Volume 13 (2015)

Created in 2002 by a cross-disciplinary faculty, ESSAI, The College of DuPage Anthology of Academic Writing Across the Curriculum is an annual academic journal that represents a unique but inclusive discourse community of student writers; it fosters student success through writing across the curriculum and in all levels of learning at College of DuPage. It rests on our belief that writing empowers and prepares our students for meaningful careers and advanced academic pursuits and that, to realize such goals, the entire college community is responsible for incorporating writing into their courses as a vital part of the academic experience at our college.

Like all the past volumes, this Volume XIII continues to harvest our belief in fertile cooperation with our cross-disciplinary faculty who implement writing to learn and promote discipline in their teaching. Some of the published essays, therefore, have resulted because our students made use of journals, logs, microthemes, and other informal writing assignments encouraged in the classroom. In this way, students wrote frequently and improved their writing skills enabling them to comprehend better and to retain information longer. Others – expository work such as reports, article reviews, criticisms, research papers – attest to students’ successful participation in academic discourse according to the conventions of language use and style expected in specific disciplines.

That we practice the philosophy of student success through good writing will become even more apparent in the journal’s name. It harkens back and pays homage to Michel de Montaigne whose seminal style of writing “essais” connoted one of trials and attempts. Thus ESSAI chronicles our students’ intellectual trials wherein they dialogically encounter diverse culturescapes, critically weigh various issues at hand and then engage in analytical exercises, while each evolving from a personal to a public writing self. The resulting published work is their expanded cultural and epistemological self endowed with talent, sophistication, and fresh scholarship, all expressed with clarity, eloquence, and grace.

We continue our editorial tradition in making the best selections for publication. The most exemplary of the year’s submissions are those that:

  • 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 honoring the exceptional talents of our student authors and our student artist whose graphic design adorns our cover. And watch for Volume XIV of ESSAI which will be published in 2017. We appreciate your readership. Through your interest and support, our anthology will keep growing.

Prefatory Notes


Front Cover
Tyler Johnson



An Undeniable Cost
Valentina Guarino


Bartleby the Marxist
Laura Kaczmarczyk


Safe and Secure
Nathan Kiehn


The Savagery of it All
Antonio Mendez


Outside the Wire
Michael Orsay


Cheap Energy
Sumera Patel

Back Matter

ESSAI volume 13 cover


Graphic Design
Brian Blevins
Franz Burnier
Richard Jarmin
Keith Krasemann
Sarah Magin
Lynda Randa
Ben Whisenhunt