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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 314
Course Title: Intermediate Creative Writing II -- Creative Nonfiction
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

An intermediate workshop class in the writing of short creative nonfiction, including criticism of student and professional work.  Prerequisite: ENGL 207.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

ENGL 207

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered every three semesters.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many texts are available for this course. The instructor might choose book length essays or collections of essays by one or multiple authors to supplement readings.  Use of a craftbased text as well, like To Tell the Truth by Connie Griffin, is highly recommended.

To Tell the Truth
By Connie Griffin
Course Objectives
  • To analyze a selection of peer work in the context of creative writing for submission/review.
  • To review and demonstrate control over the craft of creative nonfiction in at least three subgenres (for example, memoir, lyric essay and the literary journalism essay).
  • To demonstrate knowledge of magazine submission policy and procedure.
  • To master the process of choosing and limiting topics for writing.
Measurable Learning
  • Recognize and use the terminology of creative nonfiction and criticism in critiquing workshop submissions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of creative nonfiction and master provided exercises.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current creative nonfiction publications.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of critical revision strategies.
  • Identify current trends in literary creative nonfiction.
  • Evaluate the work of a major contemporary author through a formal presentation.
Topical Outline:
  • Through composition of 50-60 pages, students will demonstrate knowledge of and capability of using the following tools through in-class work and written assignments:
  • Subgenre identification: memoir, literary journalism, personal and lyric essay
  • Significant detail: showing versus telling
  • Characterization: dialogue, appearance and many other components of drawing a round character
  • Plot: the inverted question mark for more traditional narratives as well as experimentational forms like the lyric essay and prose poem.
  • Time and Place: setting not just as backdrop but as integral to creating mood, evoking symbolism and characterization
  • Point of view and narrative persona -- the construction of the eye and "i"
  • Theme and tropes
  • Revision with an emphasis on rewriting
Culminating Experience Statement:

Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Christina Ingoglia Date: May 8, 2014
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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