It’s All About the Money…

For someone who loves to write and further, becomes deeply attached to the subject she writes about, handing in an essay is bitter sweet. I always feel relieved that the essay is off my plate, yet, I also often feel a twang of sadness when I realize that I am officially done analyzing, editing, perfecting a piece that I have I have poured my heart and soul into. The beauty of this repurposing project is that we are acknowledging the fact that we don’t have to, and shouldn’t, throw a topic into our mental garbage can when we turn in a paper.


The paper I chose to repurpose was one I truly enjoyed writing because it deals with an issue that is especially relevant to college students. Written for my English 225 class last semester, is title “A’s Over Honesty,” is a critical analysis of Robert Kolker’s article, cheating upwards, which centered on a major cheating scandal at an elite private high school. However, this article touches on deeper issues, such as the root causes of why people feel the need to cheat, and the immense amount of pressure our society places on success in the form of monetary gain.


I want to expand on these ideas in my repurposed project by creating a magazine editorial, potentially doing some sort of chronology of news events and pieces of media that have highlighted the consequences of our obsession with wealth, and further, being the “wealthiest.”


I chose the format of magazine editorial because it will allow me to incorporate photos and creatively design the layout of my pages. The main societal features I analyze; wealth, power, and fraud, all elicit vivid photos in peoples minds whether they are of CEOs or movie characters. Thus incorporating some type of collage of powerful images connected to these issues will draw readers in, encouraging them to read further.


I am wondering if my blog group thinks it would be appropriate/helpful to have some sort of personal narrative interweaved in what is a relatively formal critical analysis…

Sophie Burton

Sophomore in LSA, from Minnesota. I love yoga and sea salt truffles.

3 thoughts to “It’s All About the Money…”

  1. Hey Sophie! For starters, I loved your opening paragraph. I hadn’t been thinking about the repurposing project in that way. I was thinking about it as more of an entirely new piece, but your explanation got me thinking in a new way. Your topic for the paper is an interesting one, and I am excited to read the conclusions you draw about cheating in our society. As for weaving in a personal narrative throughout a critical analysis, I think this could strengthen your piece if done well. However, it is difficult to switch between personal narration and critical analysis smoothly. I think that carefully placing your transitions would be extremely important. Try reading examples of pieces written in a similar format, it might help you get some ideas on transitioning.

  2. Hi Sophie!

    For starters, I never thought about what you talked about in the beginning of the post. Unlike you, I am SO relieved when I finish a paper. I love the feeling of getting something off my plate and starting another essay on a completely new foot. But this project has made me realize that there is something special in being able to revisit a piece you thought you were done with.

    I think that that your choice of project to repurpose is great. It sounds like a piece of writing that you are very passionate about. In your original essay, you spoke solely about cheating, and now it sounds like you want to explore deeper motivations to cheat. Are you arguing that the main reason people cheat is that it will eventually lead to monetary gain? If so, that’s something very interesting and very complicated. What kind of research are you going to have to do? I’m guessing a lot of it is going to have to be pretty psychological.

    If you are debating about whether to include personal narrative in your pretty formal, critical piece, I would say start writing, and then see whether narrative would enhance your argument and/or logically connect to talking about cheating/monetary gain. You don’t want it to feel like a stretch.

    Also, out of curiosity, which magazine are you writing for?

    Good luck, and I’m excited to hear more!

  3. Hey! I really enjoyed learning about your topic. I know this was something that you were passionate about while describing it in class last week. I am looking forward to editing it so I can learn more about the topic. I like how you are changing this essay into an opinion editorial because now you can add in your own personal thoughts and arguments, something that you were not able to do before. I also know that once we finish this piece of writing, you will receive that feeling of relieved again because when we talked last Thursday, we both were iffy about writing this topic, so I cannot wait to get it down and feel good about it.

    Do you know how you are going to dig deeper and talk about the moralities of this topic? I am definitely looking forward to seeing your layout decision of this as well.

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