Your Favorite Writing

What has been your favorite piece of writing you’ve ever done and why?  Not necessarily in college and not necessarily for a class (though falling into either category is totally okay too)… just plain and simple, what and why?

For me, I think it was a writing piece I wrote about my siblings for my 325 class.  I wrote it over the most recent summer term and I think what makes it my favorite are, well, a few things.  The topic itself was fairly broad (something like “something in the past that happened over a long period of time”), which helped because I could pretty much pick anything.  I also chose a topic I felt very strongly about – not just in general, but in that specific moment in time.  Finally, I put a lot of work into the re-writing and felt the final product wasn’t unfinished in any way.

So, in short, it was a meaningful essay that meant a lot to me personally.

What’s interesting, however, is that my second-favorite essay I’ve written is likely my Biochem 352 research essay for basically reasons that are entirely opposite the ones above.  The short version is: it made me feel incredibly smart when I was finished, because I’d pulled off an assignment I thought I’d bomb.

So again, I’m curious, what is your favorite piece of writing and why?  Any writing, any reason.

7 thoughts to “Your Favorite Writing”

  1. Hey Mitch,

    I think right now my favorite piece of writing is a travel essay that I wrote for my 425 and that I’m revisiting and revising now (with help, thankfully) for Hopwoods. It focuses on the day before thanksgiving when my family (me, my younger brother, dad and mom) are at our house in Waterford, MI, and thanksgiving when we drive to Midland, MI – and the day after – driving back home. It’s about family dynamics, and what we owe others, who family is, and what are our rights and obligations to that family?

    I’ve written about family previously, and it continues to be a preoccupation of mine, but I felt like I got something really right by the time I had to turn it in. It’s not perfect, hence the revising I’m doing right now, but even so, this story really feels like it belongs to me, feels like it is me, and I don’t know if I’ve ever really felt that before.

    This has happened in a couple of other essays, but only in spots, not the whole thing. Or when I look back it feels much more juvenile than I thought it actually was. And maybe I’ll feel that way about it in a couple of years. But right now it’s my favorite, and I’m excited that I get to keep working on it.

  2. Good questions! I think that my favorite piece of writing may be the writing I did for the short essay documentary, The Act of Framing– It is a favorite of mine not because of its content but because it was the first time in which I took a piece of work that I found shamefully mediocre and converted it into something I could really appreciate. It started off as a 325 essay–an essay I did over an all nighter and did not care for very much. After being unable to look at the essay for a week, I decided that there was potential within it and converted it into a script for an essay documentary. Using visuals with the story and mincing the words down to only the ones absolutely needed was a great way to make interesting changes. Now, I’m quite proud of the work and can understand the playability of “failed” projects to become diving boards for better material.

  3. My first thought was, disturbingly, really, that I don’t have a favorite piece of writing. After thinking for a few moments that there is no piece of work that I could look back on with basically any sort of pride, I did realize that there was something that I could look back on with great fondness– something I wrote that I would be devastated if I lost, and I guess that makes it my favorite. It’s called “Dixie the Dolphin” and I wrote it in early elementary school. It’s still on my shelf in my closet at home, handwritten on lined paper, slid into the pages of a red Disney photo album, complete with pictures drawn by my older sister. Simply, it’s the story of a dolphin and her best friend who sneak away from home to explore a sunken ship and search for treasure, and I can still clearly remember sitting at my kitchen table with my sister, telling her the story as I wrote so she could draw the pictures. We were so proud of that little book, we showed it to absolutely everyone in our extended family.

    So, it’s my favorite. For being not only my first solid memory of writing for fun, but for pure nostalgia.

  4. Hmmmm….I think that my favorite writing is that which embodies the style of writing I like to read. I enjoy rhetorical analysis immensely. Like maybe too much. I really really enjoy not knowing what a writer is talking about right off the bat. I like contemplating the meaning behind each word, each phrase. This factor of uncertainty and mystery determines who my favorite authors as well as my favorite singers and artists are. For example,

    “Hummingbird, just let me dive
    Inside the broken ovals of your olive eyes
    I do believe you gave it your best try” –“Meadowlark” by Fleet Foxes

    It’s completely metaphorical and I don’t know exactly what he’s talking about but it evokes intense emotion and is just beautiful to read. He’s probably referring to something extremely personal in his own life and I don’t have to know exactly what it is to experience the emotion of it. And that’s what I love. This doesn’t get along well with academic writing that has to be clear and concise. And I’m not saying that’s bad— it has a time and place that occurs quite frequently. My favorite writing, on my Gateway ePortfolio is figurative but tells a somewhat cohesive story at the same time. I’m honestly unsure of whether it’s “good,” but I really enjoyed it. I cared A LOT about it and it was deep for me. It was about a rather cliched topic about how things don’t make sense at the time but retrospectively, you realize all of the pieces in your life fit together in a way that’s incredibly reassuring and really beautiful. But I like to think I flipped it and made it a little more ambiguous than that. It’s titled Nostalgia.

  5. I think my favorite piece I’ve ever done was the ‘make an argument about your past’ assignment for English 325. I wrote about a Holocaust education trip I went on during my senior year of high school called March of the Living, where we spend one week touring various concentration camps in Poland and the second week in Israel. I tend to keep things fairly close to the vest, and that applies to my writing too, so I rarely write about myself or my emotions. Because of that, I was very proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone and doing so successfully. The paper wove the narrative of the trip with personal reflections on the importance of my Jewish heritage, and an analysis on the many hindrances to a secure future for the Jewish people. I was able to bridge my more common analytical work and skill-set with an uncommon topic: myself.

  6. One of my favorite pieces I ever did (I don’t know if it is my absolute favorite) was for my LHSP 125 course aka my First Year Writing Requirement. We had read this terrible book called Moby Duck about a shipment of plastic ducks that had spilled out of a cargo ship into the ocean and ducks began appearing on beaches around the world. Basically the author explored these ducks from a bunch of different angles, so that was what we had to do. We had to look at something from a bunch of different angles to examine it with different lenses. Based on my love of comic books I chose Superman obviously. It was a lot of fun looking at the different representations of Superman throughout history, from the actual comic books to radio shows to movies to television and everything in between. I really enjoyed writing the paper and then ended up repurposing it for my gateway project.

  7. First off, I have read that piece of writing from your 325 class and I loved it! I think those types of pieces are definitely what I am more drawn to as well. Something expressive, something I can look back on and feel like it is a piece of me, and describes me and my story well to other people. I also think receiving a good grade on the paper is a big factor in how I look back on my writing, even if I originally thought it was a good piece, a bad grade taints the memory.

    I have a top two, and I don’t know how to decide between them haha. One of my favorites is a paper I wrote for Writing 300, which was somewhat of a Why I Write paper, but it was just about a writing experience or the process. My original draft was confused, compiling examples of my past emotional writing to try to string together the idea that I use writing to express myself and my emotions. It did not come out well. However, I completely revised it, starting with something almost totally new, and told the story of a hard emotional event that led me to write instead of other destructive activities. The piece came out beautifully and so much better than the first draft. I felt like it was a true piece of my life.

    The second is my 425 essay (which you’ve read). I wrote hard and clear about what hurt, and I showed everyone what it’s like to have a mental illness and deal with what I dealt with. It was something I felt I really needed to write about and I did, which is a great feeling.

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