21W.742J | Fall 2008 | Undergraduate

Writing About Race: Narratives of Multiraciality


This page presents an example of student work.

Class Assignments

This is a writing-centered course. Students will write a one-page response paper for each assigned text. There will also be two longer writing assignments: a 7-8 page critical essay responding to readings and screenings from the first month of the course, and a 12-15 page personal essay in which you will incorporate what you have learned through our critical/theoretical discussions of assigned texts into a creative exploration of your own experience — what Cherrie Moraga has called “theory in the flesh.” In addition, there will be short in-class writing exercises over the course of the semester, to help you focus on the craft elements of your writing, using creative devices gleaned from the texts as prompts to delve deeper into your own stories. You will compile all this written material into a portfolio, to be handed in on the last day of class.

Regular class participation is required. Students are expected to come to each session prepared to discuss the day’s texts, and every student will lead one class discussion. In addition, you will be expected to provide productive feedback on your peer’s manuscripts during workshops.


There will be three writing workshops during the semester, in which students will break up into small groups and discuss each other’s critical and personal essays as works-in-progress. You will be expected to read the manuscripts in advance, and come with specific comments that will help toward their revision. You’ll hand in a written version of these comments, no more than one page, on the day of each workshop. We’ll discuss the workshop format in depth during the first class.


21 Revision workshop
22 Screening: Halving The Bones
23 Discussion of Halving The Bones
24 Discussion of first half of All Over Creation. In-class writing exercise.
25 Finish All Over Creation. Final in-class exercise.
26 Last class. End of semester party and reading from final essays.

Example of student work appears courtesy of the author listed below:

MIT student A quantified relationship (PDF)

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples