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Response Essay # 1: Writing the Fight 

Write about a fictional fight in either boxing or MMA as a sports reporter. Your fighters may be from any background, and the fight can take place in the past, present or even future. The essay should be between 4-5 pages and is worth up to 25 points

·    Tuesday, January 30: Assign Paper

·    Friday, February 2: Pre-writing Exercise

·    Friday, February 9: Email 3-4 pages for Workshop Groups

·    Tuesday, February 13: Workshop in Class; Critiques Due

·    Wednesday, February 14 and Thursday, February 15: Student Conferences (Sign up on Friday, February 9)

·    Tuesday, February 20: Final Draft Due!

Becoming a Fight Writer

Over the past couple of weeks, we have read Gay Talese’s “The Loser” and Murray Kempton, The Champ and The Chump: The Meaning of Liston Clay I.” As fight writers, these individuals comment on more than just a fight. Writer Daniel Okrent summarizes boxing’s appeal to prose: “Unrelenting aggressiveness: that’s the voyeuristic thrill, the breathtaking zing, the gasp-producing wonder that brings writers to boxing.


Not only does a fight writer attempt to convey the turmoil inside the ring or cage, but he or she also uncovers underlying narratives. Sports reporting offers opportunities for commentary on cultural issues, including race, gender, social, class, politics, and other social conditions. Whether it's the rags-to-riches storyline of the fighter or a city’s new hope for redemption, we learn more than just the number of jabs and hooks. We learn about the human condition.


Now it’s your turn.


Pre-writing (Some ideas to get you started)

Due Friday, February 2nd (Submission on Blackboard)


·      Is the fighter a boxer or mixed martial artist? Establish the age, gender, background of the fighter. Can you find a photo?

·      Determine the time frame and setting for this match.

·      Will you put yourself in the essay (1st person) or maintain objective distance (3rd person)?

·      Will you cover the fight as it plays out? Or write it from before or after?

·      What is the overall storyline or narrative arc of this fighter?

o   Is it a beginning amateur match or is he/she challenging for a title belt?

o   Or could this be the fighter’s comeback?

o   Has this fighter overcome challenges to come to this stage (Rags to Riches)?

o   Does your fighter on a Hero’s Journey to learn something about him or herself?



Basic requirements:

            -  4-5 pages, typed, double-spaced

            -  2 sources cited (popular or scholarly) and formatted according to MLA standards

            -  Clear, uncluttered prose

            -  A purpose and main point of argument that is thought-provoking and original

            -  Effective paraphrasing, quoting and summarizing

            -  Thoughtful introductions, identifying experts, synthesizing sources, analyzing the credibility of research


And one last thing:


If, at any point, you are stuck, confused, frustrated, uncertain, need feedback, or just want to toss around ideas before you get started, I am happy to meet with you during office hours or by appointment. Ask each other for help. Use the Writing Center. Don’t fret, just connect.