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Five Favorite Works of Non-Fiction

Robert W. Tracinski

Presented at: OCON 2003

Date: Jul 05, 2003

Each lecture in this course will offer a detailed analysis of a single article-length work of non-fiction, examining the ideas and techniques that make that work so powerful and persuasive. We will discover each work's central theme, examine its logical structure, and note the various techniques used to convey its message—everything from its choice of examples to the grammatical structure of key sentences. Each lecture will highlight one particular writing challenge. Ayn Rand's article "'Extremism,' or the Art of Smearing," for example, will be used as a demonstration of how to build from journalistic concretes (the 1964 Republican National Convention) to the identification of a technical philosophic abstraction (the "anti-concept"). The Declaration of Independence will be examined as an example of the strictest, most precise rationality in the announcement of a war's moral justification and political goals. Registrants will receive a full list of the articles to be discussed.


Parts: 5

Handout: none


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