Fresh Voices: Composition at Cal Poly


In her essay “Not a One-Man Show—But Definitely One of a Kind,” Jaclyn Goldsmith profiles a familiar smiling face around Cal Poly’s campus, improvisational comedy group Smile and Nod’s Jose Molina. How does the writer establish the tone of the essay? For instance, is the title interesting? Informative? How does Goldsmith’s approach to the introduction compare with other profile introductions in Fresh Voices? For instance, she writes, “Silence. On center stage some twenty people configured in a circle, stationed high above the audience. Then—clap, clap, clap. . . .” How does the remainder of the introduction continue to establish tone and serve the rest of the profile?

Notice how Goldsmith uses images to convey a sense of Molina’s exuberant personality. Are the images effective in terms of content and placement? Does the organization drive the essay’s focus forward? How else could it be described: perhaps fluid, choppy, improvisational? What devices enhance coherence and unity, and where could you apply them to this piece? Just as with a skit, this essay clearly signals a beginning and ending. What do you make of its bookended structure?