Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers:

With more than a 50% increase in the number of submissions for the second issue of Interpolations the editorial board and I were forced, yet again, to face our ongoing existential dilemma. What do we want this journal to be, what is its identity, and what values should guide us in selecting the works that our vision comprises? Certainly, our ultimate goal is to choose essays that represent the finest work that is being produced by the University of Maryland's freshman students. However, coming up with the criteria to define what constitutes this "finest work" has proven perplexing.

The large pool of semifinalist papers all contained thought-provoking topics, unique positions, persuasive arguments, solid research, sophisticated vocabularies, eloquent sentence formation, and properly used grammar; however, as is often the case with essays written by the newest members of our academic discourse community, each possessed these qualities in widely varying degrees. It was our duty to decide, when such delineations occurred, whether we wanted to honor those essays that demonstrated the most polished writing and correct grammar or those with the most interesting, discussion prompting positions and arguments. As the editor, the decision ultimately landed in my lap and I made the call based on my own pedagogical bias. I believe that the purpose of academic journals is to foster the epistemic nature of composition--to encourage discourse and the formation of negotiated knowledge. While correctness should not be abandoned (and we did work with our finalists to encourage the revision and editing of their essays) it does, in my estimation, take a back seat to well-developed content. Those of you who disagree, and I'm sure there may be many, are free to discuss this decision with me at any time. In any case, I now feel that Interpolations has a clear identity and a well-defined mission going forward.

Once again, I thank everybody involved in the continued production and success of this journal--the entire English department, Dr. Linda Macri, Kevin Remmell, all of the English 101 TAs, and particularly the dedicated members of Interpolation's editorial board. I would also like to acknowledge all of the students who submitted their papers to Interpolations. We appreciate their support and their willingness to have their work judged by others in the name of enhancing our educational community. Finally, congratulations to those students whose essays made it into this issue of Interpolations. Your words give us all something to think about and each of you should be proud of the papers you have produced.

I'm already looking forward to reading the batch of submissions currently streaming in for the Spring 2010 edition of Interpolations!


Adam Lloyd