Requirements and Assignments

A. Class Participation Writing Assignments (15% of grade)

Informal Writing as Assigned (usually 10 points each; total number of points to be determined)

Throughout the semester, I will assign a number of brief writing assignments that won't receive a letter grade but will count toward your class participation grade.

B. Writing Projects (75% of course grade)


Write an essay about an event from your past that you consider significant in some way. Tell your story so that your reader can see what you saw and feel what you felt, creating a "you are there" feeling in the reader. Your goal is not merely to tell about your event but to show what happened by dramatizing the event. Your memoir should also convey the significance of the event.


Write a persuasive, open letter on a controversial issue or concern that affects a particular public audience. Since you are writing a letter you will need to consider how to address a specific group of potential readers. Choose an issue that interests you and that affects other people’s lives.


You will study a nonfiction genre (of your choice) with which you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Then you will write an essay in that genre. You will be graded on a portfolio of your work for this project, so you will not be expected to master the genre.


Write a multi-genre essay on a topic of your choice. We will work in class to discuss appropriate topics. Whatever topic you choose, your essay must in some way aim to convince or persuade. In other words, it must have a point.

Write about something that is important to you. Look over the writing you have done this semester for topics you could continue to explore, or branch out to something completely new.

You have a lot of flexibility with this essay, but there are some restrictions: your final piece must include at least eight written entries and at least five genres. You must also include at least one image (a photo or other picture or graphic). The essay must be the equivalent of at least five pages long.
You do not need transitions between the entries, but the essay must be unified in some way. We will explore various strategies for unifying and connecting your entries, such as a repeated motif, a metaphor, or structural devices.

Nuts and bolts

  • Minimum length: Equivalent of 5 typewritten pages
  • Other minimums: At least 8 entries, 5 genres, 1 image. It may be longer and may include more genres and more images.
  • Media: You have the option of submitting the final version on paper or online. If you choose to complete your publish online, you may use the wiki or create a website. You may then incorporate other media (images, sound, video) if you wish.
  • Design: May vary as appropriate to subject, genres, and media.
  • Any references and citations should be in MLA or APA style.
  • First complete, typed draft due Wednesday, Dec. 2.
  • Final copy due in class Monday, Dec. 7.

Student examples of multigenre essays
Suggestions for Getting Started with MultiGenre
Organizing the MultiGenre Essay

C. Writing Profile and Final Reflective Essay (10% of course grade)

Throughout the semester you will collect and revise your writing on your own page in this wiki. This page is your writing profile, a kind of online portfolio. Your final assignment will be to compose an essay that reflects on your progress in the writing you have done in this course. Evaluation: Letter grade based on rubric. More details