Essay wrtting | English homework help


Topic Choices for Part One

Write a speech.  The writing context:  You have been invited to speak at the funeral of a high school friend of yours who died in a car accident while under the influence of drugs.  Your purpose is to honor your friend but also to try to point out that this tragedy need not have happened.  So this speech is both a eulogy and an opportunity to influence others to take a better path.

Write an application.  Write an application letter for admission to a four-year college or university.  The situation of your admission should include a youthful mistake that might be seen as a red light warning that you are not an ideal candidate for admission.  For instance, you could have flunked out of school previously, or “run afoul of the law.”  Or you might have been expelled from school or sent to an alternative school for behavioral issues.  In your admission application letter, explain the mistake and show that it is not going to keep you from being a successful student.  In fact, you are now better for having made the mistake.

Write a letter.  We are all surrounded by people we care about who seem headed down a tragic path.  Personal behaviors and decisions can seem self-defeating at times.  Imagine you have a relative who is headed down such a tragic path.  Write him or her a letter that both expresses how much this person means to you–but also shows how negatively the consequences of their behavior may turn out.

Write an editorial.  Although newspapers are on the decline in America, readers write letters to the editor and guest editorials.  These writings are sent by readers to newspapers and magazines, and some are published on the “op-ed” page of the newspaper.  The topics are varied, but usually the ones that get published speak about an issue of current importance to readers.  Select such an issue (immigration, school shootings, the “me too” movement, for example) and write a first-person editorial that would reach those on the opposite side of the issue from you.  (It’s easy to “preach to the choir”–or write your views to folks who already agree with you.  In your editorial, use a voice that will get those who are “on the fence” or who actively disagree with you.  (You can write this choice as a blog if the form is more familar to you.)    

Length:  Part One should be 600-800 words

Part Two (Written after the Peer Editing Process)

Tell the story of how you wrote Part One, from the initial topic choice to the end result.  Explain your writing process, decision-making choices, and how your idea evolved as you worked through the assignment.  Include in Part Two an evaluation of how you feel your decisions and choices worked out for you.  Did you meet any unexpected successes or failures?  Did your peer readers help you by responding to your draft?  If you could start again, would you do anything differently?  And overall, how satisfied are you with the end result–with Part One.

Length:  Part Two should be about 150-200 words.

Format:  All Major Essays in the course should be submitted in MLA format.  Sample MLA format is in a file at the end of each Unit.

Grading Rubric for Essay One


Very Good



Below Average


Follows Assignment and Format Guidelines

(30 points)

Effective Voice for the Writing Context and Audience

(70 points)

Clear and Concise Writing

(30 points)

Correct Grammar and Usage

(30 points)

Column Totals

Grade out of Possible 160

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