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The English Journal: Dawson's Hidden Jewel

November 22, 2016 | News

During the first few weeks of the Fall semester, new and old students were eager to learn about the student services offered to them, such as The Plant, The Dawson Student Union, The Hive, as well as lots of clubs and sports teams that they can be part of—the Dawson Blues, Korea Tea Club, First Aid Team, ScyFy, Chill Club, etc. But what about The Dawson English Journal?

The D.E.J “is an academic journal that publishes Dawson student essays” explains Rebecca Million, a Dawson English Instructor who started this project with former student Matthew Chisling in 2010. “It was Matthew’s idea [to start this project, originally online] because he felt like students deserve to have a place where people could read their stuff,” she said, “[Matthew told me students] work so hard in these essays and at the end the only person who reads them is the teacher.” In the same way Shalon Noble, a D.E.J faculty adviser, agrees that “the teacher [becomes] the sole audience of the student essays because there is no opportunity to share [somewhere else].”

However, the discouraging answer from most students when asked “Do you know about The D.E.J?” is almost always was a blunt and straight-out “No.”

Jaco, another Dawson student said that the journal is “good for some people.” He wasn’t the only one to say that his writing “isn’t good enough [to publish or] to send it.” Yet, there is a group of editors—not faculty, but Dawson students—who read and correct the essays. Noble says: “From the editors’ perspective, they get to work together with fellow students, read their work, learn from them and see a project through.”

Many students, like Jaco, question the importance of the D.E.J by pointing out that it is a project not everybody seems to show interested in.

The goal of the D.E.J is “to get essay writing outside of the classroom and not see it as simply homework” says Noble. “The craft of essay writing is highlighted and celebrated through the journal, as well as giving students a primary experience with junior academic publications and make that world more accessible to them.”

Whether your aspiration is to simply get published somewhere, or you just want to showcase an amazing essay from one of your English or Humanities classes, the D.E.J. offers the Dawson student body the opportunity to be read by more than just their teachers. “The Dawson English Journal gives the students an enormously gratifying experience” says Noble, “by having something real, physical that you can share with everybody else.


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