Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fall 2013 syllabus ENG 262

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: ENG 262 Advanced Creative Non-Fiction Writing
A writing-intensive course building on skills, techniques, and approaches developed in ENG 162. Students will study structure, development, style, and voice in creative non-fiction. They will also read short examples of various types of short non-fiction and then write their own weekly 400-750 word samples, present them to the class, and discuss their work with the instructor. Prerequisite ENG 162. (A writing sample and instructor permission can substitute for ENG 162.) 3 classroom hours/week. 3 credits. Offered alternate semesters.

1. “Demonstrate understanding of artistic work (writing) or craftsmanship…that reflects an understanding of the level of skill, effort, and thought that went into the piece being evaluated.”
• Students will do this by reading works of art (writing), discussing the art and craft of the various writers, and finally by creating their own works of words.
2. “Demonstrate the ability to evaluate a problem and develop a solution or a clear explanation of the problem….”
• Students will do this by seeing all their writing as a series of decisions about ways to solve problems in expressing themselves.
3. “Synthesize new ideas from existing facts.”
• Students will do this by using the facts derived from observation, research, memory to create original writing.
4. “…[E]ffectively state opinions”
• Students will do this by writing effective essays based on their opinions.
5. “Use…writing to convey ideas.”
• Students will do this by using their ideas to inform their writing.
6. “Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, evaluate, and interpret what they have read, seen, and heard.”
• Students will do this by writing essays, which will incorporate ideas presented in class lecture and in class readings.

A: all assignments, or all but one, have been handed in and rewritten if I asked for a rewrite
B: all but two assignments have been handed in and rewritten if I asked for a rewrite
F: more than two assignments not done, not rewritten, incomplete
Papers are not individually graded. All accepted papers are worth full credit (6.33%) . Unaccepted papers are worth no credit.

How papers are evaluated for acceptability: I’ll be looking for
• Personal voice
• Consistent tone
• Imaginative approach to deciding on and developing topics
• Coherence
• Structure that is unobtrusive but real
• Writing geared to an audience
If a paper is not accepted, I’ll discuss its problems with the student, and the paper can be rewritten as often as the student wishes before the semester deadline for rewrites.

•CHANGES: Nothing in here is carved in stone. Changes happen—that’s the only thing I know in advance won’t change.

WHO I AM: I'm John Goldfine, your EMCC writing instructor.

PHONE: I'm available for conversation on writing at 1 800 286 9357 x 4648 (work) and 338-3080 (home) (not after 9 pm or before 6 am, please.) If you don't reach me and want to leave a message, that's fine, but, unless you tell me it's an emergency, please DON'T leave your phone number and ask me to call you back--phone tag is a waste of everyone's time, and I won't return calls that aren't emergencies. EMAIL me instead, okay?

EMAIL: School email:
Home email address is . Don't use a subject line because that might send your email to my junk mail folder, which I only read when I need muscle enlargements, a million dollars from a Nigerian bank, cut-rate V*agra, or cheap inkjet cartridges. That would be never.

E-mail me anytime. I will respond to email within 24 hours unless my computer is fried by lighting or another icestorm knocks out my power for two weeks....

OFFICE HOURS: I will be in or near my office (Room 155 Maine Hall) MWF, office hours on the door, unless my car breaks down or I have a meeting with my boss--that sort of thing. I’ll be glad to meet with you other times if needed.

The school’s policies outlined in the school catalog—policies on affirmative action, disabilities, sexual harassment, and grievance procedures—apply to this course.

If you have a documented disability, talk to the ADA coordinator, Elizabeth Worden, right away so we can plan reasonable accommodations.

The school’s EO/ADA policies are included at the end of this syllabus.

If you simply dislike something I say in the course of my teaching, conferencing, or lecturing but if what I've said does not seem like any sort of harassment, then you ought to discuss it with me first before going to Authority.

No textbook. Students will have instructor-written or online samples or both for each assigned essay.
Online: where will appear week-by-week assignments, lecture material, syllabus, links, and sample essays you can download onto memory stick or home computer. That’s your text. Free.

I don't take attendance.

Any missed, incomplete, or unsatisfactory work can be made up without penalty at any time before the last weekend before the last day of school. But:

I'm interested in getting a steady supply of your writing to comment on and to teach you from. If the supply isn't steady, that's a problem. Truth is, bottom line: I can't teach you anything at all if you're not writing. If you fall behind one to two weeks, I will probably give you an official snail mail warning, and if you are not all caught up within a week after the date on the snail mail form, I may drop you from the course without further notice. If you catch up after a warning but then drop behind again, I probably will not send a further written notice but might just drop you.

I expect only new writing from you, stuff you are working on for ENG 262, nothing recycled from other courses, and, naturally, nothing borrowed, nothing blue.


Week 1. definitions and approaches: nature descriptive essay
Week 2. coherence: action/observation descriptive essay;
Week 3. tone: travel essay
Week 4. voice: childhood memoir
Week 5. audience: adult memoir
Week 6. imagination: autobiographical (not memoir) essay
Week 7. structure: profile of a person
Week 8. authorial presence: problem/situation/question/explanation piece
Week 9. fiction and fact: speculative piece
Week 10. enlisting the reader: editorial or opinion piece
Week 11. authority: expertise essay
Week 12. appreciation: book introduction
Week 13. appreciation/depreciation: book/movie/tv/concert/music/etc review
Week 14. organizing: mini-research essay
Week 15. starting over, sorting out: revision of an earlier piece


Eastern Maine Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. Inquiries about the College’s compliance with, and policies that prohibit discrimination on, these bases may be directed to: Affirmative Action Officer, President’s Office, Rangeley Hall, 354 Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine 04401, telephone number 974-4633, voice/TDD 974-4658, fax number 974-4888,,;

United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 33 Arch Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02110, telephone 617-289-0111, TTY/TDD 617-289-0063, fax 617-289-0150, e-mail internet;

Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC), 51 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0051, telephone 207-624-6050, TTY/TTD 207-624-6064, fax 207-624-6063, internet
shtml: and/or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 475 Govern-ment Center, Boston, MA 02203, telephone 617-565-3200 or 1-800-669-4000, TTY 617-565-3204 or 1-800-669-6820, fax 617-565-3196, internet

The College also does not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference or marital, parental, or veteran’s status. Inquiries about the College’s policies that prohibit discrimination on these bases may be directed to the Affirmative Action Officer or MHRC identified above.

Eastern Maine Community College is an equal opportunity institution and complies with the requirements of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (34 CFR Part 106), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 CFR Part 104), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and its implementing regulations. Discrimination on the basis of race; color; national origin; gender; sexual orientation, marital, parental or military status or disability in the recruitment and admission of its students, in the administration of its educational policies and programs, and in the recruitment and employment of its instructional and non-instruction personnel is prohibited. Sexual harassment of either employees or students is a violation of state and federal laws. It is the policy of Eastern Maine Community College that no member of the College community may sexually harass another. Inquiries concerning Title IX, Title VI and ADA may be made to Affirmative Action Officer, at Eastern Maine Community College, 354 Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine 04401, (207) 974-4633; inquiries regarding Disability Services may be made to the Section 504 Coordinator at the same address, (207) 974-4658 (voice/TDD). Questions, concerns, complaints and/or grievances about discrimination in any areas of the college should be directed to Eastern Maine Community College’s Affirmative Action Officer; or to the Maine Human Rights Commission, State House Station 51, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0051, (207) 624-6050 or the Office of Civil Rights, J.W. McCormack, POCH, Room 707, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109, 1-617-223-9662.

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