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Spring 2009

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

One of the purposes of an academic community is to facilitate the exchange of ideas between its members so that vibrant conversations can grow out of the perspectives in those members' work. This journal is an effort to foster our students' voices in the University of Maryland's ongoing academic discourse. In addition to the thought provoking essays that appear in the journal, there will eventually be forums for the entire university community to respond to these papers so that a real visible dialogue can occur in this space.

Journal Information

Program Director

Dr. Linda Macri

Editor

Adam Lloyd

Spring 2009 Editorial Board

  • Jennifer Ashlock
  • Elizabeth Fixsen
  • Maggie Fromm
  • Nabila Hijazi
  • Kisa Lape
  • Kimberly O'Connor
  • Natalie Phillips

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Interpolations.

After almost a year of planning and plenty of hard (but always rewarding) work on this project, I am excited to introduce the University of Maryland English Department’s first ever, refereed journal of first year writing! Looking at the journal in its final form, I could not be more pleased with the document that you see before you.

All of this is the result of a broad collaboration between an incredibly talented, dedicated, and insightful group of individuals here in the Department. As such, I hope that you will indulge me for a moment while I thank each of them.

None of this would have been possible without Dr. Linda Macri, Director of the First Year Writing Program, who gave me the initial green light to move forward with my proposal for this journal, and who allowed me the leeway to guide its development.

Additionally, I can’t begin to tell you the number of hours that Kevin Remmell, Assistant Director of Administrative Services and all-around web genius, put into designing, programming, testing, tweaking, and re-tweaking the journal’s website to create the attractive, user friendly site you are now admiring.

I also cannot fail to mention the Campus Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee (CSTFAC) for deemingInterpolations to be an important enough project to generously approve our grant proposal to fund the journal in its inaugural year.

The Interpolations editorial board—Jennifer Ashlock, Elizabeth Fixsen, Maggie Fromm, Nabila Hijazi, Kisa Lape, Kimberly O’Connor, and Natalie Phillips—are an outstanding group of fellow graduate students and English 101 instructors. Without their incredible recommendations and earnest discussions about what this journal should represent, not to mention their hours of work reading, commenting on, and editing our submissions, Interpolationswould have been a far poorer publication.

Finally, and most importantly, I must acknowledge our talented English 101 students, for whom this journal is meant to be a doorway into the ongoing discourse of our University’s academic community. We had almost 100 submissions for this first issue! It is a brave act to willingly submit one’s work to be scrutinized and judged by others—particularly so for the newest members of our academic community. I applaud each one of them who took this plunge and I encourage future students to follow their example.

The high level of writing and well considered arguments found in so many of these submissions made the selection process long, detailed, and difficult. Ultimately, though, I believe that we chose the right articles—those that represent the best, most compelling work being produced by our English 101 students.

I thank all of the people involved in making Interpolations a journal that our entire university can be proud of, as I do you for becoming a reader of the journal and helping to continue the conversations started here!

Sincerely,

Adam Lloyd

Essay Assignments

Experience as Evidence

For this paper students consider a personal experience and how that experience relates to the idea of civic engagement. They must develop an argument of inquiry that asks their audience to think about the questions they are posing, and to try to persuade their audience that the inquiry and the way the author is pursuing it is worthwhile.

Experience and Other Evidence

This paper builds on the first assignment as students consider how some element of their experience relates to a broader situation, issue, or controversy. Students combine their personal insights on the issue with evidence from research in order to develop an argument meant to persuade readers of a particular position.

Considering Another Side Essays

This assignment recognizes the importance of understanding the ideas of those who hold a position different than your own, in order to more fully comprehend an issue and to be able to refute opposing positions with assurance. In this paper, students take up the ideas and arguments of those holding alternative positions to their own, arguing as if they are on "another side."

Final Research Essays

In this paper students will make an argument using insights that they develop from their research and familiarity with the subject and discipline. This assignment requires that they understand a topic in depth, be able to offer background on what is at issue in the topic, put the topic and issues in context, and both support their own position and take other positions into account, either by refuting, conceding, or bridging those arguments.

Spring 2009 Essays

Considering Another Side Essays

Experience and Other Evidence Essays

Experience as Evidence Essays

Final Research Essays