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«The University of Western Ontario Writing 2214G – Memoir, Memories, & Disclosure Section: #.650 Instructor: Claudia B. Manley Email: ...»

The University of Western Ontario

Writing 2214G – Memoir, Memories, & Disclosure

Section: #.650 Instructor: Claudia B. Manley

Email: cmanley2@uwo.ca Office: 3270 Lawson Hall

In-Person Office hours: Thursdays Online Office Hours: Tuesdays 10:30 –

12:30 – 1:30pm and by appointment 11:30am

(I will be online and available for

immediate questions and responses). You

can send me an email or put up a

question in the Owl discussion area.

Otherwise, I check email frequently and respond (with the exception of weekends) within 24 hours or sooner.

Course Description:

In this course you will explore the fundamentals and challenges of creative nonfiction in the forms of the essay and memoir. The goal of this practice-based class is two-fold: to acquaint you with the variety of creative nonfiction published and to provide you with the tools to produce creative work of their own. You will share work and provide critical feedback on the work of your peers. Classes will be a mixture of timed writing, discussion, and workshop.

Course Objectives:

 Identify & understand the elements of creative nonfiction  Craft an honest and revealing creative nonfiction essay  Provide classmates with constructive feedback  Incorporate class feedback and discussion points into essays & revisions

Required Text:

Williford, Lex and Michael Martone, eds. Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction.

Bechdel, Alison. Are You My Mother?

Grade Breakdown:

Workshop/Forum Participation 15% Discussion Leader Responsibilities 10% Completion of Writing Prompts 10% 500-word essay 15% 1,000-word essay 20% Hybrid Nonfiction piece 15% Exercise revision 15% Courtesy and Decorum: Due to the nature of this class, which at times can explore raw, sensitive and highly personal material, all workshop pieces and discussions thereof are to remain confidential.

Submitting Assignments Assignments are due in-class on the date specified on the schedule. Late essays will be penalized a full letter grade per day unless your instructor has granted you an extension beforehand. You must apply for extensions ahead of the due date and provide a suitable reason; they are not automatic.

If necessary, please submit essays to the Writing Department Drop Box outside StevensonLawson 3270, making sure you include your instructor’s name and your section number.

However, do not  fax assignments  e-mail assignments Keep copies of all assignments submitted.

When submitting assignments on Owl, please title your papers thusly: Last Name_Essay # (for example, Manley_2).

Communication All students are required to have an active UWO e-mail account and to check it regularly between class meetings. It is the primary way that I communicate with you outside of class.

There will be no accommodations made for students who miss assignments or important messages because their UWO account is full and not receiving new e-mails. You are also to have a working knowledge of our Sakai website. There will be required online discussions assigned throughout the semester.

Students should also carefully consider how they address me via email as well as the content of said email. While we may engender an informal community in class, email is a mode of professional communication and should be treated that way. Therefore, addressing me as “Yo, Teach!” should be recognized as inappropriate.

Please note that I only check my UWO e-mail Monday through Thursdays (10am – 6pm). I will neither be reading nor responding to e-mail on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays.

Scholastic Offences, including Plagiarism The University Senate requires the following statements, and Web site references, to appear on

course outlines:

“Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web

site:

http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_undergrad.pdf.

Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea, or a passage of text from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence (see Scholastic Offence Policy as above).

All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement currently between The University of Western Ontario and Turnitin.com (http://www.turnitin.com).” Prerequisites

The University Senate requires the following statement to appear on course outlines:

“Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.” The prerequisite for registration in this course is a) a final grade of 65 or more in one of Writing 2101, 2121, 2111, or 2131, or b) a final grade of 85 or more in Writing 1000F/G, or c) Special Permission of the Program.





Medical Accommodation Policy

For UWO Policy on Accommodation For Medical Illness, see:

http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/handbook/appeals/accommodation_medical.pdf (downloadable Student Medical Certificate (SMC): https://studentservices.uwo.ca under the Medical Documentation heading) Students seeking academic accommodation on medical or other grounds for any missed tests, exams, participation components and/or assignments worth 10% or more of their final grade must apply to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty and provide documentation. Academic accommodation on medical grounds cannot be granted by the instructor or the Program in Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication, and the Program requires students in these circumstances to follow the same procedure when seeking academic accommodation on non-medical (i.e. non-medical compassionate or other) grounds.

