Creative Writing Nonfiction: Research Writing

I. Required materials:

1. Writing journal
2. Writing folder
3. Access to MLA style materials (this may be a book or on computer)

II. Purpose:
To become appreciators and producers of creative writing in non-fiction.

III. Objectives: By the end of this class, each student will be able to

1. Express personal thoughts in a well-written essay.
2. Conduct primary research.
3. Use invention techniques, peer critiques, group critiques, collaborative pre-writing, multiple draft writing, and free writing.
4. Know generative techniques to tap "flow".
5. Acquire a personal repertoire of writing techniques to organize discrete data into a unified whole, even when this data is initially uncontexualized.
6. Write an extended paper for a public audience.
7. Conduct public readings of writings produced this semester.
8. Have worked toward mastery of grammar and usage.
9. Become a part of a community of writers.

IV. Grades:

Undergraduate, student performance will be evaluated on an A-U scale using the following criteria:
1. Four, hundred-point papers, 400 points.*
2. One major research paper (on a topic pre-approved by the instructor), which may or may not incorporate the information from some of the earlier papers. This paper will be of "publishable" quality, 300 points.*
3. Two, formal author readings of major paper with printed copies of each of these drafts for every member of the class, 20 points each, 40 points.
4. Abstract, 25 points.*
5. Daily grades, 60 points.
Graduate, student performance will be evaluated on an A-U scale using the following criteria (Please see me after the first class meeting):
1-5. Same as undergraduate students (825 points)
Plus, one additional essay, this will be a press release on some aspect of this project, will be required. It will be worth 100 points; therefore, your grades will be determined by being divided by 925 points.

V. Attendance:
Because this will be a workshop-style class with pieces of writings actually being partially written during class and because this class meets only once a week, attendance and participation are vital. Therefore, after two absences, each absence will lower the over-all course grade by one letter grade per absence (Exceptions to this rule will be extremely rare, so save your absences!!).

VI. Evaluation and Grading:
Basically, I would happier if we could have a mentorship arrangement and I didn't have to assign grades, but until that happens, I will try to demystify how I determine grades. If you attend all but two classes and do all of your work in a timely fashion, you will probably not have to be too concerned about grades (A = outstanding; B = strong; C = acceptable; D = just barely met standards; U = not acceptable. See numerical grades listed within this syllabus).** A number of safety nets have been built-in to the course to reinforce basic writing and editing concepts. This course is designed to give you a solidly paced experience in generating and editing creative non-fiction. Caveat: try not to get behind in your work; my previous students have said this is the only grade-danger in my classes.
* Late work will lose one letter grade per day late.
** Something-I-shouldn't-have-to-say: Plagiarism has no place in any institution of learning; therefore, any plagiarism in this class, either in part or entirety, of any work will result in an U (failing) grade for the course plus the material will be submitted to the appropriate university disciplinary individuals(s) and/or committees for institutional action.