A preface orients the reader to the larger aims and interests of the project, often reflecting on its genesis and evolution, and situating it within an autobiographical and/or disciplinary context. To these ends, a critical preface should explain:
• why this project must be presented in the genre it is, and
• how the project reflects on and/or experiments with the history, tradition, elements, and/or theory of the genre.
Be sure to provide an overview of the different sections, components, or themes of your project, and to incorporate direct quotations from your own work as well as the texts included in your Works Cited along the way. The preface should be 9-10 pages and quote from 4-5 sources.
Additionally, the preface may
answer any of the following questions:
• What informs your interest in this project?
• what personal or educational experiences inspired it?
• what writers, theorists, or texts influenced the project?
• what quotes, concepts, or ideas had the most impact on its conception or evolution?
• What's significant about the work -- personally, culturally, creatively, or intellectually?
• what in your project is distinctive and innovative?
• what risks did you take in pursuing this project?
• What was your original vision for the project, and how did your reading and research re-shape your conception of the project?
• did elements of the project emerge from previous writing or coursework?
• if so, how did you rework or revise that material to fit the project's focus and aims?
• how and why did your vision change as the process unfolded?
• What has the project taught you -- about life, literature, reading, writing, yourself, your world?
• in what ways does your project demonstrate mastery of the skills, interest areas, and aptitudes that animate the Creative Writing major?
• if you’re an Honors student, in what ways does this project represent the culmination of your work in the Honors program?
• what do you hope the project will teach others?