Our scriptorium, a “place for writing,” will function as a class for beginning writers for those students who want to improve their essay skills. We will read to write and write to read, following the originator of the form, Montaigne. Much of our time will be occupied with writing probatively, as essai means “trial” or “attempt.” This particular class will examine model examples of theory and criticism, with a focus on cultural studies and popular culture. We will practice various essay structures with the aim of developing persuasive, well-supported thesis; in addition, we will revise collaboratively and study grammar. Our aim is to learn to write more genuinely with complexity, imagination, and accuracy. Authors may include the following: Barthes, Benjamin, Foucault, Haraway, Berger, Sontag, Mulvey, Said, Freud, Tompkins, de Beauvoir, Wilde, Baudelaire, Baudrillard, Kosofsky, Sedgwick, Hooks, and Butler.