what do you want to write about?

Okay. Confession: The students in my college composition classes just weren’t crazy about the topics I offered during the first half of the semester.  And I kind of don’t blame them.  I mean, I don’t think I was ever that excited about them!

So, I decided to allow them to choose a topic for their first researched essay.  For this one, they have to choose an issue or topic that speaks to or about life in America – the issues could range from homelessness of female veterans to the impact of DVRs on television watching habits.  (The second researched essay, they will be asked to write about a global issue.)

Some students seemed to perk up right away.  One told me as she was leaving that she definitely wanted to write about thin models and airbrushing practices in fashion photos (she’s a photography major).  Another student said she wanted to write about “food” and wanted my help pinpointing some specific ideas.  On the other hand, I also saw that this prospect of choosing a topic that they can get excited about did nothing to some students.  Nothing.  Blank looks.  And I also realize that some students just don’t want to bother with finding a paper topic:  They’d rather be told what to write about so they could just get it done.  This saddens me.

I’ll keep everyone posted about the interesting topics that the students will be coming up with in the next week or so.  Let’s see how creative they get!


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