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The purpose of this assignment is to begin revising one of the two essays that will appear in your Writing Portfolio, due next unit. This assignment should be a substantial revision of Essay #1, 2, 3, or 4.

To complete this assignment, select any of the 4 essays you have written so far in this course. Then, revise that essay, focusing on at at least one of the following higher-order concerns.

  • Focus: Is your main claim, thesis, or central message clear? Does every element of your essay consistently support your thesis? Do your minor claims support your major claims? Have you defined the issue at hand? What can you do to further emphasize your focus?
  • Development: What evidence does your essay provide to support your focus? Have you included examples, explanations, details, and descriptions that help persuade your readers of your position? Have you anticipated and answered your readers’ objections or counterarguments? Have you considered alternate perspectives?
  • Rhetorical Strategies: Have you identified a target audience for your essay? What do you do to appeal to that audience? Does your essay rely primarily on emotional appeals or logical appeals? What do you do in the essay to establish your credibility as a writer?
  • Additional Outside Sources: How could adding outside perspectives strengthen your argument? Have other writers, scholars, or researchers addressed the issue at hand? Are your claims backed by a consistent pattern of reliable evidence? Are basic factual claims backed with evidence or sources? How does your essay engage with counterarguments or alternate perspectives on the issue?
  • Organization: How does the structure of your essay support its message? Could the essay be re-structured or re-ordered to better support your arguments? Are paragraphs and transitions used to guide readers through your ideas?

Before you turn in this assignment, create a bullet list of the changes and revisions you made. Include this list either as a second file or an additional page. Failure to submit this required information will result in a grade deduction for this assignment.

After you turn in this revision, your instructor will provide further guidance for revising this piece for your portfolio. Your instructor will probably also provide pointers for revisions for the second essay you will revise for the portfolio in Unit 7.

Guidelines for Essay #5

Length/Due Date: approximately 1,000-1,400 words, due Sunday by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST).

Style/Format: This, as all essays in EN106, should be formatted according to MLA guidelines. As a reminder, the following document formatting guidelines are required:

  • Use 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced.
  • Use 1-inch margins top, bottom, and sides.
  • Although no cover page is needed, you should include your name, my name, the course number/title, and date at the upper left-hand corner of the manuscript.

Research & Documentation: Your essay must include formal references to all sources. Be sure to provide in-text citations formatted according to MLA guidelines. And, of course, you must also provide appropriate documentation for any other sources you cite.

File format: Please submit your essay as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file. These formats are available in most word processors, including Google Docs and Open Office, and will ensure that your instructor is able to comment on your work.

Works Cited: Your essay should include an appropriate works cited page with an entry for each individual source you reference in the body of the essay.

Titles: Include a descriptive title at the beginning of your essay that tips your readers off to your thesis. Do not format your title with quotation marks, boldface, underlining or italics. Quotation marks or underlining are only appropriate if the title borrows words from another source.

Cover pages: Please do not format your essay to include a cover page.

Deadline: Submit your final draft essay no later than 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday at the end of this unit.

Use of essays for future courses: Please understand that your essay may be used— anonymously—as a sample for future EN106 students and instructors unless you expressly request that it not be used. Your work, of  course, will only be used for educational purposes.

Assessment: See the Grading and Assessment content item under Course Information.

Why Is This Assignment Important?

By completing this assignment, you will further strengthen your revisions skills, and you will gain a head start on your Writing Portfolio, due next unit. The essay you revise for this assignment will be one of the two final-draft essays included in next unit’s portfolio. (The portfolio also must include an in-depth reflective essay and artifacts of your writing process.) So, think of this assignment as a chance to get started early on the revisions necessary for the portfolio.

Remember that effective revision is focused on higher-order concerns, such as focus, development, argument, rhetorical strategies, and organization. Lower-order concernssuch as editing for syntax, diction, punctuation, and other elements of grammar and mechanics, should be saved for later in your writing process — for instance, in the next unit. Writing research reveals that most writers can only focus on one or two elements of revision at a time, and that effective writers focus first on higher-order concerns.

As you determine your priorities for revision, review your instructors’ feedback on your previous assignments. Note any patterns or repeated comments. Also, make sure to use your peer reviewers’ advice and feedback as a guide to revision this unit.

Good luck as you revise!