The second issue of Artifacts features articles on a range of topics, from a historical narrative of Mizzou’’s medical school to a critical analysis of engineering failure during Hurricane Katrina. These texts reflect sophisticated research skills, including archival and discipline-specific research. Every piece in Issue 2 developed from assignments in undergraduate writing classes at The University of Missouri.

“A Tradition of Greatness: The Stories of Three Men at MU’s School of Medicine” and “A History of The Maneater” both draw on primary research from the University archives. “Critics of America’s Engineers Form Bashing Squad Following Katrina” is a close analysis of the criticism engineers faced after the deadly events in New Orleans. “Whitepaper on Design and Collaborative Practices” is a professional analysis of successful website design. The student group examined designs of several university websites that offer student support services.

We found the essay “Rap, Dogs, Human Nature” to be an unusual example of life writing. Author Scott Thode layers a performative, visual narrative on top of a traditional narrative about personal memory. His English 1000 instructor, Rebecca Roma, explains the assignment like this:

In this essay the student was challenged to bring disparate interests, large and small, into conversation with each other. By interrupting what would be a “standard research paper” with digressions, images, and tangents on a different aspect of his personality, the student was able to establish unlikely connections and insights. Demonstrating the diversity of the individual’s multiple layers of interest, the composition of the essay, itself, is multifarious. The two topics, though not seamlessly blended, provide interesting juxtaposition and enhanced meaning to something which may otherwise have become habitually familiar.

Finally, we are delighted to include maybe the first hip-hop piece ever written for a first-year writing course. This audio/musical essay shows that writing happens in many forms. While it does not resemble a traditional academic essay, it is a strong example of how to craft a persuasive message for a particular audience. We published this piece because we believe writing includes auditory and visual realms.