the book for the Essay from Contemporary Culture by Katherine Anne Ackley.

For our first major essay assignment, we have an opportunity to develop a full piece of writing exploring more deeply the issues we dealt with initially in chapter 2 surrounding ethics, morals, and values, particularly from Nandrea’s work “Having No Hand in the Matter”. For your essay #1, you may choose as aSpringboard (do not simply answer the question/s) ONE of the following: #1 on page 78, #2, also on page 78, or #11, pg. 79. If you choose this last one, donot draw on Krauthammer’s essay, just on Rosenblatt’s and Peck’s. Some students may already have writings (or ideas) from our assigned readings and/or from discussion question responses posted, that could form the kernel for the beginning of a major essay. ( If, by the way, you do choose #1 from page 78, do NOT open up your writing with a definition of justice from a dictionary or encyclopedia, as you will find such definitions lacking in any depth for use in English #101 final draft papers. However, looking up one or two definitions might help you get started in that writing process, particularly if or when facing the “blank screen” or empty white page.)

These essays are not simple so do not be surprised if you read them maybe even four times, particularly Nandrea’s writing. They do though provide an opportunity for you to dig deep into yourself, as you reflect on such important issues, that do/will affect your lives either directly or indirectly. I look forward to what you come up with, and how you might grow in your struggle to finally produce your essay.

I do expect that you final essay draft will demonstrate a reflection of both the information in the essays you do draw on (Nandrea’s, or Rosenblatt’s and Peck’s) and how your main thesis connects with life outside of the essays – experiences in your life, in those you know, with other information you make connections with. I do not expect this to be some expanded/fancy summary of any author/s work.


v v You want to develop the concept of thesis, your main idea, your main point. You do this as you work on your essay, as you write focused free writes and drafts, working to make the thesis clear, significant, and recognizable to your readers by the end of the first paragraph (and found in just one, stated, point-of-view sentence).

v v You want to provide support for your thesis with concrete examples that your readers can follow logically. This certainly includes sensory details, and clear definitions of terms you use. Clearly defining words or phrases (at least what your definitions are) that may be emotionally loaded or controversial, will keep all readers with you, even if the ideas you develop are ones the readers may not agree with.

v v You want to include at least TWO quotes or paraphrased references from the essay/s you use as your springboard. In addition, if you wish, you can quote or make reference from other authors too. In quoting, be sure to introduce with a signal phrase which needs to include both the full nameof the author and the full name of the title of the essay. (If you refer to the author again after that in your essay, just use the author’s last name.) The following is just one example for when sourcing the author the first time: Lorri Nandrea, in her essay “Having No Hand in the Matter”makes this poignant statement: “The Furies betray us, and then we betray them” (pg. 26). Notice that quotation marks surround the actual words of the author (Nandrea), and that the page # that ends it is enclosed in parenthesis. Finally, remember that Ackley is the editor of our text and NOT the author of the individual essays.

Although this essay falls under the category of argument and persuasion, and includes defining terms clearly (particularly if you use suggestion #1), the goal of your writing is to help your reader follow your reasoning and then to appreciate HOW you presented the material, and the telling of YOUR story, the unfolding of YOUR thinking about the subject. The reader does not necessarily have to agree with you.
Length and Quality Requirements:

The equivalent of at least 3-5 COMPLETE (FULL) double spaced pages, based on 10 or 12 font size. Adjust the length accordingly, if you use a larger font. This requirement applies also to your workshop/peer review copy. For workshop/peer review, post the best work possible, that you are capable of producing. There is no reason to share a paper, when you reveal that you can do better but you haven’t had time, etc. Why waste the efforts of your colleagues? On the other hand, if you have worked the best you can, up to the time of peer review, others in your group will want to provide full feedback, knowing their assistance really can be of benefit.

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