WRTG 3020 Topics in Writing: Travel Writing

Instructor Contact:

Paula Wenger

Email: paula.wenger@colorado.edu

About the Course:

Whether you’re interested in a travel writing career or would just like to tell your travel stories to friends and family, the course will draw you into your own experiences so that you can draw readers into them, too.  All venturing—crossing oceans or crossing the street—can be told as a travel story.  Good writers learn from other writers.  You will read exemplary travel writing throughout the five weeks of the course.  Reading responses will give you the opportunity to zero in on features of professional writing that you would like to weave into your own.  The assignments start with the building blocks of travel writing and move into writing an article and creating a blog.  Both forms will give you the opportunity to use your own photography.

Course Prerequisites: WRTG 1150 or equivalent


By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Analyze genre conventions and rhetorical techniques of travel writing to apply to your own projects.
  • Hone your own writing process, using strategies for generating ideas, drafting and revising your work, and critiquing your own and others’ work.
  • Identify publications, writers, and forms that have shaped contemporary travel writing.
  • Recognize and apply the critical thinking and research that are foundational to travel writing that matters.
  • Produce digital, multimodal media based on analyzing and composing in multiple modes and identifying technologies for circulating your work.

Required Texts:

How to be a Travel Writer

Don George

Published by Lonely Planet July 2017

Purdue Online Writing Lab:  https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html

Readings on Canvas

Assignments and Grading

Base Story:  A story shaped from writing exercises that will serve as the foundation for an article (the Publication Story described below)  

1500-2000 words


100 points


Draft of the Publication Story with Rhetorical Analysis (see below)


1500-2000 words


50 points


Publication Story with Rhetorical Analysis:  The Base Story shaped to the editorial needs of a particular publication, preceded by a rhetorical analysis of the publication


1500-2000 words

(revised from draft)


100 points


Blog Rhetorical Analysis


As needed


50 points


Blog Design and Introductory Post


300-500 words + visual design


50 points


Draft of additional Blog Posts


1000-1500 words


50 points


Blog Final


1500-2000 words (revised draft posts)


100 points


Exercises:  Brief writing exercises from How to be a Travel Writer 


12 posts, 200-500 words each


240 points (20 points each)


Reading responses:  Brief descriptions of features from published readings


13 responses, 100-200 words each


130 points

(10 points each)

Comments on peer writing exercise 4 sets of exercises 40 points

(10 points each)


Peer reviews of major writing assignments


6 reviews


120 points (20 points each)


TOTAL possible


1,030 points

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado