8.1 Professional Essays


This section of Ch. 8 includes links to example essays from professional writers.

Reading has multiple benefits, but one is crucial to improving your own writing:

Reading the writing of excellent writers is not just entertaining or informative.  Reading great writing embeds the style, the vocabulary, and the structure of their writing into your memory. We learn from watching others.

This section of Ch. 8 includes example essays from professional writers. We will read some of them for discussion as a group, and I will refer to others when I talk about writing techniques.

You are welcome to read any or all of them now, or wait until they are assigned.

“Amid the Corona Virus Crisis, a Regimen for Reentry” by Atul Gawande is available at https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/amid-the-coronavirus-crisis-a-regimen-for-reentry

“Freedom Denied” by Samantha Nutt is available at https://archive.macleans.ca/article/2003/6/30/freedom-denied

“How to Mark a Book” by Mortimer Adler is available at https://www.unz.com/print/SaturdayRev-1940jul06-00011/

“How to Write a Personal Letter” by Garrison Keillor is available through the MHCC library database at https://login.ezp.mhcc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,cpid,url,uid&custid=s3707448&db=a9h&AN=48810970&site=ehost-live
It can also be found at https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2706&dat=19870923&id=6g1KAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vh4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=2999,1332472&hl=en

“The Maker’s Eye” by Donald M. Murray is available through the MHCC library database in Academic Search Complete at https://login.ezp.mhcc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,cpid,url,uid&custid=s3707448&db=a9h&AN=1075085&site=ehost-live

“Only Daughter” by Sandra Cisneros is available at http://chawkinsteaching.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/9/7/12977279/only_daughter.pdf


When you log in to an essay, consider printing it out to read it. Why?

  • Some sites limit the number of times you can access materials on their site before they require you to subscribe. Often a subscription is free, but sometimes it is not. If you log in to check out an essay, then log in again later to read it, then log in again to check on something, you may find the site won’t let you back in.
  • Also, it’s always better to read print copies and take notes on the document as you read rather than to try to remember what you thought about the reading.


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