Jennifer Cognard-Black

Jennifer Cognard-Black >

25
Videos
Loading...
Steal, Adopt, Adapt: Where Essays Begin
Episode 1 of Becoming a Great Essayist
First, learn what the essay is--and what it is not. See how the practice of writing essays has evolved over centuries yet has remained versatile, and examine the many uses of essays across the ages. Numerous essayists find starting out…
Writing Inch by Inch: From Draft to Polish
Episode 12 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Professor Cognard-Black guides you through Aristotle's process of inventio or invention, which is that period of discovery as you write your first draft. You'll examine openings from a number of published works, gaining a powerful toolkit that can help you…
Memory Maps and Your Essay’s Direction
Episode 2 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Much like a photographer who can change the angle, lens, lighting, and focus of a scene to evoke emotion from viewers, a writer colors an essay with his or her individual perspective simply by relaying his or her truth of…
Secrets, Confession, and a Writer’s Voice
Episode 3 of Becoming a Great Essayist
One of the most remarkable consequences of essay writing is the illuminating insights you discover about yourself. The nature of the essay doesn't allow for plot building or outlines--you simply sit and write, which means the story takes its own…
The Reasonable Essayist: Artistic Proofs
Episode 5 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Professor Cognard-Black introduces you to artistic proofs, which are grounded in your expertise and colored by your own observations and experiences. The most important artistic proof in any essay is ethos--the writer's ethical appeal or credibility. She demonstrates how to…
The Empathetic Essayist: Evoking Emotion
Episode 7 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Revisit Aristotle to master the craft of pathos--being able to express empathy for the subject of any essay. Learn how to elicit emotions from your readers while remaining authentic and not manipulative, cliched, or contrived. Reflect on honest and moving…
Unabashedly Me: The First-Person Essay
Episode 9 of Becoming a Great Essayist
The use of a first-person perspective in essay writing is a powerful tool that invokes intimacy, empathy, and witness. Ethos is more inherent in an "I" essay because the person sharing the story actually experienced the events. Learn how to…
The Visual Essay: Words + Pictures
Episode 11 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Writing a visual essay requires you to detach yourself from how you have been taught to view images your whole life. Rather than passively observing and judging, you must challenge yourself to get into the visual. Repeated and lengthy viewings…
Essayists as Poets: Tapping into Imagery
Episode 10 of Becoming a Great Essayist
This lecture opens by inviting you to "walk into" a photograph taken by Alfred Stieglitz in 1893 and reflect on what you would feel, smell, hear, and taste if you were actually in the scene. Only after you've noted the…
When an Essayist’s Feelings Face Facts
Episode 8 of Becoming a Great Essayist
To help keep your essays from becoming overly sentimental, Professor Cognard-Black discusses pitfalls for writers to avoid. You'll be introduced to three examples of what rhetorical theorists call logical fallacies and then take on the challenge of an assignment that…
Sharing Your Essays: From Blog to Book
Episode 24 of Becoming a Great Essayist
The modern form of the essay may be seen daily in blogs, although not all blogs are essays--instead, many are no more than personal journals, rants, or fantasies without broader connections and appeals. Professor Cognard-Black provides examples of what components…
Lyric Essays: Writing That Sings
Episode 15 of Becoming a Great Essayist
From the Greek "lyre," a lyric poem expresses a writer's thoughts and feelings through the intimacy of the first-person narrator, evoking a strong emotional reaction in the audience. Professor Cognard-Black demonstrates the similarities between a lyric poem and a lyric…
The Epistolary Essay: Letters to the World
Episode 16 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Professor Cognard-Black reveals a common form of communication that is rarely thought of as an essay, though it often is: the letter. Coupled with an engaging activity, you'll see how a handwritten letter differs from any other form of direct…
The Essayist as Public Intellectual
Episode 18 of Becoming a Great Essayist
While public intellectual essays don't step outside personal reflection, they do grapple with social issues, often myth-busting popular beliefs. This style of writing is distinct from a portrait or lyric essay. Professor Cognard-Black demonstrates this difference through her own examples…
Short Forms: Microessays and Prose Poems
Episode 13 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Learn how essays can break the rules of conventional writing, allowing you to design essay forms to match your needs rather than being forced to fit the rules of more conventional forms. Examine structures that reimagine the essay, such as…
The Memoir Essay
Episode 14 of Becoming a Great Essayist
A memoir is often confused with a personal essay, but Professor Cognard-Black shows you the difference, once again using examples from her own students' work. She then provides numerous tips to help you recreate your memories and turn them into…
Humor Essays
Episode 21 of Becoming a Great Essayist
One of the most surprising insights into humor essays is the revelation that most humor comes from misfortune. This idea has been around for centuries, as even Aristotle noted that laughing at tragedy is cathartic for both the writer and…
Nature Essays
Episode 22 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Nature essays can easily come across as unrealistic. Since the first nature essays were written in the 19th century, such pieces have often romanticized the natural world--but there is value in not sentimentalizing the great outdoors. Examining works by William…
Historical Essays: Past as Present
Episode 20 of Becoming a Great Essayist
See how non-artistic proofs are immensely important when crafting a historical essay, especially since history is subjective, and the way you tell the story shapes how it will be understood. The non-artistic proofs of research and data set the scene…
The Skeptical Essayist: Conflicting Views
Episode 4 of Becoming a Great Essayist
Many essayists find themselves doing an about-face as they write, sometimes because they may not have fully researched or thought through an idea before making claims about it. Essays that present conflicting views are not uncommon; Socrates would commonly switch…