Changing my essay topic…

I finally know where I am going with my repurposed essay. It’s the complete opposite direction of where I started, but I really like it.

Initially, I was going to write about the Family and Medical Leave Act, explaining it to a young adult/child audience. After writing my first draft, I was immediately disappointed. I felt that there was no more research to be done on the topic that was necessary in explaining FMLA to a child, so my assignment was then to simply relay my original argument in terms that children could understand. While I soon learned this was not an easy task, I was just unexcited by the thought of essentially writing the same exact paper over again.

To make a long story short, I am now repurposing an essay I wrote for English 225 about LeBron James. My original essay was a critical engagement essay, where I had to discuss the weaknesses in the author’s argument. I chose an article by Mitch Albom about LeBron James. My paper was largely about Albom not giving James enough credit in his decision to leave Cleveland. Rather than blaming the media for the hoopla surrounding James’ decision, it seemed to me as if Albom was blaming James himself.

Now, for my repurposed essay, my goal is to discuss the media as a perpetuating the stream of hatefulness towards James and his decision to leave Cleveland, and why this is unwarranted. I am writing this as a magazine article that would appear in NY Magazine. I have noticed that most articles in this magazine use short and demanding sentences, and tend to be somewhat sappy. I tend to be very wordy when I write and not sappy at all, so, needless to say, this is definitely a challenge for me. I wrote my first draft on Friday and really like where it is going. I am trying to be more matter-of-fact in my writing style, but I don’t know if my “sappiness” comes through…I guess this will be an area that I focus on while editing my paper.

I am really excited about the possibilities this paper has that my original idea was lacking. In terms of both writing style and flow of ideas, the style of this paper is something that I have always wanted to try but have been too afraid. I am also trying to make my paper lead up to some type of grand epiphany about the role of the media in popular culture, but, to be honest, I don’t know how that will turn out.

So far, what I have found most interesting is that although I do not consider myself a LeBron James fan, I find myself defending him in my writing. I guess this just goes back to my “why I write” essay, and the idea that I don’t really understand something until I write it down!

2 thoughts to “Changing my essay topic…”

  1. As silly as it sounds, when I saw the photo of LeBron on your post my heart started to race and I noticed myself becoming a little bit angry! As a Cleveland native, I almost feel like it’s my duty to cringe at the mention of LeBron James–and perhaps that’s the result of the media hype that was made of his decision. Looking more objectively certainly reveals a completely opposite, and perhaps reasonable explanation of the situation. It was far more complicated then Clevelanders want to recognize, and I know he’s not the awful person that we paint him to be. Despite this, there’s just something about the sense of pride and loyalty I have for Cleveland that will never allow me to fully understand and defend him! ANYWAYS I think this topic could make for a really neat paper. Lots of crazy cool things you could explore regarding the influence of media on objective, rational thought 🙂

  2. I think this is a great topic switch! I am really excited to read where you go with your idea. Your initial essay, although well written, lacked excitement. I can see why you were having difficulty writing it. The topic was controversial, yet not entirely interesting. I also do not think that there are many children who care to understand the Act, even though they probably should. I think that by writing almost a “defense” case for LeBron James against the media, you will be able to do something very interesting for Assignment 3, re-mediating an argument. I look forward to reading a copy!

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