The Essays Only You Can Write
  • Publication Date: November 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554815760 / 1554815762
  • 200 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Essays Only You Can Write

  • Publication Date: November 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554815760 / 1554815762
  • 200 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The Essays Only You Can Write offers a perspective on essay writing that spotlights a writer’s uniqueness. Resisting the perception that personal and academic writing are at odds with one another, it treats the impulse to write “personally” as potential fuel for a variety of writing purposes.

The book encourages students to think like academics—pursuing their enthusiasms, trusting their ideas, and questioning their conclusions—by leading them through three main writing assignments: a personal essay, an essay based on texts, and a research essay. Each chapter offers exercises and strategies for various stages in the pre-writing, drafting, and revision processes. Freewriting; extensive attention to planning; devising a structure and order of ideas that both promote and reflect engagement with a topic; developing rhetorical awareness and knowledge of conventions; and an advocacy for expressive, socially-responsible writing—all are central elements of the text’s instruction.

By acknowledging the emotions inherent in the writing process, many of which can muddle thinking—I don’t want anyone to see this; what if I make mistakes?; what if the writing isn’t good?; I don’t want to be critiqued; etc.—Papoulis helps beginning college writers to navigate the psychological as well as the technical roadblocks that can get in the way of their best personal and academic writing.

Preface for Students

Part One: Your Personal Essay

  • Chapter 1: Starting Ideas and Fundamental Practices
  • Chapter 2: Get to Know the Personal Essay Genre
  • Chapter 3: Write Your Personal Essay
  • Chapter 4: Revise, Add Texture to, and Finish Your Personal Essay

Part Two: Your Essay about Text(s)

  • Chapter 5: Reading and Writing about Texts in College
  • Chapter 6: Move Toward Your Essay on a Text/Texts
  • Chapter 7: Draft Your Essay About a Text
  • Chapter 8: Revise your Essay about a text

Part Three: Your Research Essay

  • Chapter 9: Confront Your Research Essay Assignment
  • Chapter 10: Do Your Research: Topic/Question/Sources
  • Chapter 11: Build Your Research Essay Draft
  • Chapter 12: Revise Your Research Essay

Part Four: Mindfulness and Essay-Writing

  • Chapter 13: Introductory Thoughts on Mindfulness
  • Chapter 14: Using Mindfulness While Writing

Part Five: Giving and Receiving Feedback in Peer Groups

  • Chapter 15: What Is Peer Feedback, and Why Does it Make Some People Nervous?
  • Chapter 16: The Psychology of Feedback
  • Chapter 17: Being a Peer Responder
  • Chapter 18: Prompts for Peer Responders

Irene Papoulis is Principal Lecturer in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Trinity College, and Director of Academic Advising and Faculty Development in Trinity’s Center for Academic and Experiential Advising. She is also a longtime Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College.

  • • Twelve week-by-week exercises that lead students through three core writing assignments (personal essay; essay based on texts; research essay)
  • • Practical, intuitive organization; easy to integrate into the classroom
  • • Compact
  • • Full sections devoted to the psychology of writing and to peer feedback
  • • Acknowledgement throughout of the difficulties and frustrations that arise for student writers
  • • Plentiful examples, including student perspectives and experiences
  • • Exceedingly attentive to student engagement