A resource for both students and instructors, ESSAI is an annual publication that features some of the best academic writing created by COD students across the curriculum and at all levels of learning.

Each volume includes a variety of written assignments that articulate the skill, scholarship and sophistication of students. It also exemplifies the notion that good writing stimulates analytical and creative thinking, records information, demonstrates learning and communicates effort and integrity in a flawless, eloquent and graceful manner.

Included are multi-disciplinary selections such as expository and reflective essays, literary criticism, research projects, science and technology reports, math projects, exam answers, journal entries, in-class writing, business letters and resumes, newsletters, and focused responses to coursework.

The name of the publication, ESSAI, traces back to Michel de Montaigne, who, in the 16th century, created a new literary form called “essays.” To Montaigne, essays were “attempts” or “trials,” a means of testing his response to different subjects and situations. It is to him that we owe our tradition of college essay writing. Reflecting Montaigne’s seminal design, ESSAI witnesses the “trials” and “attempts” of students’ minds as they engage with various issues.

To be included in ESSAI, professors need to submit student work to the co-editor of ESSAI, along with a completed submission/release form for each writing assignment. Students are encouraged to speak with their professor about specific writing assignments that they would like to be considered for publication. The deadline to submit is the end of each summer term, however, we encourage you to submit work during the semester it was written.

For additional information, contact Sam Mitrani at Professors, submit a PDF of the writing assignment and accompanying submission/release form to Sarah Magin at

ESSAI Editorial Board

Brian Blevins – Graphic Design
Franz Burnier – English
Kris Kowal – English
Sarah Magin – English
Sam Mitrani – History
Ken Orenic – Library
Lynda Randa – Biology

Archived Issues