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A Note From Your Instructor
Notes for English Comp I
The Rhetorical Situation
Building a Thesis
Overcoming Reader's Block
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
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Essay #1 Assignment Sheet
Imagining the Ideal Learning Environment ~~
English Composition I
(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
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
- the ideal
- the ideal
- 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.
- Consider your
overall purpose and how that purpose will help determine the shape-the form
and content-of the essay.
- 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).
- Include an introduction,
body, and conclusion.
- Check unity:
Is each paragraph related to a topic sentence? Is each paragraph related to
- Check coherence:
Are sentences logically arranged and connected, making it easy for the reader
to follow your train of thought?
- 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.
- 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.
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.