Essay & Opinion Writing I — Syllabus

Introduction to Essay & Opinion Writing: The different forms of essay and opinion writing—personal essays, reviews, op-eds, persuasive essays, exploratory essays, lyric essays.

Framing and Structure: Creative nonfiction structure—lede, nut graf, body, kicker. The basics of framing.

Purpose and Meaning: Your point (and you do have one). Finding an essay’s guiding principle. The role of theme in creative nonfiction.

Description: Putting the “creative” in creative nonfiction. Finding the right word. The art of selection.

Voice: Elements of voice. Role of voice in essay writing. Finding your writer’s voice.

Personal Essay: Blending the personal and universal. Using your experience to shed light on a larger subject.

Review Writing: Structure of reviews. Balancing honesty with mutual regard.

Op-Ed/Persuasive Essay: Logic in creative writing. The art of persuasion.

Reported/Exploratory/Lyric Essays: Reported—narrative nonfiction using style, dialogue, and description. Exploratory—essays that begin with a question. Lyric—nonfiction that experiments with rhythm, sound, and syntax.

Revision: The art of revision.

The Business: Finding the right market. Making your pitch.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.