Elements of Nonfiction for Writers and Editors, September 18-October 23 (6 Weeks Online)


Where: AsynchronousOnline (Sakai)

September 18, 2018

Registration is closed for this class




Course Description:

Though there are many different types of nonfiction writing, some elements are common to nearly all genres of nonfiction. This course is designed to help both beginning and experienced writers and editors of nonfiction focus on the various essential and common elements of nonfiction. The class will cover practical tips, methods, and strategies for writing and editing nonfiction of various genres. This will be accomplished through readings and various individual and collaborative activities. The elements of nonfiction that will be examined include voice, vision, theme, thesis, structure, plot, transitions, nonfiction dramatization, prose, character, setting, point of view, narration, figurative language, research, and inclusion of technical and statistical information, among others. Course participants should leave the class with an improved understanding of how to write and edit nonfiction.

Required Textbook:

Pyne, Stephen. Voice and Vision. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.

(Kindle, hardcover, and paperback editions available on Amazon and other sites.)


Weekly Topics:

Week 1: Tuesday, September 18 –


Week 2: Tuesday, September 25 –

The art and craft of writing nonfiction

Week 3: Tuesday, October 2 –

Voice, vision, theme/thesis, structure, plot

Week 4: Tuesday, October 9 –

Transitions, nonfiction dramatization, prose, character, setting

Week 5: Tuesday, October 16 –

Point of view, narration, figurative language, research/inclusion of technical information

Week 6: Tuesday, October 23 –



Instructor Eric Reeder is an author, editor, and proofreader with over 17 years of experience. One of his specialty areas is helping writers of fiction and nonfiction improve their manuscripts so that they are ready to publish. He has taught writing classes, including fiction writing. His published works include Minority Soldiers Fighting in the American Revolution and Three Types of Editors: Developmental Editors, Copyeditors, and Substantive Editors. In his spare time, he enjoys being with his family, swimming, going to the beach, and collecting antiques.

A Note About the EFA's Online Courses

Our online courses are conducted through Sakai, a learning management system (LMS). You never need to be at your computer at any specific hour. More information about how these asynchronous classes are conducted is available here.