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Definition

English Composition I ENGL 1101.27                                      Essay #2 Draft #1

To prepare for writing your essay, we have read and discussed essays by Brady, Kincaid, Naylor, and Ehrlich. You may want to read some of the other writers listed on your handout.

Your essay will be an essay using extended definition. Define one common term of your own choice:

Using some of the strategies that we have discussed in class and

that appear on your handout, write an extended definition of a term that interests you. Choose a term that you believe will also interest your reader.

Remember that a variety of strategies - such as description and narration, exaggeration, classification, contrast, examples, and the other approaches listed on your handout - may also be very useful to you.

DUE IN CLASS ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6:

Bring your plan or outline or freewritIng or diagram or brainstorming notes to class.

DUE IN CLASS ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11:

Typed Draft #1 and electronic draft to Assignment Manager, or to CD-Rom, etc.

Your first draft should be three to four pages long. Follow the MLA format that is described in your syllabus and explained in your handbook, Rules for Writers. When you refer to material from the readings, use parenthetical documentation. We will cover documentation in some detail as we workshop your essay.

Guide: What are we reaching for in this draft?

  1. A strong first draft that shows that you are trying to define a term using some of the strategies that we have discussed (Refer to your handout for a summary.).
  2. Development of your own original thinking about the term, not merely reproducing information from other sources.
  3. Increased proficiency in grammar, usage, mechanics, and vocabulary.
  4. Avoidance of major errors, such as run-on sentences and sentence fragments.
  5. Careful proofreading.

Essay #2 Draft #2

DUE IN CLASS ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25:

Typed Draft #2 and electronic draft to Assignment Manager, or to CD-Rom, etc.

Your second draft should be three to four pages long. Follow the MLA format that is described in your syllabus and explained in your handbook, Rules for Writers. When you refer to material from the readings, use simple documentation; that is, be sure to indicate where the material comes from. Use parenthetical citations.

Guide: What are we reaching for in this draft?

  1. A strong second draft that shows that you are trying to define a term using some of the strategies that we have discussed (Refer to your handout for a summary.).
  2. Development of your own original thinking about the term, not merely reproducing information from other sources.
  3. Increased proficiency in grammar, usage, mechanics, and vocabulary.
  4. Avoidance of major errors, such as run-on sentences and sentence fragments.
  5. Careful proofreading.

 

Description

Composition 1101

Section 2E

Fall 2005

Assignment 1

Draft due: September 16

Final draft (including all drafts for paper to be accepted) due: September 23

Number of (double-spaced) Pages: 3

Font: 12 Point New Times Roman or something similar

As you reflect on the power of descriptive technique detailed in “Flavio’s Home,” “Father Coming Home” and “The American Way of Death,” describe an inanimate object in your home in a way that brings out its character and makes it interesting to the reader.  First, determine your purpose in describing the object.  Remember, you are choosing description as a means for conveying an idea that will control your essay.  Suppose, for example, your family has had the same dining table for as long as you can remember.  Think of what that table has been a part of over the years–the celebrations, the fights, the forum for family decisions, special meals, the long hours of studying and doing homework.  A description of such a table would give your reader a sense of the history of your family.  Make a list of the object’s physical features and include in your descriptive essay those features that contribute to a dominant impression and support your purpose in writing the essay.

 

 

Description 2

1101, Fall 2005

Essay 1

DUE DATES:

Draft 1:  Thursday, Sept. 8

Revision:  Tuesday, Sept. 20

Bring item to class: Tuesday, Sept. 13

WORKSHOP:  Thursday, Sept. 15

NOTE:  Your final essay should be 700-900 words, and should address the main prompt (see below), but you will be responsible for all the steps and drafts listed below (a minimum of THREE in total!), so be sure to read the directions!  Also, have a look at the rubric with which you’ll be graded for the assignment.

