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 focusing on Nandrea's essay "Having No Hand in the Matter". For this essay you may choose as a springboard for your essay either suggestion #1 or #2 on page 78. Some students may already have writings garnered from discussions held in class, that can form the kernel for a major essay. Nandrea's essay is not simple so do not be surprised if you read it maybe even four times. It does 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.
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 Nandrea's essay. You can certainly quote or make reference from other authors too. In quoting, be sure to introduce with a signal phrase. The following is just one example: “Lorri Nandrea notes in her article this poignant statement: “The Furies betray us, and then we betray them” (pg. 26).
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 doesn’t have to agree with you.
You, like ALL WRITERS, will face either the blank screen or the white page when you begin. DO plunge in and start writing something. As with all your essays, you will want to have, by the end of your work on this paper, an introduction and thesis sentence in your first paragraph, supporting details in the next several paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph with a strong sense of closure for the reader. Be sure also to have a title!
Length and Quality Requirements:
The equivalent of 3-5 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, bring 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.