Analytical Essay The Trouble With Wilderness

Analytical Essay The Trouble With Wilderness-87
It’s one of those classes that—less than a month into the school year—has already started to feel like a writing community. My AP Lang class and I are in the midst of finishing up our discussion of Joan Didion’s wonderful essay, “On Keeping a Notebook.” It’s a relatively small class: twenty-one mostly juniors who come together at the end of each day to read, write, talk, laugh, and yes, learn.And generally, they produced writing that fit the criteria I outlined. A common argument for the 5-paragraph essay is that it can be a useful tool for students to organize their ideas. We all need help when we are learning something, especially something as complex as writing. One, most students never move beyond this single tool.

It’s one of those classes that—less than a month into the school year—has already started to feel like a writing community. My AP Lang class and I are in the midst of finishing up our discussion of Joan Didion’s wonderful essay, “On Keeping a Notebook.” It’s a relatively small class: twenty-one mostly juniors who come together at the end of each day to read, write, talk, laugh, and yes, learn.And generally, they produced writing that fit the criteria I outlined. A common argument for the 5-paragraph essay is that it can be a useful tool for students to organize their ideas. We all need help when we are learning something, especially something as complex as writing. One, most students never move beyond this single tool.

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This suggestion, however, has never felt right to me.

It seems like a good compromise: we’ll keep the 5-paragraph essay and just add other types of writing.

I created more handouts, more step-by-step instructions, more templates.

Fit your ideas into this fill-in-the-blank, I encouraged them.

Much has already been written about the limitations of the 5-paragraph essay form.

In particular, I’d suggest looking up what college educators Paul Thomas and John Warner have written on the topic.

It’s the type of essay that Katherine Bomer so eloquently describes in These are essays in the wild, unbounded by rules and regulations, and we know that creatures are happier and more fiercely beautiful in the wilderness than confined in a zoo, like Rilke’s poor panther, who loses his vision of the world, grown weary from constantly passing by the “thousand bars” of his cage.

Rather than conforming to the cage bars of any formula or template, these essays are driven by curiosity, passion, and the intricacies of thought.

First, I explain, we’ll be keeping our own notebooks throughout the year.

“I like to start the year with ‘On Keeping a Notebook’ for a few different reasons,” I tell students.

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Comments Analytical Essay The Trouble With Wilderness

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