Practical Notes: Writing A Craft Paper–Karen Babine

Interesting essay on craft analysis. Reading it, I realize that I’ve done much of my reading of literary analysis and criticism from a “crafty” point of view.

Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies

Welcome to Practical Notes, a new series on In the Classroom, in which we address various practical aspects of the writing world. 


reading as a writerI first encountered a craft paper during my first semester of my MFA at Eastern Washington University, when my workshop professor assigned one to us. I’d never encountered one before, had no idea how to write one, and even more importantly, couldn’t see why I needed to. I was there to write. Right? Even as I grumbled over the fifteen-page assignment that was taking me away from the essays I really wanted to write, I grudgingly agreed that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. I didn’t encounter another craft paper in my MFA, nor my PhD, but I faced many similar requirements that simply felt like hoops to jump through in pursuit of the degree. That, I realized with much hindsight, was my own failing of being…

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