, and the journalistic or magazine profile. Through the examination of superior examples of creative nonfiction, discussions, and critiques, students will become acquainted with the techniques and tools used to build an excellent portfolio of literary and journalistic pieces within the creative nonfiction genre.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This creative writing workshop is designed to help students develop their writing and editorial skills, as well as the reading habits necessary for the production of works of creative nonfiction. The class will focus upon the creative process and the generation of several different forms within the nonfiction genre including the personal essay, the memoir, travel writing, and the journalistic or magazine profile. Through the examination of superior examples of creative nonfiction, discussions, and critiques, students will become acquainted with the techniques and tools used to build an excellent portfolio of literary and journalistic pieces within the creative nonfiction genre.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
This creative writing workshop is designed to help students develop their writing and editorial skills, as well as the reading habits necessary for the production of works of creative nonfiction. The class will focus upon the creative process and the generation of several different forms within the nonfiction genre including the personal essay, the memoir, travel writing, and the journalistic or magazine profile. Through the examination of superior examples of creative nonfiction, discussions, and critiques, students will become acquainted with the techniques and tools used to build an excellent portfolio of literary and journalistic pieces within the creative nonfiction genre.
TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Essays and Participation ASSESSMENT METHODS: Assignment Guidelines Weight Weekly Responses to Readings These pieces will be no longer than 600-800 words and will allow students to experiment with various non fiction genres. 40% 3 Essays: Memoir Essay, Literary Journalism Essay, Personal/Lyric Essay 3 Essays with Unique requirements and word counts but totaling about 20 pages of polished, publishable writing. 40% Attendance and class participation Participation to class discussion and a willingness to engage in the creative process to improve one's writing are an important part of the assessment. Reading and responding meaningfully to workshops and peer-review are included here. 20% 100

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
This creative writing workshop is designed to help students develop their writing and editorial skills, as well as the reading habits necessary for the production of works of creative nonfiction. The class will focus upon the creative process and the generation of several different forms within the nonfiction genre including the personal essay, the memoir, travel writing, and the journalistic or magazine profile. Through the examination of superior examples of creative nonfiction, discussions, and critiques, students will become acquainted with the techniques and tools used to build an excellent portfolio of literary and journalistic pieces within the creative nonfiction genre.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CW 352"
COURSE NAME: "Creative Writing Workshop: Creative Nonfiction "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019


INSTRUCTOR: Allison Grimaldi Donahue
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 6:00-7:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment


COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This creative writing workshop is designed to help students develop their writing and editorial skills, as well as the reading habits necessary for the production of works of creative nonfiction. The class will focus upon the creative process and the generation of several different forms within the nonfiction genre including the personal essay, the memoir, travel writing, and the journalistic or magazine profile. Through the examination of a variety of fine examples of creative nonfiction, discussions, and critiques, students will become acquainted with the techniques and tools used to build an excellent portfolio of literary and journalistic pieces within the creative nonfiction genre.

SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
The course will be divided in two. One day of the week we will be focusing on reading and commenting on excerpts from works of non fiction. The other we will concentrate on the writing part of the course, working on and discussing the writing assignments. We will have in-class writing prompts, and share our reflections on these exercises with each other. There are three “formal” essay assignments, and we will have peer review and workshops of these drafts. Our readings will focus on melding research with personal reflection and hopefully by the end of the semester you will have gained skills and practices that will serve you well beyond the writing classroom.   (For the most up-to-date version of the syllabus please check our google-classroom weekly)

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
The course aims at making students thoroughly familiar with the various genres of non fiction and giving them the opportunity to explore the creative possibilities each of these offers. Students will gain a better understanding of where their own creative talent lies. Their writing will acquire clarity, versatility and greater effectiveness - qualities that will be useful for many of you future ventures.    

By the end of this course, you should be able to:
o Articulate the techniques and strategies writers have used to write nonfiction by reading, reflecting on, and discussing a range of published texts
o Apply things you learn from readings and discussions in your own writing
o Plan, develop, draft, and revise three polished essays

o Craft texts with intentionality, thinking of voice, a point of view, structure, audience, conveying “big ideas” to a general audience
o Collaborate with peers, offering feedback and taking suggestions

 

TEXTBOOK:

Dinty W. Moore The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction

REQUIRED RESERVED READING:

TBA


RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:

TBA

GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:

Assignment

Guidelines

Weight

Weekly Responses to Readings  

These pieces will be no longer than 600-800 words and will allow students to experiment with various non fiction genres.

