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The Montage is the Message

Semester and Year FA 2014
Course Number WRTNG-UG1075
Section 001
Instructor Luke Mitchell
Days Tue
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


A man smiles, a shot is fired, he frowns. No: A man frowns, a shot is fired, he smiles. The sequence tells all. When it comes to telling stories, the order of scenes conveys more meaning even than the scenes themselves. In this class, students draw from film theory to learn the secrets of constructing a propulsive and persuasive non-fiction narrative. We explore how writers make choices about what to describe and how to arrange those descriptions; and also how in making these choices, they begin (whether they intend it or not) to make an argument. Students analyze film sequences from Eisenstein, Kubrick, and Welles, and magazine stories by Cecilia Balli, Joan Didion, Ian Frazier, Frederick Kaufman, and Lawrence Weschler. The real breakthroughs, though, occur as students set about assembling and reassembling their own magazine articles.

Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)

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