Essay #2 – Place

“From Small Town to Smaller Town” by Isabelle Jacobson: Stef, Logan, Liz

“Everything Under” by Hunter Young: Liz, Lucie, Logan

“South Korea” by Jacob Parker: Katherine, Liz, Erika, Erik

“Notre Dame” by Aubri Stogsdill: Ana, Diana, Jacob

“Mom’s Harbor” by Lucie Anderson: Ana, Hunter, Erika

River of No Return” by Erika Goddard: Logan, Katherine, Erik

“Reconciling Beauty and Connection” by Ana Hinkle: Aubri, Stef, Diana

“Thinking Out Loud” by Logan McGinnis: Aubri, Jacob, Hunter

“The Happiest Place on Earth” by Jennifer Karulski: Lucie, Isabelle, Jacob

“Ecotone” by Erik Grazulis: Ana, Jennifer, Katherine

“The Camp” by Katherine Keith: Diana, Jennifer, Aubri

“Nepvriendjes” by Liz Bolton: Stef, Jennifer, Erika

“Life at the Little Mulchatna Lodge” by Diana Ramstad: Hunter, Lucie, Isabelle

“The Window Seat” by Stefanie Burich: Erika, Erik, Isabelle




Essay #1 – Memoir

“Brooklyn, A Love Story” by Liz Bolton: Ana, Lucie, Logan

“New Sight” by Lucie Anderson: Erik, Stef, Isabelle

“Strange and Wonderful” by Jennifer Karulski: Erik, Katherine, Logan

“Speak Up” by Erika Goddard: Aubri, Liz, Jacob

“Memoir” by Ana Hinkle: Erik, Lucas Isabelle

“Walks that Change Lives” by Stefanie Burich: Ana, Liz, Jacob

“Finding Home” by Aubri Stogsdill: Stef, Hunter, Logan

“Mother, Sun, Daughter” by Isabelle Jacobson: Diana, Lucie, Erika

“On Arizona” by Hunter Young: Diana, Katherine, Jennifer

“The Explorer’s Bottle” by Katherine Keith: Hunter, Erika, Jacob

“Lazy Day at the Little Mulchatna Lodge on Fishtrap Lake, Alaska” by Diana Ramstad: Aubri, Katherine, Erika

“Memoir Assignment” by Jacob Parker: Aubri, Hunter, Jennifer

“Sleep” by Logan McGinnis: Ana, Stef, Isabelle


Response Process:

  1. For peer workshops, once essays are posted, you’ll see links to the essays above, followed by a list of reader’s names. Here is the process: Find your assigned essay. Read it through once. Jot down your initial impressions.
  2. Read it a second time, (ideally, wait a few days) this time making notes in the margins, pointing out any errors in spelling, grammar, etc. If you’re familiar with Word’s “Track Changes” feature, this is a good way to do this. You can also use “Insert” and “add comments” to make margin notes electronically.
  3. Go to Slack and find the channel that matches the title of the essay you are reviewing. Respond fully to the essay there. Then email the essay with your margin notes to the writer (or to me, and I’ll forward to the writer; I don’t give out student emails. If you are okay with reviewers sending directly to you, please share your email on Slack). I have made this an asynchronous class to afford you the most flexibility, and I assume part of the reason for taking an online class is because of that flexibility. But I hope that you will use Slack to interact. It’s not necessary to all be on there at the same time, but try to check back, to see if there are questions, and to read others’ responses. You should post your initial response by the due date (Feb 11 for Memoir assignments). Try to go back and look at the other reader’s responses. You can lean a lot about writing from other peer responses. Also, writers should feel free to ask questions, or for clarifications.

Responding to your classmates’ essays:

The goal when responding to a peer’s work is to help them get a sense of how others are reading their words.

In essence, your job as a reader of a classmate’s draft is to provide reactions and advice that can help that classmate make her or his writing more effective. Here are some guidelines for doing that:

  • First, your responses should be at around 300 words in length. Sometimes you’ll see a need to write more, but shorter responses are by and large unhelpful. I find it helpful to write my response using Word first, and then paste into Slack.
  • Second, your response should focus on issues that arose for you as you read your classmate’s draft. Initially, focus on “global” issues: content, structure, clarity. Then comment on matters of style – description, voice, syntax, language, etc. Any suggestions you have for grammar, spelling etc. you can write directly on the drafts, so you don’t need to use Slack for that. However, if you see serious problems with sentence structure and grammar, point those out to the writer. Remember, though, that you are trying to respond as a reader to the gist of your classmate’s essay; not as an editor.
  • Be sure to begin your response by pointing out some of the things that worked well for you as a reader. Did the beginning draw you effectively into the essay? If so, tell the writer. Was there a scene that was especially vivid for you? Again, let the writer know. If you liked the way the narrative  held together, say so. Then move to identifying areas that might need to be revised: areas where you were confused, paragraphs that didn’t work well, gaps in the narrative, and so on.  When possible, offer suggestions and solutions to such issues.
  • Remember, the more specific you can be in your response, the more helpful your response is likely to be to the writer. Think about the kinds of response you find most helpful to your own writing, and try to give that same kind of response to your classmate.