Essay #2 Placeography (Photo-essay) All of us feel a connection to someplace. Some feel a deep connection to their homelands. Others feel a connection to where they live now, or perhaps just somewhere they visited

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Essay #2

Placeography (Photo-essay)

All of us feel a connection to someplace. Some feel a deep connection to their homelands. Others feel a connection to where they live now, or perhaps just somewhere they visited.
Often, our connections to a place—and our experiences there—help us see it more richly than others. For this project, I would like you to tell me a personal and descriptive story about a place that's meaningful to you.

Things To Do Length: 5 paragraphs
Using the five paragraph model, please:

  • Discuss a specific place (eg: Cuba, Lynn, Germany) that's meaningful to you.

  • So your readers can see, smell, hear, feel, and perhaps even taste your special place, use lots of vivid sensory detail

  • Tell your reader why your place is special. What experiences have you had there? Why does it matter so much to you? Why should it matter to others?

  • For each of the three body paragraphs, “zoom in” to describe and reflect on parts of your place.

  • For example, if I were writing about my birthplace of Germany, I might discuss the Rheingou region, the town of Eltville, and my Grandma's house

  • To help your reader better visualize your place, include an interesting picture that highlights the focus of each body paragraph.

  • This means your essay will include three pictures. One for each body paragraph.

  • Ideally, you should take (or have taken) the pictures yourself.

What You'll Turn In
I'll provide a template for how I'd like you to submit final drafts via your e-portfolio. Please include:

  • A writer's statement (I'll give you the prompts before it comes due!)

  • A link to a copy of your essay's final draft in .doc or .pdf format.

  • A link to a copy of your essay's rough draft in .doc or .pdf format.


  • A reflective and thoughtful writer's statement (we'll discuss what this is!)

  • Your work should reflect the time and effort we'll invest in it over several weeks.

  • Your work should demonstrate growth in and awareness of the core competencies: writing process knowledge, respect for audience, genre knowledge, and thoughtfulness.

  • Five fully developed paragraphs.

  • Three pictures. That is, one for each of the three body paragraphs.

  • Correctly submitted via your e-portfolio.

Here's a general outline to consider when writing your project.

  • First paragraph: Introduce your place and why it's important to you.

  • Second through fourth paragraph: Discuss one aspect of your place in each paragraph.

  • Fifth paragraph: Conclude: tie everything together.

Here's an example outline. The student was creative with this assignment. She tied her discussion of place to a discussion of traditional foods:

  • Introduction: The student hooked her reader and introduced her subject. She discussed her mother's traditional Mexican cooking and how it reminds her of home.

  • First body paragraph: The student had taken a picture, while on vacation home, of a traditional Mexican market. She vividly described the sights, sounds, and smells of the market and reflected on how they remind her of home.

  • Second body paragraph. The students showed a picture of an avocado. She talked about the avocado and how it is important to her mother's cooking. She described the taste and smell of the avocado—and also the sight of her family sitting at the table eating dinner together. She concluded by reflecting on how the avocado reminds her of family.

  • Third body paragraph. The student showed a picture of a Mexican Cola—unfortunately, I can't remember its name! In any case, she talked about feeling refreshed on a hot day back home. She talked about how the taste of the cola still reminds her of hot days and how she felt playing on the streets of her hometown.

  • Conclusion: The student restated some of the memorable, key, points of her essay. She left the reader with the impression of food, place, and it's incredible importance to her.

The example discusses a person's home country and birthplace. But really, you should feel free to write about any place that’s meaningful to you. This means you can write about your birthplace, your current town, somewhere that's unique, quirky, or interesting, or even just a special spot.

Homework Schedule

Note: Assignments are due by the beginning of class each day. This schedule is tentative and, depending on the needs of the class, subject to change. I'll post more details to Angel as assignments come due.

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