Major Writing Assignments

Submission All major assignments should be submitted electronically by 11:55 pm on the due date. Late essays are subject to having their final grade reduced (typically 1/3 grade for each day late). Assignments submitted more than one week late will receive an F. All essays handed in to me are to be typed/word‑processed. Follow MLA guidelines and format. All essays should be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double‑spaced, with 1 inch margins. Title your work and include a heading with your name, my name, course number, assignment description, and date. Also, make sure to include page numbers and a Works Cited page crediting any sources that are referenced in your writing. I will not grade work that does not meet these requirements, and the assignment will accrue late penalties until the requirements are met.

Evaluation Assignments will be evaluated for quality (including technical and mechanical elements); command of voice, tone, and a sense of audience; the degree to which they satisfy the given assignment; and the development they demonstrate from earlier efforts or original drafts.

Assignment Descriptions Below are very brief descriptions of the assignments for the course. More detailed descriptions of the assignments are available online.

  • Proposal Assignment: 5 pages (1250 words)

1) Reflection Essay (2 pages): With this reflective essay, you will reflect on your personal experience with educational system. You can write about either a specific episode that you experienced or a specific aspect of your education and your experience with it. Depending on your choice, your role will be slightly different. If you want to discuss your personal story, you can take up the role of the participant observer and give a more intimate reflection. But if you want to deal with a specific aspect of the education system, you might want to be a detached observer and then relate your topic to the broader context.

2) Proposal Essay (3 pages): Here you will write a proposal essay on how education institutions can better their learning environments. After reflecting your own observation and experience, you will pick one issue in the education system that you want to address. And then you will suggest plausible solutions to foster better learning conditions. You can choose a specific education institution and your readers can vary from your fellow students to faculty members or administrators. Ideally, start with your reflection essay and develop a certain issue further along with your solutions. It’s okay to use part of your reflection essay.

  • Review Blog Assignment: 5 posts (1500 words)  As part of our composition class, you are responsible for maintaining a review blog. Your review topics can be various: films, books, products, food, places, or restaurants. After deciding the object of your review posts, design your blog theme and format as you wish but keep in mind elements of visual composition. You have to publish 5 blog entries on a regular basis. Make at least one blog post every two weeks with a minimum of 300 words per post. Each post should include an image, a link, or a video. You are also required to comment one of your classmates’ blogs at least three times.
  • Analysis Essay: 3 pages (750 words)  The analysis essay will respond to two of the class readings that we discuss. The main task is to put two readings together and find what conversations the two authors would have about the similar issue. For this, you will learn how to analyze the rhetorical elements of the writings such as the writer’s main position, the purpose of the writing, the target audience, and the hidden meanings. As a process of providing evidence, you will use the techniques of summarizing, quoting and paraphrasing. You can also back up your interpretation by drawing on some outside research relating to historical background.
  • Argumentative Essay: 5 pages (1250 words)  A more traditional, humanities essay on the role of social media in politics. You will make a claim about the political role of social media and support your claim by citing evidence from the class readings. You will also need to find one appropriate outside source. It is important to set up counter-arguments against your claim to give your essay more credibility.
  • End of Term Portfolio: a reflective essay (500 words) + revised versions of two writing assignments  The portfolio is a compilation of your work, designed to show your development as a writer over time. Your portfolio will include 1) revised versions of two major assignments (at least 60% new material) 2) copies of the original graded versions of these written assignments for comparison, and 3) A reflective essay in which you examine your revision process, detail some of the most significant changes you made, explain why you made them, and assess the successful and less successful aspects of the revision. The idea is to reflect on your goals and choices as a writer and describe how your thinking developed throughout your process.

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