The Best of Freshman Writing showcases the best essays from freshman level writing courses across Penn State’s University College.

The essays published here were nominated by Penn State University College English faculty who chose these outstanding essays from the hundreds they read in their first-year writing courses. In the essays, student-writers grapple with a variety of topics across a range of genres. We publish these essays to honor the hard work and skill of our students and to share their perspectives with the Penn State community. Hence the tagline, One University, Many Voices. 

In these essays you will find students taking strong stands on challenging issues, describing important personal experiences, explaining complicated processes, and using creative techniques to convey their messages. From the direct rebuttal of counter-arguments to the deliberate shifting of point of view, these student-writers strive to engage their readers and to share their ideas.

I hope you will enjoy the essays and appreciate the writers’ efforts as they challenge you to see the world through their eyes. Don’t know where to start? Try one of the featured essays on the right (my favorite essay from each year), or use the menu on the right side to browse essays by year, campus, or genre.

Finally, I thank my colleagues for taking the time to submit essays,  and more important, I thank the students who agreed to share their essays.

–Ron George, Editor

Penn State Mont Alto