The SAGES First Seminar Essay Awards highlight the best student writing produced in SAGES First Seminars each Fall. The essays recognized here were selected from those nominated by SAGES faculty for this award in academic year 2016-1017. Student essayists receive a cash award and are recognized at the Spring Writing Program Awards.
We encourage instructors to read and share these essays with student writers as models for effective writing in SAGES First Seminars.
“Unethical Behavior in the Wounded Warrior Project” by Claire Howard
Written for FSSO 119: Philanthropy in America; Barbara Burgess-Van Aken (Seminar Leader)
Assignment Description: The prompt for this essay was to examine and make an argument about a controversy or ethical dilemma that relates to philanthropy. Examples of issues to discuss include scandals in the nonprofit world, policies related to honoring the intentions of donors, accepting gifts with strings attached, or taking gifts from criminals.
“Two Sides of a Coin – Analysis of An Unquiet Mind” by Yiyang Wang
Written for FSCC 100: Social Meanings of Health; Mary Assad (Seminar Leader)
Assignment Description: This mid-semester analysis essay asked students to choose a personal illness narrative we had discussed in class and make an argument about the narrative’s rhetorical strategies. The prompt stated, “In your essay, begin by identifying the target audience and the changes the writer seeks to enact in the audience’s beliefs or behaviors. Then, explore how the writer attempts to persuade this audience. What strategies does he/she use to make the memoir interesting, relevant, engaging, meaningful, or memorable? Conclude by evaluating the narrative’s effectiveness: do you think it would successfully persuade the target audience? Why or why not?”
In previous years, SAGES and the Writing Program published the prize-winning essays in booklets. You can find previous SAGES First Seminar Essay Award recipients here in these archives.