Last semester I wrote my first piece of long-form journalism– a 4,000-word exploration of the Honor Code at Hamilton College. This was a drastic departure from the 300ish-word articles I usually write for the school paper, so I was initially intimidated by the breadth and depth of the project. (I also thought the topic was super dry…. Academic integrity? Who wants to read about that? I recognized that it was an important topic, but I didn’t know how I was going to make the story matter to readers. Cheating and plagiarism is a Big Deal; people get fired from jobs and kicked out of universities on the regular for this stuff. But how could I make this dry topic more appealing?)
The project started coming to life with each interview I conducted. Everyone I spoke with during formal and informal conversations shared unique anecdotes and opinions about the Honor Code. The challenge, for me, was consolidating a myriad of perspectives into a coherent narrative.
Click HERE to see the end result! (Surprisingly, I got some compliments from people other than my blood relatives…! Wahoo!)