40%

3 Essays: Memoir Essay, Literary Journalism Essay, Personal/Lyric Essay  

3 Essays with Unique requirements and word counts but totaling about 20 pages of polished, publishable writing.

40%

Attendance and class participation

Participation to class discussion and a willingness to engage in the creative process to improve one's writing are an important part of the assessment. Reading and responding meaningfully to workshops and peer-review are included here.

20%


-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
A: Work of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the c
B: This is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
C: This is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
D: This level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
F: This work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Attendance is required and unjustified absences will affect the final grade.


ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.

 

In light of Academic Honesty I would like to thank my friend and colleague Mary-Kim Arnold at Brown University for her help with making this syllabus.

 

STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

 

 

 

Class Climate: This class asks that you read and discuss difficult material. We read essays that include but are not limited to: religion, race, sexuality, nationality, politics, mental health, illness, family, friendship, immgration, war, violence, power and poverty. Please be respectful of your peers, what they share with you and how you respond to them. Think with your mind and your heart. Listen, accept that not everyone may have the same background as you or think the same things.

·       we want to create an open and honest exchange of ideas and writing

·       we want to create a safe and rigorous learning environment

·       we will not demean, diminish or brush off others’ experiences

·       we will not make people feel ashamed of what they know or do not know

·       we will be mindful of how much space we take up in the conversation

·       we will challenge the writing and the ideas—not the person

·       we will keep the stories, feelings, ideas and writing expressed in this classroom private

 

 

Technology: Please think about how you will do the readings. I will provide all hand outs and links necessary for the course that are not in our textbook. Cellphones are not welcome in this classroom and should be on silent and put away in your bag. For your weekly responses to readings you need a notebook that will only be use for this class. This notebook can also have your notes for this class.

 

Deadlines: I will be very strict with deadlines. This is for your own benefit and for the respect of the class. If we are doing a workshop you are expected to be ready with readings for each member of the class before your assigned day. University is to teach specific skills but it is also designed to help us get to know ourselves and how we work best—take this as an opportunity to learn how you work best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SCHEDULE


 

Session

Session Focus

Reading Assignment

Other Assignment

Meeting Place/Exam Dates

Week One

Introduction to the course and the genre/defing the form

Moore, DW: Part I (Ch. 1-2), pp. 3-18.
Lott, Brett: “Toward a Definition of Creative Nonfiction,” in Moore, pp. 279-285.

Short writing

Read handout on discussing writing and literature

 

Week Two

Memoir

Moore, DW: Part II (Ch. 3-6), pp. 22-64.

Moore, DW: pp. 65-73.
Kincaid, Jamaica: “Biography of a Dress,” in Moore, pp. 200-206.
Gay, Roxane: “I Was Once Miss America” [packet]


 

Week Three

Memoir

Cofer, Judith Ortiz: “Silent Dancing,” in Moore, pp. 132-139.
Chee, Alexander: “The Rosary” [packet]


 

Week Four

Memoir

Reflecting on Memoir

Gonzalez, Rigoberto: “Observations about Writing Memoir in My Twenties, Thirties, and Forties”

Essay #1 Due

 

Week Five

Literary Journalism

Moore, DW: pp. 74-83.
Humor in CNF
Wallace, David Foster: “Consider the Lobster”

Read and respond to handout on worhskops

 

Week Six

Literary Journalism

McPhee, John: “The Search for Marvin Gardens,” in Moore, pp. 211-219.

Hanif Abdurraqib: “Carly Rae Jepsen Loves You Back”


 

Week Seven

Literary Journalism

Susan Sontag, “Unguided Tour”

 

Joan Didion, “The White Album”

Essay # 2 Due

 

Week Eight

Literary Journalism Reflection

Personal Essay

Moore, DW: pp. 84-92.

Clark, Roy Peter: “The Line between Fact and Fiction”


 

Week Nine

Personal Essay

 Fracisco Cantù: “Ventana”

 

Gábor Zoltán:
“Neighbourhood”

 


 

Week Ten

Personal Essay

Leslie Jamison: “I Met Fear on the Hill”

 

Wayne Koestenbaum: “Debbie Harry at the Supermarket”

Essay # 3 Due

 

Week Eleven

Personal Essay

Claudia Rankine: “Citizen: An American Lyric”

Anne Carson: “The Fall of Rome: A Traveler’s Guide”


 

Week Twelve

Revision

Lydia Davis: “Revising One Sentence”


 

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Readings and presentations on day of Final

Portfolio Due at Final