How and Why I’ll Repurpose

I struggled with the decision of which example of my writing I would choose to repurpose. I’ve taken an English or writing-based class every semester so far at Michigan, so I had a wide range of pieces to choose from. I’ve reviewed countless movies, books, comics, and television shows. I’ve written nonfiction accounts of my own experiences. I’ve penned poems, analyzed scientific research, and debated the merit of countless policies and political movements. While all of these examples certainly have worth, I did not feel any specific passion for most of them. So I narrowed down my choices to three, and weighted the pros and cons of each one.

The first of my three options was to repurpose an essay I wrote my first semester of freshman year. It was a review of the movie Into the Wild about Christopher McCandless and his story. I decided to take the stance of skeptic – I did not truly believe that McCandless was as unattached as he claimed to be, and cited numerous examples of things he left behind – including a hat, a handprint, and his car – as proof. Had I gone with this option, I would have repurposed it into an academic paper comparing McCandless to Amelia Earhart, Robert F. Scott, and other doomed explorers.


My second option was to repurpose an essay I wrote second semester of freshman year on my favorite children’s book. I chose Madeline as it was my childhood favorite, and analyzed every aspect of the book – down to the symbolic meaning of the black lines that mark the page showing the rain on Notre Dame. Choosing this option to repurpose would have had me writing an analysis of children’s books in general, perhaps including Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and other modern examples of children’s literature.


My third option was based on a short story I began writing as a freshman in high school but did not complete until my freshman year of college. It is the morbid tale of a woman-turned-murderer – a direct descendant of one of the witches burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials. This repurposing would involve me writing a sort of “Magic School Bus” type history lesson on the Salem Witch Trials. I would keep the morbid taste that characterized my original story, but make it much more historically-based.

During class, I extensively discussed all three options with my group. While they saw the merit of each of my ideas, they, like me, saw the most potential in the third option. Not only is that the option that I am most interested in, I also hoped to be able to make creativity a central goal of my project – certainly something that I will have to focus on while writing a script for a fictional television show. I have always held a fascination with the Salem Witch Trials and the stories that have come out of that period in history.

I think that I have picked the most interesting but also most difficult of the three options. I have never written a script before; I am not sure of where I should even begin. It is because of this difficulty that I chose the third option, however – I wish to challenge myself and feel that this is the best way to do so. I am nervous but excited to see where this choice will take me.

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