Creative Writing: Personal Identity and the Essay

An Enactment in the Creation of the Self

Students (and educators) too often regard the essay as merely an instrument of assessing learning, but the essay has a rich history as a creative genre.  In this course we will approach the essay as the creative, dynamic, imaginative literary form that it actually is.  Your approach to writing essays will never be the same! More specifically, in this course we will:

  • Learn a little bit about the history of the essay as a literary genre.
  • Read a variety of essays form a variety of essayists.
  • Experiment with writing different kinds of essays, such as personal essays, op-eds, commentaries, and rants.
  • Share writing with one another both for revision and entertainment.
  • Play around with some multimodal forms of composition.

You will leave this course with a very different and improved understanding of the essay, and you will be better writers.  The essays you write in the future may challenge some of your teachers’ more conventional expectations, but they will be better, more interesting, and more like the real writing professional essayists actually create.  Your professors in college will be grateful.


Dr. Jason Courtmanche is a former high school English teacher who became a college professor.  He works primarily with undergraduates who want to be high school English teachers but also works with high school English teachers who teach the UConn Early College Experience course.  If you are a student in Connecticut, there is a good chance that Jason taught one or more of your English teachers.  He runs the Connecticut Student Writers contest, Letters About Literature, and the Scholastic Writing Awards.  If you want to know more about what he does, check out his blog, The Write Space.

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At a Glance:

Sessions Offered:

  • Session 4: July 19th - July 25th

Location: UConn Storrs Campus

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