ENGL488 - Writing the Personal Research Essay

In this course, you’ll read and write essays that are founded in personal experience and developed through research. We’ll read essays that explore experiences in various broad categories—such as writing about place, writing about society, writing about family—by authors including Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Berube, Richard Rodriguez, Rachel Carson, and Micheal Pollin. In particular, we’ll consider the concept of sustainability, not merely as an environmental notion, but in terms of what we sustain in our experiences. We’ll pay close attention to style and do a lot of playing with words; we’ll also focus on inquiry and the development of ideas through engaging research. Students will write several short papers to help find a topic to pursue for a final paper which will be a researched, revised, workshopped, polished 10-12 page paper; students will also produce a brief essay in the digital storytelling medium.