In Write Now! the Brandeis University Writing Program compiles outstanding essays from the previous year’s University Writing Seminars.

This annual tradition serves to reward students’ hard work and intellectual development and to help pave the way for future students to excel as well. We hope that, as our contributors have benefited and grown from their writing work, the students in this year’s courses will benefit from these strong examples and be inspired in their own writing.

This year’s essays tackle a variety of topics, addressing both particular assignments and larger intellectual questions. We begin with two close reading essays, one an examination of Korean history via experimental poetics, the other approaching an ostensibly classic children’s text as a reflection of the time in which it was created.

In the lens essays, our writers use theoretical texts to examine artistic works, whether to explore how philosophy infiltrates science fiction television or to interrogate the role of nationality in an immigrant graphic novel. And in the research essays, our writers broaden their scope to engage with a larger number of sources and incorporate a variety of perspectives, one in the case of state surveillance and activism, one in the case of video games’s relationship to work and leisure. Regardless of the topic, our writers all strive to utilize the skills developed in the University Writing Seminars, making strong and often surprising arguments.

Readers, we hope that these essays will serve as useful models for you as you begin your Brandeis writing career. By providing examples of writing produced under similar circumstances — by other students in the same course you are currently taking — these essays can both guide you through your own writing process and show you its rewarding results.