PROMPT:  In our readings, we’ve seen how important description is to the communication of any message, whether it be slavery, poverty, or gender relations.  Now it’s your turn to use description in the service of a larger message. 

Select an item in your dorm room which represents something to you (and be sure it is portable, because you’ll have to bring it to class on Tuesday, Sept. 14!). This item could be a photograph, a poster, a souvenir from Disney World, an article of clothing.  Using what you’ve learned about description, write an essay which conveys the importance of the item and what it represents to you.

For Draft 1:  Thursday, Sept. 8

In 400-500 words, describe your selected object.  In this description, describe the item’s physical characteristics in as much detail as you can, using that detail to convey something of why the item is important to you.

For the Revision: Thursday, Sept. 15

  1. Cut back your Draft 1 by at least half, according to what you learned in our first discussion on revision, and in workshop, with an eye toward your final product.  Do this work by hand, in pencil or pen, on a printed copy of your draft, and plan to hand it in.  Feel free to make other kinds of revisions (in addition to cutting) on this copy.  This will be the first of the four drafts I mentioned above.
  2. Rewrite your essay using the revisions you made in Step 1.
  3. Print your revised essay and, again by hand, make any other necessary revisions and proofreading notes.  You will also hand this copy in; it is the second of the drafts I mentioned above.
  4. Repeat 2-3 as necessary, until you are satisfied.
  5. Print out your polished essay.  This is the third of the drafts I mentioned above.  See my other reminders below.

Formatting reminders:

All essay drafts and revisions must: have page numbers; have some info at the top (your name, my name, the date, the word count); be double-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with standard margins; have a unique, original TITLE; follow the MLA format for citations, where appropriate.

Other Reminders:

--All work from the unit must be stapled with the essay, including the first draft, in-class writing, and homework.

--Please note that your grade for each essay will drop if the ungraded assignments leading up to that essay are not turned in, or are late.

--All drafts and revisions must be handed in AND posted to Webcampus in MS Word format.  Essays not handed in AND posted to Webcampus will be given an F.

 

 

Description 3

Essay Assignment:  Remembered Place

Write an essay about a significant place in your life.  Drawing from the pre-writing we’ve done, choose a place that will allow you to use abundant sensory details. Aim to evoke a clear mood, and use the descriptive strategies we have discussed in class (naming, detailing, and comparing).  Be prepared to explain in class why this place is important to you.

While the main focus of your essay will be the physical details and atmosphere of this place, feel free to include: 1)  important people involved with this place; 2) a particular day or event that occurred in this place; or 3) family and cultural traditions or rituals.

Descriptive Strategies (summary of our brainstorm in class)

Naming

  • Concrete vs. Abstract (ex: wedding ring vs. commitment)
  • Use concrete words to describe objects, people and places
  • Avoid abstract words (broad ideas or qualities) unless they are well supported by concrete examples

Detailing

  • Be precise.
  • Use vivid and unique adjectives and adverbs
  • Answer the questions, “What is the size / shape / texture / condition / use / effect / value / location?” “How many are there?” “What is it made of?”

Comparing

  • Compare or contrast the object or place with something similar / dissimilar
  • Help the reader to see the object in a new way
  • Make the comparison relevant
  • Use figures of speech: simile, metaphor or personification
  • Avoid clichés

Sensory Description

  • Bring the description to life, and make it three-dimensional
  • Synthesis:  apply one sense to describe another
  • Sight:  Be careful about relying on this too much; remember to use the other four senses
  • Sound:  Explore the source of the sound, and the sound itself (“onomatopoeia”)
  • Smell:  Odor, scent, vapor, aroma, fragrance, perfume, stench, stink (Give an exact name to the source of the smell)
  • Touch: Feel, tickle, brush, scratch, sting, itch, tingle (Describe the temperature, moisture content, texture or weight.)
  • Taste: Savor, flavor, sweet (sugary, saccharine), sour (acidic, tart), bitter (acrid, biting), salty (briny, brackish); spicy, pungent, peppery, savory

Vivid Language

  • Use strong verbs (active vs. passive)
  • Choose unusual combinations of words
  • Choose lively sounding words
  • Vary your sentence rhythms
  • Mirror your content with your form

 

 

Description 4

SAMPLE TAKE-HOME ESSAY PROMPT 1DRAFT1

English Composition I ENGL 1101.27                                      Essay #1

Draft #1 of this assignment is due in class on September 13. You should also save your draft in Assignment Manager in Webcampus and/or on a CD-rom, diskette, or flash drive.

