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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $18.97
  • March 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93230-0
  • 368 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

The Norton Pocket Book of Writing by Students


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Melissa Goldthwaite (Editor, St. Joseph's University)


A Norton anthology of student writing.

This is a book that celebrates student writing—and honors the teaching that helps students produce such writing. It collects writing done by college students across the country and includes a call for papers, inviting students to submit their own writing for a prize and for inclusion in future editions of this book.


Endorsements & Reviews

“In The Norton Pocket Book of Writing by Students, Melissa Goldthwaite serves up a veritable feast of student writing and invites us to pull up our chairs and dive in. Every teacher of writing is going to want to have a copy of this book, and to share it with our students.” — Andrea Lunsford, Stanford University

An inspiring collection

With 33 essays and 9 poems written by students from across the country, including a poem written by Barack Obama when he was a student, this is a collection that will inspire students to write—and to submit their writing for future editions.

An affordable supplement

At $10 net, The Norton Pocket Book is an inexpensive reader that can supplement other books that don’t have enough readings, or that don’t have any readings written by students. Because the collection is organized around genres it is a useful supplement to any book organized around the same kinds of writing.


Inaugurates the Norton Writer’s Prize

The book includes a call for papers, inviting students and teachers to submit writing for the prize—and for possible inclusion in future editions of The Norton Pocket Book of Writing by Students.



    1. Barack Obama, “Pop” (poem)

    1. Writing about Writing: Literacy Narratives and Reflections

    1. Laura Buenzle, “You Ask Me Why I Write” (poem)
    2. Julie Green, “On Philosophy and Writing”
    3. Emily Vallowe, “Write or Wrong Identity”
    4. Madeline Kelly, “The Voice from the Window”
    5. Tess Bird, “The Shadow That the Apple Casts: Thoughts on Exposure”

    2. Remembering People, Places, Events: Memoirs and Autobiographical Narratives

    1. Mike Boulter, “2-2-4 Pelham” (poem)
    2. Matthew Brooks Treacy, “She”
    3. Susan Collinet, “The Bucket”
    4. Becky Andert, “Arbitrary Encounters of a Traveling Sales Girl”
    5. Molly Lehman, “On the Riverbank”

    3. Researching and Interpreting Information: Reports

    1. Meagan Marin, “Pantoum for Tibetans” (poem)
    2. Rose Locatelli, “The Tacit Culture of an Individually Defined (Undefined) Room”
    3. Kelley Fox, “Establishing Identities”
    4. Sam Forman, “The Future of Food Production”
    5. Jonathan Payne, “Xenakis, Cage, and the Architecture of Music”

    4. Stating a Position: Arguments

    1. Lindsay Stuart Hill, “One Life” (poem)
    2. Amy Cornell, “Fiscal Independence and the College Experience”
    3. Michael Andrews, “Dude . . . Do I Look Fat?”
    4. Kari Walsh, “Obesity’s Weighty Model”
    5. Virginia Rieck, “Lessons of My Father: The Double-Edged Symbols of Cowboy Authenticity”

    5. Calling for Change: Proposals

    1. Dan Edwards, “Lunchbreak” (poem)
    2. Donna Johnson, “Feasibility Report for Solar Decathlon Grant Committee”
    3. Alissa Steiner, “Depression in College Students”
    4. Andrew Skogrand, “Making Waves: Finding Keys to Success in the Failures of the Fish Industry”
    5. Katy Kreitler, “The Best Part of Waking Up: The United States and the Global Coffee Crisis”

    6. Assessing Texts: Evaluations

    1. Holly Roland, “Lucille” (poem)
    2. Jennifer Dietz, “The Reality of eDiets”
    3. Lauren Tyrrell, “Gilmore Girls: A Girl-Power Gimmick”
    4. Antonia Peacocke, “Family Guy and Freud: Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious”
    5. Emily Mousseau-Douglas, “What’s So Funny: Comedy in America”

    7. Approaching Literature: Analyses

    1. Michael Kauffmann/Melanie Subacuz “Propertius’s Cynthia Holds Her Wine” (translation of a poem)
    2. Stephanie Huff, “Metaphor and Society in Shelley’s ‘Sonnet’”
    3. Jason Rose, “Technology as a Simulacrum of God in White Noise
    4. Anne Hart, “Televisuality in The Virgin Suicides
    5. Lindsey Arthur, “The Domestication of Death: Preserving the Suburban Status Quo in The Virgin Suicides

    8. Mixing Genres: Lyrics, Collages, Braids

    1. John Buonomo, “Nana’s” (poem)
    2. Amy Ho, “The Yin and the Yang of Things”
    3. Hang Ho, “Five Fridays”
    4. Brandon Derrow, “Dead Ends”
    5. Kristin Taylor, “Freeing the Caged Bird: My Conversations with Maya Angelou”

    Appendix: A Work in Progress

    1. Kaitlin Foley, “Social Networking and the Digital Divide: Why Internet Access Is Vital to Worldwide Communication”