West Chester University

Fall 2001

Spring 2002


Delaware County Community College
Chester County Operations

Summer 2002





Course Information
  A Note From Your Instructor

Notes for English Comp I
  The Rhetorical Situation
  Writing Descriptively
  Building a Thesis
  Overcoming Reader's Block
  Doing Analysis
  Introduction to Analogy and Comparison/Contrast
  In-class exercise: Using Analogies
  In-class exercise: Practicing Comparison/Contrast
  Practice Sample: Using Comparison/Contrast
  Comparing Apples and Oranges
  Comparing/Contrasting Two Advertisements

Major Essay Assignments
  Essay #1 Imagining An Ideal Learning Environment
  Essay #2 Analyzing the Language of Advertising

General Announcements
  Daily Assignments


Go Exploring
  A Weblog for ENG 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web

Join the Conversation
  ENG 120 Discussion List


~~ Essay #1 Assignment Sheet
Imagining the Ideal Learning Environment

English Composition I
Summer 2002

Objectives: (1) to practice expressive writing using rhetorical strategies like description and narration; (2) to practice techniques for generating ideas; (3) to practice careful revision and editing

Directions: Think of a time--either in school or outside of school--when you learned something new and exciting, a time when learning was especially meaningful, enriching, or rewarding--a mostly upbeat, positive experience. Based on your recollection of this event, and possibly others that may have been similar or may present an interesting contrast, or imagining, possibly, a scenario beyond your direct experience, write an essay that expresses your conception of what it takes to create one or more of the following:

  • the ideal student
  • the ideal teacher
  • the ideal classroom

Some questions/points to consider:

  • Who are some people you might consider role models for being a successful student? As vividly as you can, describe the specific characteristics of each role model. What do they have in common? If you can't think of one specific person, create a composite based on the characteristics of several, or invent an imaginary student. You can also include yourself. How do these specific characteristics work together to express an ideal?
  • Were you in the role of "teacher" in the learning experience you recall, or was there another person who acted as your teacher? If you were your own teacher, what do you remember about why you were effective teaching yourself? If you remember a teacher (who might be a parent or a friend as well as a teacher at school), describe the characteristics that you feel made this teacher successful. If you can think of several teachers, write vivid descriptions of them all and then consider the key features they shared. Maybe you can create a composite based on the characteristics of each, or invent an imaginary teacher that fits what you imagine to be the ideal.
  • The physical space students occupy while learning, the atmosphere a space creates around itself may affect our ability to concentrate and to learn. What, for you, has been or would be the ideal educational environment? Can you think of a space (a classroom or some other place) that felt more conducive to learning than others you've been in? Describe the space in vivid detail, explaining why it was ideal (or close to it). If you can't think of a particular place, create for your readers an imaginary classroom that you think would express what you consider to be the ideal.

Important reminders:

  1. Consider your overall purpose and how that purpose will help determine the shape-the form and content-of the essay.
  2. Write a thesis sentence which states the essay's controlling idea-the subject of the essay and an assertion about that subject. (Ex. An ideal classroom (subject) is comfortable but stimulating (assertion about the subject).
  3. Include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  4. Check unity: Is each paragraph related to a topic sentence? Is each paragraph related to your thesis?
  5. Check coherence: Are sentences logically arranged and connected, making it easy for the reader to follow your train of thought?
  6. Develop your points thoroughly. Does the essay exhibit depth of thought? You can use description, narration, illustration (examples), scenarios, or other rhetorical strategies (such as comparison/contrast, definition, classification, analogy, cause/effect, process analysis) to make your paragraphs vivid, interesting, and well developed.
  7. Leave yourself time in the writing process to revise (improve content), edit (correct), and proofread your work. Be prepared to write more than one draft before you have your finished paper.

Evaluation: In determining your score, I'll consider each of the following categories: focus, organization, development, mechanics, and style. Each category is crucial to the essay's success.







Questions? Contact me.

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