What is the Common Read?
All incoming students are expected to read the 2013 Common Read; No Impact Man by Colin Beavan.
When and where do I get my book?
All students attending Summer NSO or Transfer Student Registration will be provided with their free copy of No Impact Man during their session.
Book Discussions and Preparation
It might help to look at the Common Read as a common thread woven into the fabric of your entire First Year Experience, connecting you to all your classmates. All students will participate in a discussion about the book's major themes as well as their perceptions, feelings, and questions regarding the text. These discussions will be facilitated by faculty and staff members and provide an exciting opportunity to create a common experience that unites the UMass community. Please be sure to read the book carefully and with the intention of discussing it with your classmates and discussion facilitators.
To get ready for the discussions in the fall, be sure to visit the Common Read Blog and engage with classmates, faculty and staff there as well! You can also engage via twitter using tags #UMass2017 and #NoImpactMan well as on the New Students Orientation facebook page!
This year, NSO is sponsoring an Essay Contest as part of the Common Read. The contest is open to all fall 2013 new incoming students.
2013 Common Read Essay Prompt:
Climate change, resource depletion, environmental degradation: books that treat these issues are usually research reports or political arguments. But No Impact Man is a story, a narrative about a family and a year-long experiment they undertake. Why do you think the author wrote the book in that form? What do you learn about the issues involved, about personal and social change, even about yourself, by taking that journey with him? Write an essay in which you connect the personal narrative of No Impact Man with the issues it treats. Use specific examples from the book to support your analysis or interpretation.
2013 Essay Contest Rules:
1. All fall 2013 new incoming undergraduate students are eligible to enter.
2. Essays should be between 3-5 pages long, or approximately 750-1,250 words, typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and 12-point type.
3. Direct quotations from No Impact Man should be appropriately marked and cited, with page numbers in parentheses.
4. The first page of the essay should include your name, campus address, phone number, and UMass email address. Please give your essay a title.
5. Essays should be submitted electronically as an email attachment (either PDF or Word) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Essays MUST be received no later than Monday, August 19, 2013, at 5:00 pm EST.
Essay contest winners will be announced at New Students Convocation on August 31, 2013. First-, Second-, and Third-Place winners will receive gift cards from the University Store and have a chance to meet author Colin Beavan.
Questions about the contest should be directed to Prof. David Fleming, English Department, UMass Amherst, at email@example.com.