This is a course for people who want to work more on their writing. I have two aims in teaching it. One is to help you make your prose more clear, stylish, and engaging. The other is to introduce you to the working habits of professional writers.
We’ll spend part of our time reading and talking about the sorts of nonfiction that appear today both in print and online. But most of our work will center on the writing of the people in this class. You will be required over the course of the semester to draft and revise two substantive pieces of nonfiction—and to submit at least one piece of your writing for publication. (Several people who have taken this course before have gotten published!) I’ll also ask you to share your work with the members of a small writing group, and to read and respond to their work in progress as well.
You thus need to commit yourself to two things in order to do well in this course. The first is to keep up with a regular and demanding schedule of reading and writing. The second is to work seriously as a member of your writing group.
If you make those commitments, I can make you two promises:
- You’ll do some writing that you feel proud of.
- You’ll have some fun. We’ll read some imaginative and powerful texts together, and you’ll have the chance to experiment with a range of personal and creative forms of writing.
If you are interested in a profession that involves a lot of writing—law, teaching, journalism, public policy—this will be a good course for you. Good luck! I look forward to working with you!