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In Essay #2, write an essay that makes a thesis-based argument about education. Your essay must respond specifically to at least one of the assigned articles from Chapter 14. You will choose the audience for your essay, but remember: your job is to “enter the conversation” about education begun by your sources.

Your essay should include all of the following features:

  • A precise thesis, or main claim
  • A clearly defined audience
  • Direct quotations or paraphrases of at least one article from Chapter 14 of From Inquiry to Academic Writing

Guidelines for Essay #2

Length/Due Date: At least 800-1,000 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.

References: Your essay must use at least one source, the article from Chapter 14 that you’ve chosen to work with. Most likely, you will also refer to additional outside sources. For each source you use in your essay, include in-text citations and works cited citations using MLA guidelines.

File format: Please submit your essay as a .doc/.docx or .rtf file. These formats will ensure that your instructor is able to comment on your work.

Works Cited: Please create an appropriate works cited page that lists each source you use and cite in your essay. Use MLA guidelines for the citations and general works cited page formatting.

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.

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?

This essay assignment is designed to reinforce three “habits of mind” of academic writers: making inquiries, seeking and valuing complexity, and seeing writing as a conversation.

First, to complete this assignment successfully, you must read closely and analytically. In doing so, you will practice observation, asking questions, and examining varied perspectives. The issue you are writing about is multi-faceted, so you must treat it that way. Do not present a simple pro/con view of an issue. Instead, read actively, asking questions of your source. In this way, this assignment will teach you to recognize and value complex perspectives, another habit of mind of effective academic writers.

Finally, completing this essay assignment will help you see how writing is a conversation. Each article is “in conversation” with other articles. Your job will be to “synthesize,” or tie together diverse perspectives. By arguing your own position to your chosen audience, your essay will also add to the academic conversation.