Essay #1 For your first essay assignment, you will be writing a personal narrative. That is, you will be writing about yourself and your experiences (so it’s okay to use personal pronouns: I, me, we, etc.) The topic of this essay is obstacles. Begin by thinking of things that you struggle with. It can be tangible (money, people, etc.), or intangible (emotions, attitudes, etc.). After engaging in some pre-writing, choose one obstacle in your life. It can be past or present tense. Your essay will then tell the story of that obstacle. If it is in the past, tell how you overcame that obstacle. If it is a current struggle, tell how you plan to overcome this obstacle. Additional details: Approx. 2 pages long MLA format (standard font, double spaced, 1-inch margins, etc.) No outside research! This is your story. Audience: your fellow classmates Tone: serious or humorous (your choice) Rough Draft Due: 6/27 (at the beginning of 03) Final Draft Due: 7/2 (online and in person) Please note that these essays are not private. You will be sharing them with your fellow students in a peer review, and they will become a source for a later essay. Make sure that you are comfortable sharing whatever you write about. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with me. General Outline for Essay #1 Paragraph #1 (Introduction) Attention-getting opening (hook) Thesis statement that states the story you are going to relate, and why it is significant. Body Paragraphs (can have 2-5) Topic sentence with a transition that states the main idea of the paragraph. Descriptive details that explain, elaborate on, or describe the topic sentence. Concluding sentence to wrap up the paragraph Conclusion Restatement of the thesis. Sentence or two that wraps up or finishes the essay. This could be a lesson learned statement, or something that leads to your future. *Make sure that the structure is still that of an English essay (thesis, topic sentences, etc.). This is not a creative writing assignment, so don’t get so lost in the story that you lose the structure. Formal Paper Grading Rubric Competent/Credible/Complete If you meet these first four standards, you are writing competently and you will earn a grade of 70-79. 1. Presentation and Design _____Meets the assignment’s requirements for length and MLA format. _____Follows the directions for the topic of the assignment. _____ Final draft (hard copy) and final draft (electronic copy) are submitted 2. Grammar and Mechanics Good/minor problems/ major problems Word choice is appropriate/words are correctly spelled Good/minor problems/ major problems Follows standards of English grammar and mechanics. Good/minor problems/ major problems Uses complete sentences (run-ons, comma splices, fragments are avoided) Good/minor problems/ major problems Transitions aid the flow of thoughts 3. Unity Good/minor problems/ major problems Contains a center of gravity, a unifying and controlling purpose, a question, which is maintained throughout the paper. Good/minor problems/ major problems Organizes writing around a thesis or according to the organizational requirements of the particular assignment. 4. Evidence/Development Good/minor problems/ major problems Develops appropriate, logical and relevant supporting details and/or evidence. Good/minor problems/ major problems Includes more specific, concrete evidence (or details) than just opinion or abstract, general comments. Skillful If you meet all of the competency standards above, and in addition, achieve coherence and exhibit audience awareness, you are writing skillfully and you will earn a grade of 80-89. 5. Coherence Good/minor problems/ major problems Uses words, sentences, specificity, and transitions to illustrate the ideas. Good/minor problems/ major problems Explains how, why, or in what way evidence/details supports the point/claim/thesis/topic/ideas. 6. Audience Awareness Good/minor problems/ major problems Demonstrates a sense that the writer knows what s/he’s doing and is addressing real people. Distinctive If you meet all of the competency standards, achieve coherence and exhibit audience awareness, and, in addition, demonstrate a mastery of one or more features of superior writing, you are writing distinctively and you will earn a grade of 90-100. 7. Distinction _____Your writing stands out because of one or more of the following characteristics: complexity, originality, seamless coherence, extraordinary control, sophistication in thought, compelling purpose, imagination, insight, thoroughness, and/or depth. Ineffective If your paper does not meet competency standards, either because you have minor problems in two or more competence areas (1-4 above) or major problems in one or two competence areas, you will earn a grade of “D” (60-69) or “F” (<60).