Synopses & Reviews
A key challenge in the first-year composition course is to inspire students as readers and to spark the kind of thoughtful classroom discussion that leads to solid academic writing. As series editor of The Best American Essays Robert Atwan constantly scours a wide range of print and online periodicals, bringing to America Now an unrivaled awareness of the best writing on today's hottest issues. To make these issues especially relevant for students, Atwan also explores hundreds of campus newspapers on the Internet to find the best student writing on current topics. These models by their peers from across the country show students that they, too, can share ideas through their own discussion and writing.
About the Author
ROBERT ATWAN is director of The Blue Hills Writing Institute at Curry College and the series editor of the annual Best American Essays, which he founded in 1985. His essays, reviews, and critical articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, River Teeth, and many other publications. For Bedford/St. Martin's, he has also edited Ten on Ten: Major Essayists on Recurring Themes (1992), Our Times (1998), and Convergences (2005). He has coedited (with Jon Roberts) Left, Right, and Center: Voices from Across the Political Spectrum (1996), and is coeditor with Donald McQuade of The Writer's Presence (2006).
Table of Contents
Preface for Instructors
Introduction: The Empowered Writer
What is America Now?
What Are Opinions?
How Do We Form Opinions?
Participating in Class Discussion: Six
From Discussion to Writing
The Practice of Writing
What is "Correct English"?
Writing as a Public Activity
Expressing Opinions: Two Annotated
Darcy Richie, Calling for a New Dialogue on Rape
Kevin Collins, Acknowledging Gray Area in Rape Dialogue
STUDENT WRITERS AT WORK
Q&As with Darcy Richie and Kevin Collins
1. Body Image: Is It A Serious Issue?
Deborah Tannen, My Mother, My Hair[Los Angeles Times, Jan. 2006]
Annie Bradford (student), Here's Looking at You [U Magazine, The University of Texas, Fall 2005]
Camille Paglia, The Pitfalls of Plastic Surgery [Harper's Bazaar, May 2005]
America Then: Charles Atlas Ad
Art Carey, This Way Up: Men's Faces Go Under the Knife [Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 2006]
2. Social Networking: How Is Facebook Changing Our Lives?
Michael Bugeja (student), Facing the Facebook [The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 2006]
Angela Adair (student), Facebook Addiction Spreads [The Reflector, Mississippi State University, Jan. 2005]
America Then: A 19th Century Personals Ad
3. Cultural Identities: Can We Live Dual Lives?
Jhumpa Lahiri, My Two Lives [Newsweek, Mar. 2006]
Grace Hsiang (student, University of California, Irvine), FOBs vs. Twinkies [Pacific News Service, April 2005]
(advertisment) American Indian College Fund, "If I stay on the Rez..."
Isra Bhatty (student, University of Chicago), Reppin' Islam [Diskord/Campus Progress, May 2005]
4. Can Genetics Explain Who We Are?
James Shreeve, The Greatest Journey [National Geographic Magazine, Mar. 2006]
Henry Louis Gates Jr., My Yiddish Mama [The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2006]
America Then: Roots
Megan Rundle (student), Unearthing Family Roots [The Digital Collegian, Penn State, Dec. 2005]
5. Gender Differences -- How Real Are They?
(cartoon) Jerry Scott/Jim Borgman, When Guys Hang Out [The Boston Globe, Jan. 2006]
Marilyn vos Savant, Are Men Smarter than Women? [Parade Magazine, Jul. 2005]
Steven Pinker, Sex Ed [The New Republic, Feb. 2005]
Judith Kleinfield, What's Going On (Wrong) with Our Boys? [Open Spaces, Aug. 2006]
Daphne LaBua (student), My Brain has a Sex? [The Tufts Daily, Tufts University, Oct. 2005]
6. Do Words Matter?
John Leo, Awash in Euphemisms [Townhall.com, Feb. 2006]
Lucia Perillo, Definition of Terms [PMS, #5, 2005]
William Safire, Changing Warming [The New York Times Magazine, Aug. 2005]
Jaclyn Barbarow (student), Queering the Campus [The Emory Wheel, Emory University, Oct. 2005]
Adam Jacot De Boinod, Global Wording [Smithsonian, Mar. 2006]
7. Today's American