English 101 Section B20. Writing About Journalistic Tradition
Powerful imagery, moving stories and unforgettable quotes all make for great journalism. But the craft of writing news and criticism for the popular press grows as much from a “readerly” approach to writing as it does from the other stand-bys of the craft: skilled observation, rigorous reporting and critical thinking. This course is about reading to write. We will revisit Civil War hospitals and battlefields with Walt Whitman; follow the muckraking paths of Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair; go to war with Edward Murrow, John Hersey and Neil Sheehan; and immerse ourselves in the counterculture with Hunter S. Thompson. With these pieces of writing as our companions and guides, we will learn to read deeply, excavating the reporting methodologies, expressive devices and storytelling techniques that have allowed great reporters to confront their objects of analysis. Through in class reading and writing workshops, this course will teach you to read like a writer and write like a critic.