Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Code: 44609 2.5 units Robin Freeman, Contact: robinf5713@aol.com 213-3569 for office hours

SRH Environmental Center or field. Mondays 6:30-9:20 pm Sat/Sun 10am-4:30pm

Student Learning Outcomes:This is an introduction to technical, experiential or creative, descriptive, grant, report and publicity environmental writing. You will be able to identify, write rough drafts for, and edit several types of writing commonly used in the environmental field. You will be able to prepare a document to submit for publication.

SAT 9/5 Introductions, About Program, About Course, What is Environmental Writing?
Writing Exercises, interpretive trail walk and writing.
Exercise, Readings from other writers, Tidbits from writers on writing, read-around and editing every class
Reading assignment – choose a writing type and read some of it – bring a short passage you either like or find hard to read. Due beginning 9/14
Writing Assignment: Using the description of place and your hopes and any worries, write as honestly as you wish about your first experiences in this course. If you are willing, we can post them on our blog and submit them to the Merritt Reporter. This is due Mon, 9/14. You may choose not to hand it in or use it if you don’t want to, though I encourage you to. Review this draft syllabus for writing types you would like to suggest and your preferred order.

MON 9/14,–,. Shitty first draft. and finding your own voice. Writing a clear trail guide description for a general audience; writing about a childhood experience in the environment. Read around
Assignment: Childhood experience in the environment due next week
Due: Description of your first experience in this course. Selected readings every week

MON 9/21 Read from Childhood experience. Technical report writing – Environmental Impact Reports
Assignment: directions or instructions or description of an object or process – write a description for a 5 year old – write the same one for an adult
Due: Childhood experience in the environment

SAT 9/26 Interpretive writing, instructions. What are you going to use writing for? Discuss final project possibilities. Field trip: Pt. Pinole Richmond Shoreline Festival
Event description, interview, interpretive
Assignment List final project unedited draft ideas/annotate the subject categories at least 2 of your ideas
Due: Brief descriptive paragraphs
MON 9/28 Story telling; the narrative - and autobiographical/travel
Exercise, Readings from other writers, Tidbits from writers on writing
Assignment: Narrative
Due: Draft interpretive sign or brochure element for Nature Trail
SUN 10/4 outdoors, library research, coffee shop options, free write
Assignment: Research key words and submission venues for some project ideas and interpretive text
Due: Narrative draft
MON 10/5 Political persuasion; essay, letter to editor, approaching the press
Assignment: Point of view or promotional piece
Due: Pt. Pinole writings
SUN 10/11 Brainstorming and begin writing final project. Research writing and outdoors – Publicity and Press releases
Assignment: Write unedited lousy first draft
Due TBA as agreed with class from here on.
MON 10/12 Grant writing
Assignment: Write a project narrative
Due: Project first draft
MON 10/19 Power point writing / Review final project Writing for film/photo essay
Due Press or publicity release
MON 10/26
MON 11/2
MON 11/9 Creative writing and Environmental Poetry
MON 11/16
MON 11/23 Final project due – submit for publication
MON 11/30 Read-around, pot luck
Course Requirements: If you want to take the course for credit/non-credit you must do that on the user unfriendly PROMT/Passport system right away, if you haven’t already.
This course satisfies requirements for several ENVMT majors. If you are taking the course for a letter grade, there are ongoing writing and research assignments and a final project. The final project is to prepare one piece of writing for publication. It can be of any length. You will research and identify at least one venue where you can submit it. For a longer piece, you may prepare a proposal and query letter without having completed the work itself. You will evaluate the course and suggest a grade for yourself based on the value you have or might receive from participating in the course.

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