Composition Essay Published in Newsweek
A student essay written for a First Year Composition II class at Iowa State University was recently published in the August 8, 2006, edition of Newsweek magazine.
The assignment started out innocuously enough: In Fall of 2005, Jennifer Veltsos, a second-year Ph.D. teaching assistant, was helping her FYC II students learn how to compose arguments. The writing assignment required students to choose any one of the five types of argument discussed in the unit. For Andrew Krull, a chemistry major, that argument was a narrative.
"When my teacher handed out the assignment, she said it would be fun to send this into "My Turn,"" Krull explained in The Tribune. "I had never heard of "My Turn" before. I didn't read Newsweek." During a planning conference with his instructor, Krull indicated that he wanted to experiment with irony in his essay, similar to a sample narrative the class had read by David Sedaris. The result was a humorous reflection on the lessons he learned from his older brothers, lessons often learned the hard (even painful) way. When Krull’s grade on the assignment was lower than he expected, he decided to take Veltsos up on her suggestion. He revised the essay over Thanksgiving Break and submitted it to Newsweek. To his surprise, the magazine accepted his essay, turning his homework into a $1000 payoff and a photo shoot with his brothers. “I was in Wal-Mart when they called me on my cell phone,” Krull recalled, revealing that he had to duck into an empty aisle to listen to the editor’s offer. Eight months later, Krull can call himself a nationally published author. Read Krull’s essay, “Celebrating the Pity of Brotherly Love,” at Newsweek.