Researching and writing creative non-fiction aimed at a general audience, with an emphasis upon revision for publication.
ENGL 327 is intended to follow up the teaching in ENGL 127 and ENGL 227 on composition,
rhetoric and 'creative (or 'literary') non-fiction', and a high level of competence
in writing correct and pleasurably readable English prose will be assumed. Preference
will be given to students who have taken these papers. The paper is aimed at later-year
students, who may be expected to have developed a general view of some discipline
or other in their major, or it may be an opportunity for pursuing some non-academic
avocation of their own.
ENGL 327 is a project-centred paper, in which students will choose and research a topic of their own choice (subject to approval), with the aim of producing a popularly-oriented non-fiction text which exhibits the fruits of sound scholarship. There has recently been a something of a boom in the reading and writing of non-fiction. In particular, there is the phenomenon of relatively brief texts that are sometimes referred to as 'biographies of things' or 'minutiae books', that deal with some vivid and highly specific subject, often in science or history. We will study the structures and strategies of a number of published texts of this kind, examining their structure and style, and the variety of sub-genres that can be deployed in writing creative non-fiction.
|Paper title||The Essay: Creative Non-Fiction|
|Teaching period||Second Semester|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$868.95|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$3,656.70|
- 18 200-level ENGL points
- SCOM 427
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music
- Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
- More information link
- View more information on the Department of English and Linguistics' website
- Teaching staff
- Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Paul Tankard
- Paper Structure
- Lectures on the genres of non-fiction.
Study of a variety of extended texts of popular non-fiction writing.
All assessment internal.
- Teaching Arrangements
- 13 lectures
8 work/seminars, including exercises for assessment
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking,
Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Kramer, Mark, and Wendy Call, ed. Telling True Stories: A Non-fiction Writers' Guide
The following books will be the focus of class discussion:
Bodanis, David. E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation (Pan, 2001)
Roach, Mary. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (Norton, 2003)
Winchester, Simon. The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words (Penguin, 2002)
Sobel, Dava. Longitude (Harper)
- Learning Outcomes
- Students are expected:
- To research an appropriate non-fictional subject of their own choice
- To identify and deploy a range of approaches to writing about the subject
- To demonstrate and practise an awareness of a range of non-fictional writing skills
- To develop editing skills
- To produce a major prose work on the subject, suitable for a general readership