Students seeking academic accommodation on medical grounds for any missed tests, exams, participation components and/or assignments worth less than 10% of their final grade must also apply to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty and provide documentation. Where in these circumstances the accommodation is being sought on nonmedical grounds, students should consult in the first instance with their instructor, who may elect to make a decision on the request directly, or refer the student to the Academic Counselling office of their home Faculty.

Students should also note that individual instructors are not permitted to receive medical documentation directly from a student, whether in support of an application for accommodation on medical grounds, or for other reasons (e.g. to explain an absence from class which may result in a grade penalty under an ‘Attendance’ policy in the course). All medical documentation must be submitted to the Academic Counselling office of a student’s home Faculty.

Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to MentalHealth@Western:

http://www.uwo.ca/uwocom/mentalhealth/ for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.

Special Requests: Special Examinations, Incomplete Standing, Aegrotat Standing Please refer to the “Information for All Students in a Writing Course” for more detailed information. Briefly, remember that your instructor does not have the discretion to initiate, consider, or grant (or not) such requests; you must go directly to the Dean’s office of your home faculty.

Assignment Breakdown:

Workshop/Forum Participation (15%) In-class work via forum participation is essential to success in this course. This mark is based on your ability to take class concepts and apply those concepts to the feedback you provide to your classmates and to the discussion of class readings. For each class reading you are required to upload an original response to at least one question and to respond to at least two different classmates’ answers to other questions posed in the forum.

Discussion Leader Responsibility (10%): Students will be assigned to lead the discussion on class readings. For each reading, two or more people will be responsible for coming up with discussion points. Please note – you are not asked to lead the entire discussion of the reading but to bring to the class thoughts on and questions about the readings in an effort to prompt a class discussion. You are required to come up collaboratively with at least four discussion questions for a reading.

These discussion points should attempt to look at how we might use the readings, via their approach, organization, literary devices, voice, etc. in our own writing. It should be neither a rehash of the content of the reading nor its popularity with the class. In other words, a discussion on whether one liked, didn’t like, or identified with the reading is irrelevant.

Writing Prompt Completion (10%) Each week you will be provided with a writing prompt. These writing prompts are timed to simulate the in-class experience. You cannot go back and change the timed prompt once it is completed; however, one of these exercises will be the basis of your revision assignment. You will not receive comments on these prompts; do not worry about grammar, misspellings, or other editorial issues while you’re completing these. These are essentially exercises to get you writing. You may also find that you use some of the material and/or comments when crafting your essay assignments.

Essay 1 (500 words) (15%) Workshop – Week 3 Due – last day/Sunday of Week 4 This is the first writing assignment that we will workshop in class. Students are required to upload copies of their essay for their workshop group. Students will read all essays in their group and provide constructive feedback for one another. A revised version of your essay is due one week later.

Essay 2 (1,000 words)(20%) Workshop: Week 8 Final essay due: Last day/Sunday of Week 9 Students have been assigned to (almost) full-class workshop groups. Drafts of essays are to be uploaded to Owl one week before the workshop. Everyone is expected to read and have comments on ALL pieces in their workshop group. The reading over these few weeks will be very intensive. Students will read all essays in their group and provide constructive feedback for one another. A revised version of your essay is due one week later.

Hybrid Nonfiction Project (15%) Concept workshop: Week 10 Pair Workshop: Week 11 Final Hybrid Project due: Last day/Sunday of Week 12 Each student will create a hybrid nonfiction piece. These pieces may include film, photographs, performance, excerpts from other works, and more. Students will workshop ideas first and then a draft version of their project. The final version of the piece is due the end of week 12.

Exercise Revision (1,000 – 1,250 words max) (15%) Due: Last day/Sunday of Week 11 Incorporating in-class discussion points as well as feedback received on other stories, craft a complete piece based upon an in-class writing prompt. You are expected to address concerns regarding dialogue, structure, character development, setting, style, tone, voice, and theme. At the top of your essay please write the prompt that was the basis of this piece.

Weekly Breakdown

–  –  –





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