Dear Future Writing Minors…

Coming into Writing 220, there were so many things about the minor that I didn’t know. I knew I would be writing… that was about it. I wish someone had given me some advice–tips on what to expect. Here goes:

1. Know your exigence. Knowing why you’re writing whatever is it that you’re writing will make things so much easier in the long run. At first, I didn’t think this mattered that much. As long I had an idea of my purpose, why did I need to define each element of my reasoning? The thing is, if you change you’re struggling to move forward in a piece it helps to be able to look back on specifics. A vague idea won’t direct you further, so do yourself a favor and know your exigence.

2. Seek feedback. In Writing 220, there are required peer review sessions. Think about your peers tell you. I’m not saying their advice is always the right direction for your work, but hearing a new perspective can be inspiring. Further, I encourage you to seek feedback beyond these sessions. Is there a professor who might have a unique perspective? Is your roommate always brutally honest? After gathering feedback from various points of view, you’ll see the value. Seek feedback.

3. Write about things that excite you. Writing 220 is unique because of the level of freedom you will be given. You have the opportunity to explore about whatever! You can’t fake passion in your writing; if it’s not there, it’s not there. The act of writing will be easier if your topic interests you, and your interest will come through. With all this freedom why choose a blah topic? Write about things that excite you.


Best wishes,

Lia Salmansohn

One thought to “Dear Future Writing Minors…”

  1. Lia: Thank you so much for your valuable advice on the Minor! I am quite excited about the level of freedom that Writing 220 offers as a course; it is rare in a course when you are able to express your passions for a near limitless set of topics. I am particularly excited about revising past works of mine, in order to see where I would choose to branch differently when deciding on past themes and topics I’ve delved into. As you mentioned, enough cannot be said when speaking on the importance peer revision in writing has on college level writing. I am a firm believer in peer revision, as I’ve learned so much from listening to the advice of my peers and faculty here at Michigan, and experiencing the same types of discussions within the Minor is my greatest hope as a member of the program!

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