The University of Mississippi
Department of English
A. Analyze closely the language and wording of some current policy statement, organizational bylines, political platform or speech, etc., and argue how well it communicates (or fails to communicate) to its target audience, or write an argumentative essay responding to a specific "free-speech" issue (concerning vulgarity, obscenity, "decency" online, etc.) of interest to you.You will need a minimum of three outside sources, at least two of which must come from library research (i.e., books, journals, or magazines); for topic "A," the primary source may be considered one of your sources. Also, you will need to cite your sources parenthetically within the essay and include a "Works Cited" page with your essay, formatted using MLA style. When you turn in your drafts to the instructor, include at least three pages of photocopies showing your source material, with passages you used highlighted or underlined.
B. Trace the history of the name of someone (your own name, for instance) or something (a consumer product, for example) and using that as a springboard, write an argumentative essay about the power of language, words, and names at shaping or influencing others. (Feel free to narrow your focus to a specific group of people who are shaped/influenced.)
Keys to Success: Use sources that closely relate to your topic, but don't forget the value of non-print sources, such as family stories, television news commentaries, etc. Also, sometime before you start the second draft, do a detailed audience analysis in which you examine who, exactly, it is you most want to reach with this essay. Work on your second draft with this audience in mind. Keep a personable tone in your writing and try to avoid insensitive language, particularly things that could alienate you from your readers and damage your credibility.
Format: Same formatting as Essays 1 and 2, including the need for a Works Cited page.
First draft due in class on Tuesday, March 2. (Peer critiques in class that day; failure to bring a suitable draft (typed, double-spaced, etc.) will result in an absence for that day and a "zero" for daily work.)
Second draft due in class on Tuesday, March 16. Bring earlier draft(s), peer critiques and your responses to them, and photocopies of source materials with used passages highlighted or underlined.
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