Vol 2, No 1 (2016)

Cardinal Compositions

Message from the Editors:

This is the second edition of Cardinal Compositions, a collection of essays that features writing from other students here at our University of Louisville.

Also notable is our online collection: we received so much great writing, we couldn’t include all of the submissions in this text. You’ll find here selections of the editorial board from among all the great submissions that we have received over the past year. To check out a wider variety of projects, click over to cardinalcompositions.com, where you’ll find an archive of additional essays, artwork, and digital projects students have contributed.

One of the reasons the essays found in this print volume were selected by our editors is that they have a great deal in common with the kinds of essays you might produce for assignments in your English 101 and 102 courses. While every instructor takes a different approach to designing assignments, almost all instructors will ask students to write using the conventions of a narrative, or research writing, or community engagement. The essays you’ll find here were not necessarily selected because they are “A” essays, (and in fact, we have no idea what grade they received). Instead, they were selected because they are great examples of the choices an author might make in interpreting those conventions, examples that might help you in your writing courses. We hope, as you read through these essays, you keep an eye out for choices that seem a good fit for whatever writing project you are working on.

Ask yourself: what moves did the writers make that you might experiment with in your own work?

Finally, with this note we hope to attend to some of the questions  about our editing methods and selections. As editors, we recognize and attempt to respect the intent of the student authors and their positions and original voices. Not all selections here will be “heard” well by all of you.  It will be important then for you to also talk about your differences in responding, hearing, reading these selections. Audience matters. 

In the collected writing to come, you might notice that not every piece boasts perfect grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Unless mechanical, formatting, citation, or other “errors” made it difficult to comprehend the writing, we left them untouched. We receive writing submissions from multiple authors who each bring diverse ages, literacies, identities, backgrounds, and voices to our collection. Therefore, we found that, especially when composing and reading collections, we should all remain constantly mindful of our positions as both readers and writers.  

We enjoyed putting this collection together, and we hope you have as much fun learning from and reading these pieces as we did.

Michael Baumann, Mariah Douglas, Khirsten L. Echols, Ashanka Kumari, and Steven Smith

Table of Contents


Cardinal Compositions Editor
Brandt Coleman
Brandt Coleman

Research and Argument

Cardinal Compositions Editor
David Moon
Hannah Melvin
Kevin Kelley
Mohammed Hindi
Amer Alzayed
Kelsey Headden
Amer Alzayed
Taylor Carter


Cardinal Compositions Editor
Tong Nguyen
Clare Durbin
Carrie Hall