What has interested you the most in this class? Is it a particular writing? An image? A
conversation we’ve had in class? Take inspiration from the thing that has interested you
the most and do something unique with it in your writing. There are many approaches you
can follow or invent: write a straightforward essay about why you are interested in the
thing, write a personal reflection, write a play, write poems, write a short story – write
creatively. Use your imagination. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – fear kills good
writing and makes everything boring and the same. The method of good writing is to love
what you write – and love and fear are opposites, aren’t they? Keep in mind that writing is
a form of communication: a real person will read what you write so you want to make
yourself understood, but more than that, you might want to give pleasure to your reader.
Because hopefully one thing you’ve learned in this class is that reading can be pleasurable.
If you enjoy yourself while you write, chances are the reader will also feel it. If instead
you’re in excruciating agony, pumped full of stimulants, bitter, paranoid and unhappy – it
will show, and it won’t be fun for anyone. Maybe you’ve been rewarded in school for
torturing yourself while you write, but all that comes of that is a hatred for writing. How
strange! – to hate a form of expression because you don’t feel free to express yourself in it.
In this class writing can be what you want it to be, what it already is – yours.
Pleasure and thinking, pleasure and writing – that’s the key to creating beautiful things.
But be careful! Be sure that you choose a topic from this class, and in writing about it
demonstrate to me that you have read the assigned writings regarding your topic. Do not
abuse the freedom given to you in this assignment by writing about something totally
unrelated to our class that demonstrates no real engagement with the assigned writings.
1. Do not summarize a piece of writing in the book report fashion. Do something more
interesting than that.
2. Do not worry about your thesis statement. It’s ok to contradict yourself, you’re not
3. Do not worry about the Chicago Style or the MLA Style. If you want to include
footnotes and references just use common sense – yes, you have common sense.
4. Think about what you would like to read – that’s a good place from which to start
5. Three pages, double-spaced – that’s a minimum, if you want to write more, feel free.