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Essay Assignment: Cause or Effect

ENGL 1101                                        Essay Assignment:  Cause or Effect

  1. Review course materials for cause/effect writing.
  2. See course syllabus regarding standard guidelines, rubrics, and other information.
  3. Use Purdue University’s OWL for MLA formatting guidelines. The link to this site has been provided several times during the semester.  To quickly find the OWL, Google “Purdue OWL MLA guide.”  MLA guidelines and information are also presented in several course documents.
  4. Include 750-1000 words.
  5. Your purpose is to explain one of the following:
  6. The effects of text messaging
  7. The causes or effects of a major life decision
  8. The long-term effects of unemployment on a person
  9. The causes of the popularity of reality shows or other specific genres of television
  10. The effects of choosing to take a vacation OR not choosing to take a vacation each year
  11. The effects of teaching children good manners/ etiquette at an early age
  12. The causes or effects of divorce
  13. The effects of traveling abroad
  14. The causes of over-eating
  15. The effects of employee recognition programs
  16. Why are some restaurants or grocery stores more successful than others?
  17. The causes or effects of job stress
  18. The effects of owning a pet
  19. The causes of a shopping addiction
  20. What are the three main reasons that students drop out of college?
  21. What are the three main reasons that students return to college after years of being out of school?
  22. Why are more students choosing technical colleges over other traditional education institutions?
  23. Why are more families choosing to homeschool their children?
  24. Why are more students choosing to pursue their education online?
  25. What are the three main reasons that many young people are deciding to join the military?
  26. Choose your own topic—get instructor approval before proceeding.
  27. Complete prewriting, and create a thesis and (formal or informal) outline. If you are not asked to submit these items with your essay, save them at least until the end of the semester in case they need to be accessed by you or me.  You must have access to all prewriting, trial theses, outlines, drafts, etc. during each class session.  Either save this work on a flash drive that you bring to class, or email items to yourself to access during class.
  28. Create your essay using a word-processing program. If you are not using Microsoft Word to create documents, email me immediately to find out about saving/sending options.
  29. Include five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
    1. Your introduction should contain the following:
      1. Hook sentence(s): Include at least one sentence that grabs reader attention.
      2. Transitional sentences: Include at least three sentences that transition from your hook to your thesis.
  • Thesis: Include a one-sentence summary of your essay’s three overall main points. This sentence should contain a parallel list of these three points.
  1. Your three body paragraphs should each expand one of the listed points from the thesis by further breaking down the main point into three to five (3-5) sub-points. For these paragraphs, use basic paragraph structure:
    1. Topic sentence: Include a one-sentence summary at the beginning of each body paragraph.  This sentence should summarize the three-five main points to be presented in the paragraph.  You do not have to present a list as in the thesis, but doing so is a viable option in achieving organization.
    2. Three – five main point sentences: These sentences should present each sub-point resulting from breaking down the overall main points listed in the thesis.  Every main point sentence should contain a transitional word, phrase, or expression—use a variety of types of transitions.
  • At least one supporting sentence for each main-point sentence: Include at least one illustration, example, extension, clarification, explanation, etc. after each of your three-five main point sentences.  Often, supporting sentences contain transitional words, phrases, and expressions.
  1. Concluding sentence: Include a final sentence in each paragraph that serves to summarize the three-five main points or transition into the next body paragraph.  Avoid trite expressions like “In conclusion” and other similar phrases/wording.
  1. Your conclusion should contain the following:
    1. Restatement of thesis: This sentence should serve the same function as the initial thesis statement, but it should be significantly rephrased so that your last body paragraph flows naturally into it.  This sentence does not have to contain a list.
    2. Transitional sentence(s): Include at least one sentence that transitions from your thesis into your final thought/clincher.
  • Final thought/clincher: Include a final sentence that adds a final thought about your concept.  Consider making a prediction.
  1. Revise, edit, and proofread your essay using information from course site, error log, etc. I recommend using the following process:
    1. Create rough draft according to directions. Read over this draft, specifically looking for and revising/eliminating errors regarding the following.  Especially address any areas in which you have made mistakes in previous writing assignments, but note all of the following:
      1. Essay structure (introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion created according to instructions)
      2. Body paragraph structure (inclusion of topic sentence, 3-5 main points, at least one supporting sentence for each main point, and concluding sentence created according to instructions)
  • MLA formatting (inclusion of header, double spacing, one-inch margins, appropriate font/font size, accurate/required identifying information, and use/citation/documentation of source material)
  1. Quality of information presented (Have you used non-biased, accurate, and up-to-date sources and information?)
  2. Adherence to purpose (Read over the assignment instructions several times before you begin and periodically throughout your completion of your essay.)
  3. Word economy and word choice (Shorter is always better!)
  • Maintenance of academic tone (Avoid slang/colloquialisms, conversational expressions/language, contractions, and first- and second-person pronouns.)
  1. Once you have revised for the above, edit to find and correct major and minor grammatical/mechanical errors. Especially address any areas in which you have made mistakes in previous writing assignments, but note all of the following:
    1. Major errors:
      1. Run-ons
      2. Fragments
      3. Awkward/unclear sentence constructions
      4. Agreement errors
      5. Misplaced and dangling modifiers
      6. Pronoun reference errors
      7. Some careless errors
    2. Minor errors:
      1. Punctuation errors
      2. Capitalization errors
      3. Spelling errors
      4. Some careless errors
      5. Non-parallel sentence constructions
    3. Once you have edited for the above, proofread to find any careless and other errors.
    4. Ask a peer review partner to review your essay to make revision, editing, and proofreading suggestions, and revise, edit, and/or proofread according to these suggestions (if you determine they are valid).
  2. Submit drafts according to the following schedule:

Submit your final draft to me via Turnitin drop box by (insert date).  See syllabus regarding late work policy, and note the following:

  1. Those who submit essays by (due date) at 11:59 PM will start out with full credit (before evaluation).
  2. Those who submit essays between 12:00 AM and 11:59 PM on (one day beyond due date) will lose ten points (before evaluation).
  3. Those who submit essays between 12:00 AM and 11:59 PM on (two days beyond due date) will lose twenty points (before evaluation).
  4. Those who submit essays between 12:00 AM and 11:59 PM on (three days beyond due date) will lose thirty points (before evaluation).
  5. No essays will be accepted after (three days beyond due date) at 11:59 PM, and students who have not submitted at this point will earn a 0 for this assignment.

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