Revising Nonfiction: Dowsing for Depth
In our classes we ask students to read carefully and write based on what they find in their texts. It might seem, then, that writing is just a matter of finding a key quotation, carefully recording it, then explicating its meaning. What, then, is revision? For students the absolutely crucial discovery is that while “it is fine as is” is sometimes almost true, when you really revise you are not doing it because you are told to, but because you discover more within yourself. It is precisely like taking hundreds of jump shots in the gym, so that in a game you shoot without thinking — it is the work that allows you to find who you are, what you have to say, and how best to say it. Dr. Aronson, an award-winning author, editor, and now a professor in the Rutgers Master of Information program, will explore the nature and uses of revision in nonfiction writing – and how to engage students in the process.
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Marc Aronson is an assistant teaching professor at the Rutgers University school of Communication and Information, where he teaches in the Master of Library Science track. He earned his doctorate in US History at NYU focusing on the history of book publishing. The winner of the American Library Association’s first Robert F. Sibert medal for excellence in informational books for young readers, he continues to write books for middle grade and high school students that strive to bring fresh insights and ideas from the academy to a new audience. Dr. Aronson frequently speaks with teachers, librarians, parents, and students about the wonders and glories of nonfiction. He and his wife, the author Marina Budhos, have a new book coming out in January, 2017 The Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism.