English 215: Introduction to Nonfiction Writing



Castles Burning



Idiot Wind

Town Cryer


Ultimately every writer must follow the path that feels most comfortable. For most people learning to write, that path is nonfiction. It enables them to write about what they know or can observe or find out. This is especially true of young people and students. They will write far more willingly about subjects that touch their own lives or that they have an aptitude for. Motivation is at the heart of writing. If nonfiction is where you do your best writing, or your best teaching of writing, donít be buffaloed into the idea that itís an inferior species. The only important distinction is between good writing and bad writingGood writing is good writing, whatever form it takes and whatever we call it.

óWilliam Zinsser, On Writing Welló





Major Assignments

Workshop Procedures

Workshop Guidelines

Workshop Schedule

Workshop Groups


Electronic Reserve

A Guide to Grammar and Style

How to Use an Apostrophe

What It Means When You Say Literally

The Three Most Common Uses of Irony

Ten Words You Need to Stop Misspelling

Penn State Center for Excellence in Writing

How To Punctuate Dialogue In Your Prose (#1)

Punctuating Dialogue and Direct Quotations (#2)

The Golden Rule of Writing (according to Strunk and White)



(Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction)








Paul M. Kellermann   
Office:   116 Burrowes Building
Mailbox: 430 Burrowes Building
E-mail:   pmk8@psu.edu 

Office hours:  Monday 11:30-12:30, Tuesday 4:30-5:30, Friday 11:30-12:30, and by appointment

Last updated 21 August, 2016

Department of English
College of the Liberal Arts
The Pennsylvania State University