Essay 1

In English 109, Professor Mary Hays assigned us an essay with the following prompt.

You will write a 750-1000 word personal essay exploring your perspective. In the essay, you will explain your journey toward understanding the elements of fiction, your understanding of writing about literature, and even your understanding and enjoyment of reading fiction. Obviously, we haven’t read enough in this introductory course to compose grand theories, but in your reading and exploration you may have noticed some trends or patterns. Perhaps the material has challenged some of your assumptions.  This paper should explore and describe the beginning of your journey through this course.

As you describe your journey, you must refer to at least 3 of the works we read in this unit. You may also use other sources, for example, favorite books from your childhood. You may use examples in the form of quotation or paraphrase to help guide your reader through your journey. You may also use secondary sources if you wish, but that is not a requirement.

Since this is a personal essay, it is perfectly appropriate for you to use first person, and write with an informal tone. You are, after all, describing your journey. On the other hand, you will also be aware of writing in an academic context and will, of course, cite any source material (primary or secondary) using both in-text citations and a works cited page.

Important Details:

Your Rough Draft is due Friday, February 6 at 5 PM in your Book Club File Exchange.

Your Final Draft is due Tuesday, February 17 before class.

When I grade your assignment, I will look for the following:

  • A specific and descriptive title.
  • A focused thesis. You don’t necessarily have to have a thesis statement, but the reader should be able to see clearly what you have learned, or what conclusions you have come to after studying the material in Unit I.
  • Effective support. Provide examples from the text with page numbers to illustrate and illuminate your answers.
  • Clear and concise writing. You should write in essay format using Standard English grammar and spelling. Avoid wordiness and unnecessary passive voice and expletive constructions.
  • Focused paragraphs.
  • Logical organization.
  • Clear boundaries between your ideas and source material. You will accomplish this by using transitional phrases to introduce quotes and paraphrases, and parenthetical page references for your in-text citations.
  • A works cited page in MLA format.