E641 – Writing Nonfiction: Variable Topics

Credit Hours:

Course Level:

Semesters Offered:
Fall Spring

Prerequisite: E640C or permission of the instructor; additional prerequisites may be added depending on the individual topic (e.g., the history section might require E600: Research Methods and Theories).


This course, which builds upon techniques discussed in E640C: Graduate Writing Workshop – Essay, provides students with the opportunity to explore additional specializations in nonfiction writing. Topics include historical nonfiction, nature writing, science writing, and biography/autobiography. The class will meet once each week for three hours. The instructor is likely to intersperse brief lectures with extensive class discussion and peer workshopping. Class sessions will typically include (1) discussions of techniques relevant to the particular specialization, (2) discussions of readings relevant to the topic, and (3) peer and instructor criticism of original student writing.

Students will be required to write several carefully researched pieces of nonfiction or, at the instructor’s discretion, one extended piece of nonfiction on the workshop topic. Grading will be based on the stylistic and content quality of the written pieces. In addition, instructors have the option to base the grade in part on student presentations during class sessions, on written responses to course readings, and on written responses to student texts.