For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Drexel University Faculty Member Jan Armon

Jan Armon, PhD

Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus of English
Department of English and Philosophy


  • Member emeritus of State Bar of Michigan
  • PhD, English Language & Literature, University of Michigan, 1988
  • MA, English Language & Literature, University of Michigan, 1981
  • JD, Boston College, 1974
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania, 1971


After graduating from Penn, where I majored in English and solidified my liberal values even while living a fraternity lifestyle, I entered law school. There I devoted much of my second and third years to a clinical program that provided legal services to the poor.

Yet I missed English, and so once I became a lawyer and moved to the midwest, I worked part time on a master's degree at the University of Michigan, writing a thesis on Milton's Paradise Lost.

Then came the decision. I had been specializing in appeals, which require a great deal of writing. Often while writing I kept thinking how I would teach what I had figured out. I decided to switch careers, become an English professor, and specialize in composition. I entered a doctoral program at Michigan, where I wrote a dissertation on the academic functions of personal writing.

I love teaching, and try to create assignments that engage the creativity in each of us. I want my students to write reflectively from experiences, their own and others'. In classes on writing about literature, I encourage my students to use writing to misread, so that they might tease out new interpretations.

Many books have moved me. About a dozen rise to the top, including a new historical novel that came out in 2013: Unexploded, by Alison MacLeod.

Selected Publications:

  • "Dear Amy," a memoir. The 33rd. Ed. Scott Stein. Philadelphia: Drexel Publishing Group, 2009. (Reprint of "Dear Amy," Boston College Law School eBrief spring 2005,
  • "A Method for Writing Factual Complaints." Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University Law Review 109-174 (1998). Through two case problems, this treatise presents an original method, based on a rhetoric of discovery, for researching and writing the most basic document of civil litigation, the complaint. (Republished as How to Write a Factual Complaint. New York Practice Skills Course Handbook Series No. F-46. New York:Practising Law Institute, 1999.)