ENGL115: English Composition I

Guidelines for Writing the Collage
Description of Project The collage is a larger piece of writing which consists of smaller, disconnected bits and pieces of writing rather than one continuous piece. The segments of the collage are typically separated by spaces or asterisks.
Assignment Objectives The collage accomplishes these objectives:
  • It allows you to skip some of the harder parts of producing an essay such as trying to develop transitions between the various sections.
  • It encourages you to experiment with a variety of invention/heuristic processes.
  • It emphasizes the exploratory, playful quality of writing.
  • It permits you to use your intuition in finding the shape of the writing.
Writing the Collage Follow these directions when writing your collage:

  1. From everything that you've written so far, select those pieces which you like best, which best describe you as a writer, or demonstrate your understanding of what writing is or consists of, or which identify your assumptions about what the process involves.

  2. Do not feel compelled to include everything you wrote during your work-shopping.

  3. You may develop any idea which feels incomplete, but don't feel that you have to add any new information once you have stopped generating material.

  4. Use your intuition to determine the best order of the pieces you select to include in your collage. Experiment with different orders of information. What order sounds good?

  5. Leave white space with three centered asterisks between each section (   * * *   ).

  6. Feel free to experiment with sentence structure. Use incomplete sentences if you want, or write in lists.

  7. Punctuate and spell correctly and double check usage (e.g. don't say "there" when you mean "they're" or "their.")

  8. Fill 3 to 5 pages, single-spaced. (NOTE: Future essays will be double spaced.

  9. Set your margins at 1 inch all around.

  10. Look for examples of collages in your textbook (Elbow and Belanoff), pp. 21-29.