COMPOSITION 1/spring 2016
Essay #3, which is due on Monday, February 22nd, is worth a maximum of 10 points. You should complete your essay before coming to class but be prepared, time permitting, to revise your essay in class before submitting it. Therefore, as always, you should remember to bring your flash drive to class and also, as a backup, send a copy beforehand of your completed essay to your college e-mail account.
The essay should be at least 1½ pages in length, double-spaced, and written in Times New Roman style with font size 12. Be sure that you have an introductory paragraph with a clear thesis statement. Your thesis statement should identify your topic and your point of view; it should also indicate that you are writing a process essay. Each paragraph in the body of your essay should have a clear focus and topic sentence. Your paragraphs need to be logically connected, with appropriate transition markers. The essay must have a concluding paragraph in which you re-phrase your thesis statement (i.e., write the statement in a different manner, so you’re not simply repeating verbatim what you wrote previously in your introductory paragraph) and summarize your main points. Each paragraph should have at least three sentences. Try to vary your sentence structure, using simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences. Avoid structural errors such as sentence fragments, comma splices, run-on sentences, and fused sentences; write only complete sentences. Explain the process you are discussing in chronological order (unless you have a viable reason to stray from this general format). Be sure to proofread your essay carefully, checking for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. In particular, be sure you are not making the same kind of mistakes that you made on earlier assignments.
Re-read the “Guidelines” handout which was e-mailed to you earlier in the semester. Also, be sure that you have read attentively the assigned sections in the New World Reader and your grammar handbook. In particular, review what the New World Reader advises about writing a process essay (page 7). Let me know if you have any specific questions about the mechanics of writing or questions about writing this type of essay.
The general topic for Essay #3 is the process that can be followed to improve the quality of one’s written English. This process can focus on the steps which you have already taken to improve your writing, the steps which you plan to take this semester and in the future to become a better writer, and/or the steps which you recommend that readers in general take to become accomplished English-language writers.
If, in your essay, you are focusing on your own writing skills, note which areas of writing you need to review in particular and how you have already addressed these areas and/or how you plan to address them in the future.
If focusing in part or entirely on how readers in general can improve their English writing skills, remember that your assumed reader is an anonymous educated individual who could be living anywhere in the world. For some of these readers English may be a first language while for others it may be an additional language. How would you advise one or both of these types of readers to go about improving their English language skills?
Another point to keep in mind is that writing involves attention to both content and form. So, in the course of explaining how to improve the quality of one’s written language, you should take into account both what one writes and how one writes it.
As preparation for writing this essay, you may want to test some improvement measures. For example, if I’ve written on your previous essays that you need to review commas, colons, semi-colons, parallel structure, etc., do so – and then evaluate how effective you deem that particular method of review. For instance, did you review what your grammar handbook has to say about particular points of grammar? Did you review these points on the “OWL at Purdue” website? Did you find other useful sources that you could recommend? Etc.
Remember to number your pages in the upper right hand corner of each page and to provide the requisite heading in the upper left-hand corner of the first page (only) of your paper. Your heading should be typed in Times New Roman print style, with font size 12 (as is the rest of your essay):
The instructor’s name
The course code (ENGL 101)
The date of submission (or the date of preparation, if earlier)
The type of assignment (Essay #3)
As usual, be sure that you select an appropriate title for your essay, one that reflects your particular viewpoint. Do not simply write one word or a phrase such as “English Language Skills.” Try to draw your reader’s attention from the start with an engaging title that expresses your point of view towards the topic. Also, follow the standard guidelines for titles:
Center your title.
Do not underline it.
Do not place a period after the title.
Do not write it in bold letters or in italics.
Do not place the title in quotation marks (unless the title includes the title of another work that would normally be placed in quotation marks, e.g., the title of a short story or the title of another article).
Use the same print style (Times New Roman) and font size (12) for your title that you use in the rest of the essay.
Capitalize your title correctly:
The first and last words of a title are always capitalized.
All words in a title are capitalized except articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), and prepositions (on, at, in, by, near, around, through, beyond, etc.), unless the article, conjunction, or preposition is the first or last word of the title.
“Is” and “are” are verbs so they are always capitalized in a title.
Use double-spacing throughout your essay (no extra spacing). This means that you double space the heading, the space between the heading and the title, the space between the title and the first line of your essay, the space between each line of your essay, and the space between each paragraph.
In addition, be sure that you attach the original copy of your Essay #2 (with my comments) and your revised Essay #2 to your completed Essay #3. I plan to return your Essay #2 to you at the start of class on February 22nd, so you should have time in class to revise it appropriately before submitting it at the end of the class session. Staple all three documents together and submit them in class on Monday, February 22nd. I