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Course Documents

Essay 1: Portrait of a Place

Find a place nearby — somewhere off campus and not in your dorm — that you find intriguing. Get to know that place better: Spend some time hanging out there, observe details, do some “people watching.” Ideally, talk to some people there! Then, write a brief portrait of that place, a piece of writing that captures that place’s essence, makes the reader feel like they’re really “there.”

I will hold open office hours Friday afternoon 1-5pm. Please feel free to drop by without an appointment to discuss your plans, or if you need help coming up with an idea.


  • Length: About 400 words or so. I’m envisioning a piece 3-4 paragraphs long. The key thing is that it should be short enough to read out loud in class. (And yes, you should be prepared to read it out loud.)

  • Formatting: Times New Roman, 12 point font, double spaced.