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Fall 2013/Spring 2014

Interpolations is a refereed online journal showcasing superior student writing from the English Department’s Academic Writing Program.  These essays represent the finest work – a combination of compelling ideas and outstanding writing – produced by our academic community’s newest members.

One of the purposes of an academic community is to facilitate the exchange of ideas among its members.  This journal provides one place where we foster students’ voices in the University of Maryland’s vibrant academic conversations.  In each issue, our writers read and analyze, inquire and argue, bringing academic insights to bear on exigent civic issues.

Journal Information

Editor-in-Chief

Lindsay Dunne Jacoby

Managing Editor

Scott Eklund

Technical Editor

Kirk Greenwood

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 Editorial Board

  • Catherine Bayly
  • Shaun Gannon (Spring)
  • Amanda Giffi (Spring)
  • Kirk Greenwood (Spring)
  • Peter Grybauskas (Spring)
  • Nabila Hijazi
  • Lyra Hilliard (Fall)
  • Heather Lindenman
  • Justin Lohr
  • Radford Skudrna (Spring)

Letter From The Editor

Dear Readers,

 The Academic Writing Program is pleased to announce an updated Fall 2013-Spring 2014 issue of Interpolations: A Journal of Academic Writing. Since the founding of Interpolations by Adam Lloyd in 2009, this publication has become a valued feature of our English 101 community and has also garnered readership far beyond our campus borders. Now housed within the Academic Writing Program, it continues to offer students and instructors of English 101 a showcase of exemplary writings, a source for modeling and discussion, and an opportunity for student writers to reach a wider audience.

 This new issue showcases the work of fifteen talented writers, whose pieces were judged by eleven editors and selected from over 300 submissions. These writers engaged in a rigorous editorial process and enthusiastically share their thinking with you here.

 For the first time, we have included a summary, Deanna Rubin’s synopsis of Eric Uslaner’s essay, “Trust, Civic Engagement, and the Internet.” We are also pleased to include a Rhetorical Analysis, Simrin Gupta’s comparison of Jonah Lehrer’s and Brooke Gladstone’s approach to explaining “the decline effect” and scientific truth.

 The majority of our selections represent the research sequence that students in English 101 engage in. Posing initial academic inquiries, Lina Lulli questions the effects of song lyrics on listeners; Tarika Sankar investigates the use of non-prescription drugs by college students; and Alexis Thompson explores the effects of social media use on romantic relationships.

 Meanwhile, two writers challenge themselves to consider a view of their research topic they hadn’t previously explored: Leo Traub critiques the ethos of citizen journalists and Tamar Gasko argues that the real culprit of mental health stigma lies with healthcare providers themselves.

 Finally, eight of our writers offer compelling arguments in their final position papers, on topics ranging from the psychological effects of advanced video gaming technologies, to the media’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to the role of gender in political debate. We hope these essays by Austin Baldridge, Drew Calamaro, Shachar Gannot, Nicole Hsiung, Christian Johnson, Anastasia Kouloganes, Nicole Newman, and Todd Waters will capture your attention and get you thinking about where you stand on issues that continue to be exigent on our campus and in our world.

 I would like to thank our writers for their persistence and excellence in the revision process: with this issue we celebrate you and your fine work! I would also like to thank our Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 Editorial Boards - Catherine Bayly, Shaun Gannon, Amanda Giffi, Kirk Greenwood, Peter Grybauskas, Nabila Hijazi, Lyra Hilliard, Heather Lindenman, Justin Lohr, and Radford Skudrna- for your commitment to this publication and to student writers. Finally, I would like to thank our managing editor, Scott Eklund, for wearing yet one more hat, and our Director, Jessica Enoch, for her continuing support and enthusiasm for all aspects of our program.

 We invite students who are taking English 101 in the Fall of 2014 and the Spring of 2015 to submit their best writing from the course, including digital projects, as we anticipate our next issue will also include forms of digital writing, like podcasts and websites. We look forward to learning what you have to say!

 Happy reading,

Lindsay Dunne Jacoby

Editor-in-Chief, Interpolations

Assistant Director, Academic Writing Program

Fall 2013/Spring 2014 Essays

Considering Another Side Essays

Inquiry Essay

Position Paper

Rhetorical Analysis Essays

Summary Essays