Truth, Ethics, and Memory
Some writers provide extensive footnotes and back matter detailing their sources and research, while others don’t provide any information at all. This course looks at the variety of methods available to nonfiction writers to find the truth, assemble facts, and piece it all together into a gripping story. How do we establish authority to get readers to trust us? How do we write about family, friends, and strangers without exploiting them? How do we work with the unreliability of memory, and when is it okay to fudge the truth? Reading a variety of memoirs, essays, and works of reportage, students will examine the different ways authors seek truth in nonfiction and learn practical techniques for successfully navigating these issues in their own work.
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