This document is a collection of reflections from multiple different instructors. The thoughts and suggested themes may be useful to you as you consider which essays to use from the book in your own course. You may also find Norton’s own multimodal reading companion helpful. We also list longer works (novels/memoirs) that may be used in WR 111 in conjunction with these essays; while faculty are free to choose their own longer work, they need to be sure it works thematically with the other texts in the course, and they will need to place their own book orders for it with the bookstore.


Longer Works

Behar, Ruth. Lucky Broken Girl (2017).
Budhos, Marina. Watched (2018).
Gharib, Malaka. I Was Their American Dream (2019).
Haddad, Joumana. I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman (2011).
Sepetys, Ruta. Salt to the Sea (2017).

  • Barrientos–sparked some good discussion
  • D. Barry–good for teaching argument
  • BrooksNEW TOPIC in 9th ed.: focus on human psychology; likely to engage students in a discussion of cultural beliefs; useful references for acculturation
  • Catton–very useful not only for comparison and contrast, but also for outlining. It is also a fine example of clear, straightforward writing.  Most of the students found it interesting and enjoyed it.
  • Goodman–such a clear structure, so good for outlining, but the reasons for her organization (when considering her intended audience) are still worth analysis; good also for summarizing
  • HuffingtonNOT IN 9th ed.: great foil for Montgomery, and good for talking about argument
  • Jacoby–lots of good discussion sparked here
  • King–good for teaching argument; great for talking about rhetorical techniques
  • Lincoln–needs a lot of background knowledge, but can be rewarding to use for analysis
  • Lunsford–good for teaching argument
  • Marquez–sparked some good discussion and can pair well with Amy Tan
  • McKeanNOT IN 9th ed.: good for teaching argument
  • MontgomeryNOT IN 9th ed.: good for reacting to the argument in and for sparking discussion; good for talking about rhetorical techniques; good for talking about (bad) counter-arguments
  • PinkerNOT IN 9th ed.: great for summarizing his argument
  • Posanski–pairs well with Rosenberg on argument/debate
  • Rosenberg: companion piece to Posanski useful for visualizing that written arguments should be approached like a debate with an opponent who can’t directly respond, and that you have to anticipate counterarguments and maintain objectivity to be successful. As an added bonus, these pieces seem to inspire a higher level of discussion from the oft taciturn student athlete crowd.
  • Tan–excellent catalyst for stimulating class participation early in the semester, as it touches such a chord in so many of the students
  • The Onion–good for discussing satire, parody, and irony, and for discussing rhetorical techniques and tone more generally
  • White and Arp–appealing pop-culture topic, good for summaries: fairly complex but has four or five essential points that a thorough and logical summary of it should include
  • Wu–good for talking about rhetorical techniques (lots of similes, especially)