Student Writing Library

library doorThe essays below are written by students in my English 1A composition classes from 2001 to the present. The essays have been selected for their thoughtfulness and for their appropriateness as models for the writing assignments in each unit.

These essays did not emerge fully formed as you see them here. They are the result of several messy, mistake-ridden, but also productive drafts. The authors would all tell you that good writing comes from sticking with it, in spite of the difficulty, in spite of feeling as if you are sweating blood trying to get each sentence to say what you mean. I commend them for their hard work, and thank them for these wonderful examples of good writing.

Reading Response Rubric and Essay Reflection Examples:

    Rubric and responses to "K'Mart Has a Loveable Disorder"

    Essay Reflection Examples

Home and Other Private Spaces

"Fried Rice With a Side of Cultural Awareness," Jasmine Yount — Option 2, Food Traditions (Summer 2016)

"Faith and Investment in America," Guy Slater — Option 2, Holiday Traditions (Spring 2013)

"Celebration: Where the American Dream Comes True?" — Option 1, Fantasies of Home (Fall 2013)

"12 Residences," Wesley Goldsberry— Option 2, Family Traditions (2007)

"Is My Life Really Different?" Sarah Kelly — Option 2, Family Traditions (2005)

"A Visit From Grandma," Sharon DeMartini — Option 2, Family Traditions (2002)

Public Space, Cultural Landscapes

"Finding Freedom on the Santa Rosa Creek Trail," David D. (Spring 2014)

"Intersections of Traffic and Crossroads of History," Marc Van Riper (2013)

"Morton's Warm Springs Resort," Taumra Meraz (2012)

"My Working-Class Neighborhood," Lisa Keeton (2006)

"Apple Days," Renee Whitlock-Hemsouvanh (2006)

"The Parking Lot," Robert Motherwell (2002)

"A Trip to the Barber," Steve Ashlock (2002)


"Flower Collars and Tin-Foil Hats," Kayla G. (Spring 2014)

"Free to Bet Now," David D. (Spring 2014)

"The Monster on the Hill," Merwyn Welch (Fall 2014)

"Discovery Bay," Danielle LaPerle (Fall 2014)

"Samsara: The Birth, Life, Death, & Rebirth of Skaggs Island," Leila-Anne B. (Summer 2014)

"Free to Bet Now," David D. (Spring 2014)

"The World in One Place," Ashley Boyle(2013)

"My $40 Experience at the Winchester Mansion," Luis Briceno (2012)

Media and Identity

"Cheerios Commercials and The Messages They Send to Little Girls," Lisa King (2004)

"The American Male in Advertising Today," Coby Richards(2002)

"Selling to Our Seniors," Mary Simons (2004)