Which authors and texts have been your favorite this semester?

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For Essay Exam 2, I’d like for you to reflect on your experience taking this class and what you’ve learned over the course of the semester. Try to avoid simple answers; make sure that you explain why you think the way that you do. To help you construct your response, please consider the following questions:


1. Which authors and texts have been your favorite this semester? Why? What resonated with you? Return to the text for quotes and “evidence” as necessary. Would you read them again?

2. Which authors would you avoid at all costs? Why? What triggered that kind of response from you?

3. How do you think you’ve changed over the course of this semester? Think of this as both a reader and a writer – how have you changed as a reader? How have you changed as a writer? Has your process for reading or writing changed?

4. What kinds of expectations did you have going into this course – both for yourself and the course as a whole? Were they met? Did they change? Why?

5. What advice would you give to other students thinking about taking this course? Why? What from your experience is driving you to give this advice?

6. Lastly, how do you feel about nature now that you’ve read various perspectives and stances on human interactions and uses of nature? Why? What authors support (or don’t) your thoughts and feelings?


  • Thoreau, “Huckleberries” AE pp. 26-36
  • Catlin, “Letters and Notes” AE pp. 37-45
  • Sigourney, “Fallen Forests” AE pp. 46-47
  • Cooper, “Rural Hours” AE pp. 48-58
  • Whitman, Leaves of Grass, AE pp. 63-70
  • Guthrie, “This Land” pp. 258-59
  • Muir, “Thousand Mile Walk” AE pp. 85-89
  • Muir, “My First Summer” AE pp. 98-104
  • Muir, “Hetch Hetchy Valley” AE pp. 104-18
  • Pinchot, “Prosperity” AE pp. 173-80
  • Olmstead, “Central Park” AE pp. 120-25
  • Burroughs, “The Art of Seeing Things” AE pp. 146-59
  • Burroughs, “Nature Near Home” AE pp. 168-71
  • Marshall, “Wintertrip into New Country” AE pp. 225-34
  • Beston, “Orion Rises from the Dunes” AE pp. 205-08
  • Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, AE pp. 254-57
  • Henderson, “Letter from the Dust Bowl” AE pp. 239-44
  • Nearings, “Living the Good Life” AE pp. 318-22
  • Eisley, “How Flowers Changed the World” AE pp. 337-47
  • Jeffers poems, AE pp. 251-53
  • Olson, “Northern Lights” AE pp. 323-26
  •  Carson, “Silent Spring” AE pp. 366-76
  • Sndyer poems, AE pp. 473-79
  • Porter, “The Living Canyon” AE pp. 380-91
  • Momaday, “A First American” AE pp. 570-81
  • Silko, Ceremony, AE pp. 582-89
  • Cronon, “Seasons of Want and Plenty” AE pp. 632-58
  • Walker, “Everything is a Human Being” AE pp. 659-70
  • Lopez, “A Presentation of Whales” AE pp. 696-715
  • Turner, “The Song of the White Pelican” AE pp. 835-48
  • Ray, “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood” AE pp. 898-906

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