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Volume 3 (2005)

It is our great joy to present the third volume of ESSAI, The College of DuPage Anthology of Academic Writing Across the Curriculum. As in the past volumes, the aim of ESSAI is to celebrate and honor the talent, scholarship, and sophistication in learning articulated by the writings of COD students in the twelve disciplines during the 2004-2005 academic year: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, English Composition, Film Studies, History, Literature, Math, Philosophy, Political Science, and Speech. Selections include personal essays, expository writings, literary and art criticisms, research projects, and formal reports, all accomplished in response to a variety of classroom assignments. We believe that writing to stimulate the process of analytical and creative thinking is important and worthy of recognition as writing to record information and demonstrate mastery of subjects flawlessly, eloquently, and gracefully.

Readers will find much to admire in the writings that follow. If you are a student, you will find models for your own writing. The selections will help to demystify the kind of writing assignments that other students are engaged in other courses because preceding each selection is the instructor’s description of the assignment. If you are a professor, you may find ESSAI useful as a teaching resource. It may supply exemplars of understanding what we teach at the college and how we do it. Equally important, ESSAI may enrich and enliven our ongoing conversation about writing as a vital part of the academic experience at the College of DuPage, a unified dialogue that is always apt to inspire our own pedagogic innovations, which in turn will surely inspire our students.

Brief words on the anthology name and the selection rubric: first, the name ESSAI derives from Michel de Montaigne who is credited to have created a new literary genre called essays in the sixteenth century and to whom we owe our tradition of college essay writing. However, on reflecting our philosophy of writing across the curriculum at all levels of learning, we resonate back to Montaigne’s seminal design in which “essais” meant trials and attempts, “a weighing” of issues at hand (from the Latin exagium), and all that accrued from its synonymous mental exercises. Thus, ESSAI signifies students’ minds hard at work in various academic interests, tasks, and settings, while witnessing the laudable results of their writerly efforts and integrity.

The following is the rubric we have applied in making the selections. Papers are deemed exemplary if they:

  • Are completed according to assignments’ purposes.
  • Have mechanics, grammar, and other technical points in place.
  • Are imaginative, creative, logical, and risk-taking with respect to assignments’ purposes.
  • Exhibit clarity of writing with respect to purposes.
  • Follow the disciplinary format.
  • Include relevant literature reviews where required.
  • Demonstrate analytical abilities.
  • Generate interest.

Join with us in congratulating these student writers. And look forward to the fourth volume of ESSAI in 2007.

Prefatory Notes

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Front Cover
Faiz Zuberi

Selections

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Splenda
Rebecca Lunev

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Predicting Failure
Matt Naglewski

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Making the News
Ruth Valentine

ESSAI volume 3 cover

Editorial Board

English
Chikako D. Kumamoto
English
Jim Allen
English
Bob Georgalas
Teacher Preparation
Holly Hubert
Philosophy
Keith Krasemann
Biology
Chris Petersen
History
Ben Whisenhunt