Write an essay in which you use both narration and description to explain an experience or a memory. You may write about something that changed you in some important way, or you may write about some experience or memory that is particularly vivid to you.

Your first draft should be three pages long. Follow the MLA format that is described in your syllabus and explained in your handbook, Rules for Writers. If you refer to material from the readings, use simple documentation; that is, be sure to indicate where the material comes from. If you are comfortable with parenthetical citations, by all means use them. However, if you are not sure how to cite your sources, don’t worry! We will cover this in some detail as we workshop your essay, and again when you do the second draft.

Guide: What are we reaching for in this draft?

1)    A strong first draft in which you use both narration and description to address the assigned topic.

2)    A genuine effort to use the two readings (Wright and Parks) as models for your own essay.

3)    A sincere attempt to use some of the strategies for narration and description that we discussed in class.

4)    Incorporating personal insight into the meaning of the event(s) you write about (evaluation), not merely telling the story. 

5)    Supporting your insight with vivid examples or details.

6)    An honest and interesting essay that makes both of us want to know more about you.

7)    Reasonable proficiency in grammar, usage, mechanics, and vocabulary.

 

 

Narration and Description

English Composition I ENGL 1101.27                                      Essay #1 Draft #2

Draft #2 of this assignment is due in class on September 22. You should also save your draft in Assignment Manager in Webcampus and/or on a CD-rom, diskette, or flash drive.

Write an essay in which you use both narration and description to explain an experience or a memory. You may write about something that changed you in some important way, or you may write about some experience or memory that is particularly vivid to you.

Your draft should be three pages long. Follow the MLA format that is described in your syllabus and explained in your handbook, Rules for Writers. If you refer to material from the readings, use simple parenthetical documentation. We will cover this in some detail as we workshop your essay.

Guide: What are we reaching for in this draft?

  1. A “deep revision” of your first draft in which you incorporate the suggestions made by your instructor and peer readers.
  2. Enhancement and expansion of your use of both narration and description to address the assigned topic.
  3. Strengthening the personal insights you embedded into your essay in draft #1
  4. Supporting your insight with vivid examples or details.
  5. A sincere attempt to use some of the strategies for narration and description that we discussed in class.
  6. A genuine effort to use the two readings (Wright and Parks) as models for your own essay.
  7. An honest and interesting essay that makes the reader want to know more about you.
  8. Reasonable proficiency in grammar, usage, mechanics, and vocabulary.

 

Reflection

Final paper due date: Monday, December 10

Number of (double-spaced) Pages: 3

Now that you are completing your first semester, your experiences give you the authority to take a position, supporting one of the following plans for consideration by the University administration.  Write a convincing three-page essay, endorsing one of the following ideas.  Be sure your thesis is clear and specific.  Remember to give enough thought-through reasons, vivid details, and specific examples to support your position.  Avoid reasons, such as, I could sleep later in the morning if . . . or I don=t like walking long distances in the cold.  Be thoughtful in your responses, keeping in mind that your position will benefit the University community.  Strong and thoughtful responses should be sent to the school newspaper.

!           Changing the university dorms from coed to single sex.

!           Providing overnight accommodations for commuters upon request.

!           Building a second walking bridge across the Hackensack River.

!           Providing a jitney bus on campus.

!           Provide transportation for students to take courses at the Madison campus.

!           Another issue you believe deserves attention can be considered with prior approval.