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Syllabus Eco Essay

Syllabus Eco Essay

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Published by Benjamin Vogt

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Published by: Benjamin Vogt on Dec 02, 2012
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English 3XX Writing the (Environmental) Essay T/R 12:30-1:45 – Andrews 033 Instructor: Benjamin Vogt Office: TR 11-12:30 & by appt.

Andrews 336E 472-1856; 472-3191 (English department) Mailbox: across hall from Andrews 202, the dept. office Email: enfrancais@att.net

This is an introductory course in writing creative nonfiction, with a special focus on the environment. We will experiment with the travelogue, lyric essay, personal essay, and narrative / reportage essay, all while working closely with research to develop and discover our ideas throughout the course of editing—keeping in mind that real writing (self discovery, reflection, evolving ideas) happens in editing. We’ll look at several booklength examples to begin the term, but will also look at student work throughout as we research, explore, and share our ideas, and ultimately after midterm when we present full edited versions for class workshops. You’ll be expected to write two essays as part of your final portfolio, and to enjoy Minnesota Twins baseball however it may crop up in our daily conversations.

TEXTS Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World: Scott Russell Sanders Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place: Terry Tempest Williams Selected craft / theory and short essays from: Ill Nature (Joy Williams), The Abstract Wild (Jack Turner), Second Nature (Michael Pollan), The Star Thrower (Loren Eiseley), Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit (Leslie Marmon Silko), For This Land (Vine Deloria, Jr.), The Man Made of Words (N. Scott Momaday) PERCENTAGES 50% -- Participation (constructive criticism, involvement, workshop comments, effort) 50% -- Portfolio POLICIES You’ll be allowed 2 unexcused absences; the third will drop your course grade by 1/3 letter (B = B-). 5 absences is course failure. The nature of this class and the workshop is such that it absolutely cannot function without you—simple as that. Signed notes from coaches, doctors, etc. will be accepted if you miss a day, but if you signed up for this class I expect that you’ll show up and be involved. Essays – You will write two essays, 6-8 pages each, final drafts of which will comprise your final portfolio. Portfolio – 1) Final and rough drafts of both essays (4 drafts total); 2) 2p summary of your work in the class.


English 3XX Writing the (Environmental) Essay T/R 12:30-1:45 – Andrews 033

Workshop –Bring COPIES for all EVERY WEEK for us to discuss. Workshops will be in rotating small groups. Comments – You will be expected to not only give substantial written comments (250 words typed and prepared BEFORE class) to each writer, but provide CONSTRUCTIVE and DIRECT oral comments as well DURING class. These must all be detailed, considerate, helpful, and spoken to the writer (not the teacher). This is YOUR class— you must make it happen. I will bring in exercises, essays, and articles as needed / requested to help steer the class and focus our goals. Resources – Writing Assistance Center or WAC (Andrews 129, 472-8803): Schedule a free 30 minute appointment to help draft, brain storming, organization, and research on all sorts of writing. All appointments are confidential (i.e. no one reports to me if you go and what you discuss). www.unl.edu/english/wac Disabilities: Please see me ASAP if you have a documented disability so we can make the appropriate arrangements, and contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 4723787 (diagnostic testing and tons of free help). Me: Yes, believe it or not, I can be quite helpful on a whole list of things.

WEEK 1 T 1/9 – Intro; what’s creative nonfiction? R 1/11 – Trip to sculpture gallery WEEK 2 T 1/16 – Staying Put R 1/18 – Staying Put; setting exercise WEEK 3 T 1/23 – Staying Put; narrative exercise R 1/25 – Staying Put; research exercise WEEK 4 T 1/30 – Selections from Williams and Turner R 2/1 – Selections from Pollan and Eiseley WEEK 5 T 2/6 – Essay 1 Due R 2/8 – Group workshops


English 3XX Writing the (Environmental) Essay T/R 12:30-1:45 – Andrews 033 WEEK 6 T 2/13 – Refuge R 2/15 – Refuge; lyric exercise WEEK 7 T 2/20 – Refuge R 2/22 – Refuge; research exercise WEEK 8 T 2/27 – Selections from Silko and Momaday R 3/1 – Selections from Vine Deloria WEEK 9 T 3/6 – Workshop R 3/8 – Conferences WEEK 10 Spring Break WEEK 11 T 3/20 – Essay 2 Due R 3/22 – Group workshop WEEK 12 T 3/27 – Class Workshop / “Becoming the Godfather of Creative Nonfiction,” Lee Gutkind R 3/29 – Class Workshop WEEK 13 T 4/3 – Class Workshop R 4/5 – Class Workshop WEEK 14 T 4/10 – Class Workshop R 4/12 – Class Workshop WEEK 15 T 4/17 – Conferences R 4/19 – Conferences WEEK 16 T 4/24 – Readings R 4/26 – Evals / Outro; Final Portfolio Due


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