My Favorite Essays

  • Home
  • 4.2 (Spring 2018)
    • 4.2 Articles >
      • Megan Brown, "Testimonies, Investigations, and Meditations: ​Telling Tales of Violence in Memoir"
      • Corinna Cook, "Documentation and Myth: On Daniel Janke's How People Got Fire"
      • Michael W. Cox, "Privileging the Sentence: David Foster Wallace’s Writing Process for “The View from Mrs. Thompson’s”
      • Sarah Pape, "“Artistically Seeing”: Visual Art & the Gestures of Creative Nonfiction"
      • Annie Penfield, "Moving Towards What is Alive: ​The Power of the Sentence to Transform"
      • Keri Stevenson, "Partnership, Not Dominion: ​Resistance to Decay in the Falconry Memoir"
    • 4.2 Conversations >
    • 4.2 Pedagogy >
  • Past Issues
    • Journal Index >
    • 1.1 (Fall 2014) >
      • Editor's Note
      • 1.1 Articles >
        • Sarah Heston, "Critical Memoir: A Recovery From Codes" (1.1)
        • Andy Harper, "The Joke's On Me: The Role of Self-Deprecating Humor in Personal Narrative" (1.1)
        • Ned Stuckey-French, "Our Queer Little Hybrid Thing" (1.1)
        • Brian Nerney, "John McCarten’s ‘Irish Sketches’: ​The New Yorker’s ‘Other Ireland’ in the Early Years of the Troubles, 1968-1974" (1.1)
        • Wendy Fontaine, "Where Memory Fails, Writing Prevails: Using Fallacies of Memory to Create Effective Memoir" (1.1)
        • Scott Russell Morris, "The Idle Hours of Charles Doss, or ​The Essay As Freedom and Leisure" (1.1)
      • 1.1 Conversations >
      • 1.1 Pedagogy >
    • 1.2 (Spring 2015) >
    • 2.1 (Fall 2015) >
    • Special Conference Issue
    • 2.2 (Spring 2016) >
    • 3.1 (Fall 2016) >
    • 3.2 (Spring 2017) >
      • 3.2 Articles >
      • 3.2 Conversations >
      • 3.2 Pedagogy >
        • D. Shane Combs, "Go Craft Yourself: Conflict, Meaning, and Immediacies Through ​J. Cole’s “Let Nas Down” (3.2)
        • Michael Ranellone, "Brothers, Keepers, Students: John Edgar Wideman Inside and Outside of Prison" (3.2)
        • Emma Howes & Christian Smith, ""You have to listen very hard”: Contemplative Reading, Lectio Divina, and ​Social Justice in the Classroom" (3.2)
        • Megan Brown, "The Beautiful Struggle: ​Teaching the Productivity of Failure in CNF Courses" (3.2)
    • 4.1 (Fall 2017) >
      • Editor's Note
      • 4.1 Articles >
        • Jennifer Case, "Place Studies: Theory and Practice in Environmental Nonfiction"
        • Bob Cowser, Jr., "Soldiers, Home: Genre & the American Postwar Story from Hemingway to O'Brien & then Wolff"
        • Sam Chiarelli, "Audience as Participant: The Role of Personal Perspective in Contemporary Nature Writing"
        • Kate Dusto, "Reconstructing Blank Spots and Smudges: How Postmodern Moves Imitate Memory in Mary Karr's The Liars' Club"
        • Joanna Eleftheriou, "Is Genre Ever New? Theorizing the Lyric Essay in its Historical Context"
        • Harriet Hustis, ""The Only Survival, The Only Meaning": ​The Structural Integrity of Thornton Wilder's Bridge in John Hersey's Hiroshima"
      • 4.1 Conversations >
      • 4.1 Pedagogy >
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My Favorite Essay to Teach

Real classroom experiences.
My Favorite Essay to Teach is a weekly feature of Assay's In the Classroom, the active work of teachers of nonfiction across genres. To submit your own, please visit our submission guidelines.


Jo Ann Beard, "The Fourth State of Matter" 
Lynn Kilpatrick

Eula Biss, "No Man's Land"
Silas Hansen

Eula Biss, "Time and Distance Overcome"
Marissa Landrigan

Jorge Luis Borges, "On Blindness"
Gwendolyn Edward

Gerald Callahan, "Chimera"
Deborah Thompson

SueEllen Campbell, "Grubby"
Amy Wright

Truman Capote, "A Day's Work"
Ted Anton

Joan Didion, "On Keeping a Notebook"
Jessica Handler

Joan Didion, "The Santa Ana"
Vivian Wagner

Annie Dillard, A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Jennifer Case

Sui Sin Far, “Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of a Eurasian”
Brenna M. Casey

