Stephanie Girard
Office: AB267
Phone: 251-380-2264
Office Hours: By Appointment
English 243:

Introduction to Nonfiction Prose

Required Texts:

The Fourth Genre High Tide in Tucson  Blue Highways  An American Childhood
Click on book covers to move to book pages

Course Description: This course will introduce students to the genre of nonfiction prose through the study of contemporary creative nonfiction. Students will read a variety of texts including, but not limited to, travel narratives, nature writing, personal essays, memoirs, and literary journalism. This syllabus is tentative and may be revised as the class progresses. Prerequisite: ENG 123

Course Objectives:  Students will learn to articulate the basic differences between fiction and nonfiction, and between transactional and creative nonfiction. Students will become familiar with the concept of genre and with definitions of the essay and memoir.

Course Requirements: Grades will be based on three 3-5 page essays (15% each), a one-page research paper and presentation (15%), ten 1-page response papers due at the beginning of class (15%), a final exam (20%), and class participation (5%). No late papers will be accepted and no make-up exams will be given. Students are expected to attend each class meeting and to participate actively in class discussion. Students are expected to adhere to the College’s policies on academic integrity.

Response Papers: A total of 10 response papers (one per week, starting on 1/16) must be completed by the end of the semester. Response papers are one-page discussions of the assigned reading. You may choose to discuss only the reading for a particular day or the reading for the week. You may turn them in on any class day during the week in which they are due, but you must turn in one paper per week. No late papers will be accepted. The purpose of the response paper is to help you prepare for class discussion by beginning to think about your own response to the ideas, images, or form of the assigned reading. You are free to form and express your opinions whatever they may be, although I do expect that all responses, positive or negative, will be supported by evidence from the text. For example, it is not enough to say that the text is boring; you must count the ways.

Course Assignments
1/9 Introduction, Kupfer, “Everything but the Truth?” (handout)
1/14 Read Introduction to The Fourth Genre; Sanders, "The Singular First Person" (329)
1/16 Conroy, "Running the Table" (49); Hampl, “Parish Streets” (68)
1/21 Wegman, “Six Days” (212); Selzer, “The Exact Location of the Soul” (344)
1/23 Chavez, “Independence Day, Manley Hot Springs, Alaska” (30); Iyer, “Where Worlds Collide” (90)
1/28 Ehrlich, “From a Sheepherder’s Notebook: Three Days” (58); Hogan, “Walking” (87);
1/30 Tompkins, "At the Buffalo Bill Museum, June 1988" (212)
2/4 Paper One due Finish Tompkins
2/6 High Tide in Tucson (1-34)
2/11 High Tide in Tucson (35-58)
2/13 High Tide in Tucson (59-84)
2/18 High Tide in Tucson (85-107)
2/20 High Tide in Tucson (108-45)
2/25 High Tide in Tucson (146-80)
2/27 High Tide in Tucson (181-221)
Spring Break
3/11 High Tide in Tucson (222-56)
3/13 Paper Two due. High Tide in Tucson (257-70) 
3/18 Blue Highways, Eastward (1-39)
3/20   East by Southeast (41-88)
3/25   South by Southeast (89-127)
3/27   South by Southwest (129-68)
4/1   West by Southwest (169-212)
4/3   West by Northwest (213-46)
4/8   North by Northwest (247-99)
4/10   North by Northeast (300-40)
4/15   East by Northeast (341-400)
Easter Break
4/22 Paper Three due.   Westward (401-13); Afterword (417-21)
4/24 An American Childhood (3-44)
4/29 An American Childhood (45-131)
4/19 An American Childhood (131-204)
5/7 An American Childhood (208-55)

Final Exam:  5/2 9-11