Course Description

470.757 - Nonfiction Writing and Politics

Clear and persuasive writing is often essential in Washington and this course will introduce students to three of the most important forms of non-fiction writing: opinion journalism, magazine writing, and personal essay and memoir writing. Students will be required to produce finished work in each of these genres and will read and critique each others' efforts. They will also be expected to read and bring to class examples of successful nonfiction writing. The section of the course on opinion journalism will analyze editorial and op ed writing and discuss how to make an argument that is convincing even to those who do not share one's point of view. The section on magazine writing will focus on the organization and structure of successful magazine pieces such as those appearing in such publications as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and The Weekly Standard. The section on memoir writing will examine narrative structure and techniques useful to a writer who seeks to tell his own story.