Category: composition


Personal Identity Narrative Essay

When I teach first year composition courses, I have students write some type of personal narrative for their first essay. This typically involves them relating a story about themselves and creating an argument based off of what they learned from their own personal experience. Recently, instead of having students do a personal narrative where they relate any story from their lives, I have been … Read More Personal Identity Narrative Essay


The Elevator Pitch in the Composition and Literature Classroom 

During the spring semester, I taught three freshman composition courses, and even though each course was a little different, I had all three do a proposal essay as one of their paper assignments. I have done this type of assignment before, and typically it’s been hit or miss with how well students do with writing their proposals. For the most part, I tell them … Read More The Elevator Pitch in the Composition and Literature Classroom 

Bloomingdale’s and the Visual Analysis Essay

When teaching composition, one of my favorite assignments has always been the visual analysis essay. This semester, students must choose one or two advertisements and analyze them, looking at audience, context, message, format, and other items. As usual, reality outside of the classroom always has a way of seeping in to the discussions, even in a composition course. Bloomingdale’s Holiday Catalog Page Last week, … Read More Bloomingdale’s and the Visual Analysis Essay

Embracing Cellphones in the Classroom: My Recent Experiences

Update: The things I discuss in the post may not be feasible for every classroom due to students not having these forms of technology. I would not incorporate these techniques into my classroom if I felt like it would alienate some students because they did not have access to cellphones, tablets, or laptops. This semester, I noticed that in every class (three) each student had some form … Read More Embracing Cellphones in the Classroom: My Recent Experiences

“Gains and Losses”

This semester, I am teaching six classes, three of which happen to be composition courses. For their first essay, my students must write a literacy narrative, discussing their own experiences with reading or writing. As part of the module for this essay, I had them read Richard Rodriguez’s “Gaines and Losses.” The essay chronicles Rodriguez’s schooling and acquisiton of literacy, in this case “English” … Read More “Gains and Losses”