Amy Hempel, "Baby, Come Hug"
BJ Hollars

Langston Hughes, "Salvation"
Suzanne Cope

Jamaica Kincaid, "A Small Place"
Creighton Nicholas Brown

Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

Debra Marquart, "Hochzeit"
Dinty. W. Moore

James Alan McPherson, "Umbilicus"
Chauna Craig

Amy Monticello, "Playing the Odds"
Sarah Einstein

Diane Myers, "Turd"
Kelsay Myers

W. Scott Olsen, "The Love of Maps"
Karen Babine

Susan Orlean, "Meet the Shaggs"
Kyle Simonsen

James Rebanks, A Shepherd's Life
Jenna London

Scott Russell Sanders, "Cloud Crossing"
J. D. Schraffenberger

J.D. Schraffenberger, "Dropping Babies"
Renée E. D'Aoust

David Sedaris, "Journey Into Night"
Michele Morano

Lauren Slater, "Lying"
Joe Bomono

Dear Sugar #39, "The Baby Bird"
Amy Monticello

John Jeremiah Sullivan, "Feet in Smoke"
J.J. Anselmi

Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience"
Michael Estes

Ryan Van Meter, "If You Knew Then What I Know Now"
Ana Maria Spagna

Jerald Walker's "Captain Love"
James Chesbro

Nicole Walker, "Fish"
Heidi Czerwiec

Joy Williams, "Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp"
Kelly Kathleen Ferguson

Spencer Wise, "The Second-Worst Rug My Father's Ever Seen"
Lisa Nikolidakis

  • Home
  • 4.2 (Spring 2018)
    • 4.2 Articles >
      • Megan Brown, "Testimonies, Investigations, and Meditations: ​Telling Tales of Violence in Memoir"
      • Corinna Cook, "Documentation and Myth: On Daniel Janke's How People Got Fire"
      • Michael W. Cox, "Privileging the Sentence: David Foster Wallace’s Writing Process for “The View from Mrs. Thompson’s”
      • Sarah Pape, "“Artistically Seeing”: Visual Art & the Gestures of Creative Nonfiction"
      • Annie Penfield, "Moving Towards What is Alive: ​The Power of the Sentence to Transform"
      • Keri Stevenson, "Partnership, Not Dominion: ​Resistance to Decay in the Falconry Memoir"
    • 4.2 Conversations >
    • 4.2 Pedagogy >
  • Past Issues
    • Journal Index >
    • 1.1 (Fall 2014) >
      • Editor's Note
      • 1.1 Articles >
        • Sarah Heston, "Critical Memoir: A Recovery From Codes" (1.1)
        • Andy Harper, "The Joke's On Me: The Role of Self-Deprecating Humor in Personal Narrative" (1.1)
        • Ned Stuckey-French, "Our Queer Little Hybrid Thing" (1.1)
        • Brian Nerney, "John McCarten’s ‘Irish Sketches’: ​The New Yorker’s ‘Other Ireland’ in the Early Years of the Troubles, 1968-1974" (1.1)
        • Wendy Fontaine, "Where Memory Fails, Writing Prevails: Using Fallacies of Memory to Create Effective Memoir" (1.1)
        • Scott Russell Morris, "The Idle Hours of Charles Doss, or ​The Essay As Freedom and Leisure" (1.1)
      • 1.1 Conversations >
      • 1.1 Pedagogy >
    • 1.2 (Spring 2015) >
    • 2.1 (Fall 2015) >
    • Special Conference Issue
    • 2.2 (Spring 2016) >

My Favorite Game: What is your favorite game? Describe the game and how it is played. Explain the rules so that someone could learn how to play the game.

My Favorite Holiday: What is your favorite holiday? Describe what you like to do on this holiday, who you like to be with at that time, and why you enjoy it so much.

My Favorite Sport: What is your favorite sport? Why do you like it, and what do you like best about it?

My Favorite Movie: What is your favorite movie? Describe the characters, the story, and what you like best about the movie.

What I Like Best in School: What is your favorite part of the school day? Write a page on what you like the best in school.

The Best Thing I've Learned in School: Write about the most valuable thing you ever learned in school. What made it so useful for you?

My Best Birthday Ever: Write a page on the best birthday you ever had. Describe what made it so special.

The Best Gift You Gave: Write about the best gift you ever gave. Who did you give it to and why did you give it to them? What made it a great gift?

The Best Gift You Received: Write about the best gift you ever received. What was it and why did you like it so much? What made it so special?

My Best Vacation Ever: Write a page on the best vacation or trip that you ever had. Describe where you went, who you went with, what you did, and why you enjoyed it.

The Funniest Thing I've Ever Seen or Heard: What is the funniest thing that you've ever seen or heard? Maybe it was a joke that a friend told you, a comedy routine, or a scene in a movie. Describe this amusing event and tell why you thought it was funny.

The Scariest Thing That Ever Happened To Me: What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you? Describe this event and write about why it scared you.

The Most Annoying Things: Write about the most irritating, bothersome things in your life.

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