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Assignments
English 102

Here you will find the various writing assignments for the course. Information will be added to this page as the semester progresses. This page is divided into two parts, Informal Writing Exercises and Formal Essay Assignments. Unless otherwise noted, all informal assignments should be E-mail to the online discussion group ("padge").

Informal Writing Exercises

Week 2 (Jan. 15-19):

Because this is the first full set of informal writing assignments, you will have until Friday, January 26, to complete these assignments.

1. Write an introduction to yourself.

2. Respond to H.R. 1391, pp. 436-51 in Conversations.

Week 3 (Jan. 22-26):

3. Explain what you intend to write about for Essay 1 and how you intend to go about it.

4. (In class Jan. 25) Respond to several other people's posts regarding their Essay 1 topics, offering any suggestions you can think of.

Week 4 (Jan. 29-Feb. 2):

5. Write about a topic of your choice.

6. Write about a topic of your choice or respond to someone else's topic.

Week 5 (Feb. 5-9):

7. Write about a topic of your choice.

8. Define "media" and write about some aspects of it.

Week 6 (Feb. 12-16):

9. Write brief descriptions of at least four possible topics for Essay 2. (One of them may be the topic of your essay.)

10. Write a one- or two-paragraph summary of a source you intend to use in Essay 2, and then write a paraphrase of a single idea expresses in that source. (See the handout "Using Sources" for a definition of "summary" and "paraphrase.")

February 15: Reader Response on Essay 2 in Weir Hall.

Week 7 (Feb. 19-23):

11. Respond to one of the Time Magazine articles you chose in class on Feb. 20, explaining what you like, dislike, agree with, etc., OR respond to someone else's post on this subject.

12. Write a brief, but comprehensive summary of one of the Time Magazine articles chosen in class on Feb. 20. Write your summary as if you were going to include it as part of a formal research paper. For your convenience, here are links to Time tables of contents for the issues you went over in class:
*January 8, 1996   *January 22, 1996   *January 29, 1996   *February 5, 1996   *February 12, 1996   *February 19, 1996  

Week 8 (Feb. 26-March 1):

13. Detail your plans for Essay 3. What will your topic be? What kinds of sources do you plan to use? How do you intend to support your argument, construct it? etc.

14. Write about a topic of your choice.

Week 9 (March 4-March 8):

15. and 16. Write about topics of your choice for both of this week's email assignments.

Week 10 (March 18-22):

17. Write about any experiences you wish to reveal about your spring break. To make this argumentative, argue why your intended destination (or lack thereof) was either justified (if you enjoyed it) or not justified (i.e., if you had a lousy time).

18. Choose one of the following topics and write about it in a detailed, though short (three-four paragraphs) message to the list:
  • Select a ritual with which you are familiar and argue for or against the value(s) it represents. Examples of such rituals include the high school prom, Christmas gift-giving, a fraternity initiation, a confirmation or bar mitzvah, a funeral ceremony, a Fourth of July celebration.
  • Detail the criteria for determining what makes a good song, movie, book, etc., and arrange them in priority order (i.e., "the most important consideration is ... another factor is" etc.).
  • Argue in favor of or against shopping malls as a place for children and adolescents to hang out.

Week 11 (March 25-29):

19. Write about a topic of your choice, preferably pertaining to your topic in Essay 4.

20. Write about a topic of your choice.

Week 12 (April 1-5):

21. Respond to the Who Should Survive? exercise done in class.

22. Write about a topic of your choice.

Week 13 (April 8-12):

23. Write about a topic of your choice.

24. Write about a topic of your choice.

Week 14 (April 15-19):

25. Write about a topic of your choice, preferably an argumentative topic.

26. Write about a topic of your choice relating to one of your essay topics.

Week 15 (April 22-26):

27. At some point before Thursday, April 25, you must fill out Final Portfolio Essay Select Forms for each of the five essays you have written this semester.

28. (The Final E-mail assignment!) Write a summary of your experience this semester, commenting on the sorts of things you plan to incorporate in your portfolio letter of introduction.

Formal Essay Assignments

Essay 1:

Write a newspaper column, op-ed piece, or article for a specified newsletter arguing a topic of interest to your interest.

Essay 2:

Write an argumentative essay about some aspect of the "media" (television, radio, print media, electronic media, etc.) which you find interesting.

Essay 3:

Write an argumentative essay about a topic of your choice. Use at least three sources, citing them parenthetically in the text, and include a list of "Works Cited" following MLA format. Length should be a minimum of three full pages (typed, double-spaced). Maximum length should be six pages.

Essay 4:

Write an argumentative essay about a topic of your choice. Your main claim (i.e., thesis) can be any of the three types (fact, value, policy), but you should incorporate appeals to needs and values somewhere in your essay. Use at least three sources, two of which should be current magazine, journal, or newspaper articles; cite uses of your sources parenthetically in the text, and include a list of "Works Cited." Include all of this with every draft, including the first. Failure to cite your sources in your first draft will result in your not receiving credit for that draft on the day it is due.

The minimum length of your text (not including your Works Cited page) is four typed, double-spaced pages, with an upper maximum of about six pages. The first draft is due in class on Tuesday, March 26 for peer critique; the second draft, along with three peer critiques and a typed first draft, will be due in class on Thursday, March 21. I will not accept any essays lacking any of these things. Any late papers (including those returned to students for failing to turn in all required materials) will be penalized on your daily work grade.

Remember, each successive draft of an essay should constitute a substantive change (i.e., REVISION) over the previous draft. Revision includes more than simply changing a few words and/or grammar errors. If your second draft is substantially the same essay as the first draft, I will return it to you for further revision and you will be penalized on your daily work grade accordingly.

Essay 5:

Write an argumentative essay similar to Essays 4 and 5, but this time your topic should pertain to some aspect of the future. While it is not necessary that you speculate or try to predict the future, the essay should somehow look toward the future.

The minimum length of your text (not including your Works Cited page) is four typed, double-spaced pages, with an upper maximum of about six pages. The first draft is due in class on Thursday, April 11, for peer critique; the second draft, along with three peer critiques and a typed first draft, will be due in class on Tuesday, April 16. I will not accept any essays lacking any of these things. Any late papers (including those returned to students for failing to turn in all required materials) will be penalized on your daily work grade.

Remember, each successive draft of an essay should constitute a substantive change (i.e., REVISION) over the previous draft. Revision includes more than simply changing a few words and/or grammar errors. If your second draft is substantially the same essay as the first draft, I will return it to you for further revision and you will be penalized on your daily work grade accordingly.


Revised April 18, 1996
[Annex]
Index

Policy

Syllabus

Assignments

Handouts

Resources
[Help]