Essay #3 Assignment: Explaining a Concept – The Concept of Marriage

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English 1Ar
Essay #3 Assignment: Explaining a Concept

(17.5% of course grade + 2% for portfolio)

For your third essay, you will be writing an essay in which you will explain a concept of your choice, essentially following the general guidelines established in Chapter 4 of the St. Martin’s Guide. (As always, this assignment is more specific than the one described in the SMG, so be sure to follow this set of assignment guidelines and what we discuss in class when choosing and writing about your paper topic.) Be thoughtful and careful: the paper should focus on one or possibly two aspects of the narrowed concept you choose. (See the end of Chapter 4 for examples of appropriately narrowed, focused topics, and feel free to talk to me about your ideas for topics.)

While writing this essay, you will be able to use much of what you learned from the SMG while writing your other essays this quarter. This includes the invention strategies, descriptive techniques, and methods of cueing your reader, as well as the ideas of dominant impression and significance, as explained in Chapter 2. You might also consider using techniques like definition, classification, process narration, comparison and contrast, or cause and effect. These techniques are explained in later chapters of the SMG and often come in handy with this type of essay.


See the end of the chapter in the SMG for other great suggestions. You will need to get approval from me of your narrowed topic, in writing (by a timely e-mail or a dated note that I sign for you). For this essay, you are required to make use of at least four credible sources, only one of which may come from a relevant, credible source found only on the internet. (That means no Wikipedia, pages, yahoo pages, or other non-expert sources.) Write about your topic so that your explanation is both informative and entertaining; this is not a mere report, and it is not a forum for only your personal experiences with the concept you choose. The last part of Chapter 4 will help you tremendously in choosing, narrowing, and focusing on your topic, so I recommend you follow the guidelines outlined there quite carefully.

Again, focus on providing careful, thoughtful, and vivid explanations for your reader. Make the reader understand the topic the same way you do by grabbing the reader’s attention with an interesting opening, selecting and relating important details or anecdotes, paraphrasing other sources to support your ideas (not to replace having your own ideas!), and using descriptive language, metaphors, and similes. Organize your essay in a way that is understandable to another reader and presents a focused main point. Your essay should be at least 1,750 words, which equals approximately four and half to five double-spaced pages; it should be no longer than about nine or ten pages. Especially with so brief an essay, use words wisely; a short paper does not mean sloppy thoughts and underdeveloped ideas! Be clear, be concise, and be focused. Cite everything you summarize, paraphrase, or quote in MLA style.
Please make a copy for each of your sources, I don’t need the whole sources, just one or two pages. Also, is better to use University of California Riverside online Library ( login user name: dwu017 password: wd200817) for your sources. No arguementative!

Bring a clean copy of your final draft along with a portfolio of your invention work/prewriting, your approved paper proposal email or note, photocopies and/or print-outs of your four sources (just a few pages from each), your rough drafts, the written peer comments you receive from the peer review, and an MLA style works cited page (see the SMG in Chapter 27 for an example). The final draft must be typed and double-spaced in a standard 12-point font (such as Times New Roman or Garamond), have one-inch margins, have a revealing original title, and include your name, my name, the name of this course, and the date in the top left corner; your last name and the page number must be on every page in the right hand corner. (Strictly follow the MLA style as it is shown in the SMG, Chapter 27.) Any essay not meeting all of the requirements outlined on this assignment sheet will probably fail the assignment.

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