In an expository essay of 2,000 words or more, address one of the following prompts. This essay should feature a well-developed thesis and appropriate evidence to support your thesis. You must engage and cite at least two essays assigned in this class, at least one outside essay, and you should include your own experiences or observations.
Option 1: Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass discuss the importance of literacy in creating positive social change, while David Raymond describes overcoming personal challenges related to reading. In what ways can reading and writing be used to address inequality or an unjust situation–either on a large scale or for individuals? What connections are there between these literacy narratives and your own past as a reader?
Option 2: According to John Holt, teachers are often the reason students do not enjoy reading. On the other hand, Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich argue that avoiding reading at an early age can have serious cognitive consequences. What approaches are there in fostering reading for young students? Which approach is the best? What were your experiences like, and what approach did or could have worked for you?
Option 3: William Zinsser discusses the various types of pressure that college students face, while Jonathan Kozol describes the problems endemic to some high schools. How can students balance high-stakes education in college with high school educations that are often inadequate? What solutions are being proposed to problems in education, and which would work best? How did/does your experience in education compare to the ones described?
Outside Source: The one outside source can be any nonfiction essay of your choice. You may choose to use a news article, a personal essay, a research essay, or any other essay that relates to your topic. This outside essay may bring a new perspective on the topic, present a counter-argument to the assigned text(s), or provide an example that supports your claims.
Format: This essay will be in MLA format. This means it will be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font (I prefer Times New Roman), with page numbers and your last name on each page, and a header on the first page. Your title should be original, and you must include a Works Cited page. Be sure to include in-text citations in the body of the essay.
Guidelines: Please see the handouts under the “Files” folder for guidelines for writing a strong thesis, developing body paragraphs, citing sources, etc.
Submitting the essay: Please save your essay in Microsoft Word or PDF format and upload the essay.
Note: Words and phrases that are underlined will be taken into consideration when grading.