First Short Response Paper

This brief paper should be about your feelings on how the two assigned essays, Nancy Mairs’ “On Being a Cripple” and “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexi, both from 50 Essays, and whether they fulfill or do not fulfill the markers of Philip Gerard’s Five Hallmarks of Creative Nonfiction, as found in Chapter One of that textbook. As you write, this should help you see how you might incorporate these five ideas into your own essay soon.

In my experience, the most difficult to understand hallmark of Gerard’s is Timeliness. What he means is: does the deeper meaning of your piece feel like a big enough subject? If you are doing a piece on cosmetic surgery, for instance, to make a timeless essay, you would write about how cosmetic surgery is really about vanity and cultural expectation. Make sense? Essays about your career goals are also about your own personality and what you might be good at in the world. As humans, we have timeless subjects that connect us.

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Let me know if the other hallmarks feel confusing too. I’ll keep an eye on this and the discussion thread for those concerns. Use MLA for your citations of texts; though we’ll cover that in depth next week, you can try it out now on this less formal paper.

This piece can be as short as 2-3 pages, or 800-1000 words. The content being good, relevant, not “filler” or summary, is more important than the length.

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