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A Series of Introductions: Selected Excerpts from Public Writers


Featuring Eric Hayot, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State University 

Moderated by Sarah Cole, Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature; Dean of Humanities, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University

We know writing for public-facing venues is different from writing an article or a seminar paper. But how? This is a seminar on the craft of introductions: grabbing your audience in those first few sentences, positioning yourself as a writer, and creating a compelling reading experience. We’ll look at thirteen introductions by twelve different writers, paying attention to style and rhythm, storytelling and exposition, structure and form. 

About the Columbia Public Writing Series

Distinguished writers discuss the craft and strategy of writing to change minds—and the world.

In each session, renowned writers join academic leaders from across the university in spirited conversation to examine the art of writing for public audiences. From sentence-level analyses of craft, to wider discussions of how a specific piece of writing addresses critical issues of the day, such as incarceration, climate change, and refugee crises, the sessions share tactics and tools to produce compelling and persuasive storytelling. As a result, participants learn to think like professional writers—and to build specific skills necessary for their work to reach national and international audiences. 

All members of the Columbia community are welcome; Columbia email required for registration. To benefit most from each event, read the featured article in advance, linked on the website, or available upon request. 

This event will be held online. For questions, please contact sps-events [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.