This lecture series was not exactly what I expected, likely because I didn't realize that creative nonfiction is character driven like a biography or ..Show More »memoir. Nonetheless, it was still useful covering literary devices beyond what is addressed in a high school class. There was also a lot of emphasis on character and narrative arc. I would recommend this series to someone planning to write a memoir or biography but not for other types of nonfiction.
I was an English major in college. I learned to do research and write papers. I think I have some natural writing ability, and I know I am very logi..Show More »cal. Nevertheless, writing essays was agony for me. I had no idea how to outline. I put the project off to the last minute. Thanks to many all-nighters, I was able to get good grades.
Thirty-five years later, I listened to this course for a couple of reasons.
I'm a supervisor and have to provide written feedback. Almost always, I end up writing the reviews at the last possible moment and stress about not having done them sooner.
I am also a Toastmaster. As a Toastmaster, I give 15 to 20 speeches a year. After 24 years, I've finally learned to outline, but I thought this course might help me organize my thoughts more efficiently. I have a technical speech that I've been planning to give, but couldn't quite figure out how to organize and present it to a non-technical audience.
This course (perhaps the 20th I've listened to) is one of the two best I've heard. (The other was "The Other Side of History".)
Professor Armstrong is a gifted and engaging lecturer. She provides insight into her own writing, which informs her recommendations of best methods. She has concrete suggestions for how these techniques can be used both inside and outside academia. (Letters to the editor, resume writing, etc.)
She gives us examples of poor or average writing, then recommends changes that undeniably improve the work.
Her course is clear, well-organized, easy to follow and (surprisingly) fun.
My niece wants to teach high school English. I have recommended this course. If I had been presented with this material in my youth, my writing would have been better and my sleep more prolific. As it is, I believe my habits and my writing will improve thanks to Professor Armstrong and this course.