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Unit 4: Essay #3: Expanding the Conversation

  • Due Sunday by 11:59pm
  • Points 100
  • Submitting a file upload
  • File Types doc, docx, and pdf
  • Available Feb 3 at 12am – Feb 23 at 11:59pm 21 days

For Essay #3, expand Essay #2, by doing the following:

  • Conduct library research to find at least two additional outside sources that add to the “conversation” you defined in last unit’s essay. These sources should provide additional context to your argument, and help you make your claims in a more effective manner.
  • Decide how to include these new sources into a new version of Essay #2.
  • Perform any other revisions or re-structuring to Essay #2 help strengthen your argument. Use your instructor’s feedback to help guide your revisions.
  • Create a bullet list of the changes you made in revising Essay #2 to create Essay #3. Include this list either as a second file or an additional page. Failure to submit this required information will result in a grade deduction from essay #3.

As you expand Essay #2 to meet these new goals, you should expand, edit, restructure, and delete, in order to make a clear, effective argument. This unit’s essay should not merely be Essay #2 with a few new paragraphs tacked on, but should be a re-envisioned piece of writing. Remember to continue to appeal to specific audience you identified last week.

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Guidelines for Essay #3

Length/Due Date: approximately 1,000 words, due Sunday by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST).

Style/Format: This, as all essays in EN106, should be formatted according to MLA guidelines. As a reminder, the following document formatting guidelines are required:

  • Use 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced.
  • Use 1-inch margins top, bottom, and sides.
  • Although no cover page is needed, you should include your name, my name, the course number/title, and date at the upper left-hand corner of the manuscript.

Research & Documentation: Because you will rely on the work of others to make your argument, this essay must include formal references to not only the assigned readings but also the sources you locate via research. Use your skills of quotation, paraphrase, and summary to incorporate these other writers’ perspectives, and be sure to provide in-text citations using MLA formatting.

File format: Please submit your essay as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file. These formats are available in most word processors, including Google Docs and Open Office, and will ensure that your instructor is able to comment on your work.

Works Cited: Because you will be referring to textbook essays, please create an appropriate works cited page. See the appropriate chapter of Easy Writer for directions on how to create an entry for a work in an anthology. (Hint: Look at p. 219 for MLA.) You may also draw upon history textbook(s) or other sources, which will also need to be cited according to the guidelines presented in Easy Writer.

Titles: Include a descriptive title at the beginning of your essay that tips your readers off to your thesis. Do not format your title with quotation marks, boldface, underlining or italics. Quotation marks or underlining are only appropriate if the title borrows words from another source.

Deadline: Submit your final draft essay no later than 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday at the end of this unit.

Use of essays for future courses: Please understand that your essay may be used— anonymously—as a sample for future EN106 students and instructors unless you expressly request that it not be used. Your work, of  course, will only be used for educational purposes.

Assessment: See the Grading and Assessment content item under Course Information.

Why Is This Assignment Important?

Completing this assignment will teach you two important skills: revision, and source selection. Effective academic writers possess both skills, and practice those skills in nearly every piece of writing they create.

If you have taken EN105 at Park University, or a similar first year writing course at another institution, you have probably learned and practiced several revision strategies. Effective revision means asking yourself questions about your writing, including:

  • What is my central message, focus, or thesis? Is this message consistent throughout the essay?
  • What kinds of supporting details or information do I include to help develop my focus?
  • What background knowledge or basic factual information will my readers need in order to understand my argument?
  • What sorts of questions are my readers likely to ask about the subject? Have I anticipated and answered those questions?
  • In what order do I present information? Should the essay be re-structured to help readers understand my points?

Successful revision often means putting yourself in the reader’s position. How is a reader likely to respond to the essay? This unit’s peer review assignment will help you see your own writing as a reader might see it, and respond accordingly with revision.

The second goal of this assignment is to help you practice selecting sources. As the Lecture in this unit makes clear, research means answering questions. So, before you even think about finding sources, you will need to make a list of 1-3 research questions you will focus on. By participating in this unit’s Discussion, you will develop these research questions. Then, you will use Park library resources to answer those questions. Remember, learning to select sources efficiently takes time. Do not expect to master this skill this unit, or even in this course. But remember, that practice will help “make it stick” — so think of this essay as an opportunity to improve your source selection skills.

Remember that the Park “Library Material” Canvas course is required reading for this week, and will help you navigate Park’s library resources effectively.