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Penn Statements

About Penn Statements:

Every year, first-year writers are able to see their work published in Penn Statements, a collection of student writing used in every first-year writing course. Compiled and edited by the Program Assistants, Penn Statements seeks to provide examples of how other students have responded to first year writing assignments that enliven classroom discussion, prompt reflective journaling, and enrich instructors’ assignment preparation.

For Students:

We welcome submissions. Are you particularly proud or excited about an essay you’ve written in ENGL 15 or 30? You are welcome to submit it to (Note: this e-mail address is updated with each edition—i.e., once next spring’s edition has been published, submissions should go to

Please include in the e-mail 1) your name; 2) the assignment the essay satisfies; 3) your instructor; 4) the essay in .rtf or .doc format; 5) permission to publish, as follows: “I, <your name>, give Penn Statements permission to publish my essay, ‘<essay title>.'"  Students whose essays are selected will be notified, usually in late fall.

Choose the essay or two you feel are the strongest—only one acceptance per person, after all. If you’re selected, you’ll receive a copy of the magazine. More importantly, you’ll have a publication to show friends, family, or future employers.

For Instructors:

If you receive a student essay that is particularly outstanding, or that you feel really addresses an assignment in a productive way, we urge you to ask that student to submit his/her essay (as per the instructions above). As with our advice for students, try to avoid submitting wholesale an entire semester’s worth of essays. Part of the success of Penn Statements depends on instructors using and adapting Penn Statements to their classrooms and submitting essays that they feel will be useful in future semesters.

All submissions will be reviewed, with final selections made in late fall. The magazine is published annually in the Spring Semester. Importantly, though, the magazine has rolling submissions, so any essay submitted after the final selection will automatically be considered for the next year. In other words, ask your students to submit strong papers at whatever point in a given semester or summer term they produce them, regardless of the deadline. We’re always looking for as many great essays as we can.

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