1500 word essay open topic mla format either persuasive or informative rhetorical situation of a college writer

Firstly, a strong academic paper should address ONE topic of interest. Your essay can be either persuasive or informative. It is also important that the for this topic you engage the complete writing process, which includes researching, assessing, and analyzing all available sources that equip you to write with insight, understanding, as well as meet the requirements of the rhetorical situation of a college writer’s work: purpose, audience, genre, stance, and media-design (main criteria by which your paper will be graded).

Equally essential to your work is a principle which is too often neglected in college writing: think of your writing in relationship to the contemporary cultural, historical, and economic times in which we currently live. The development of your paper should include research process, thorough note taking, prewriting process (including taking your paper to the writing center), and carefully reviewing your topic vis-à-vis books, academic journals, magazines, newspapers, and (of course) the internet.

Your submitted paper needs to include:

Analysis of the essential content(s) and main ideas of your topic

— Provide your original interpretation and evaluation of your topic

— Thorough discussion of your paper’s theme(s), purpose, and significance

(the significance references for the reader what is important about your chosen subject; DO NOT JUST REPEAT TEXT OR SUMMARIZE. THIS IS NOT A BOOK REPORT)

— Proper documentation of sources used for your essay

— When appropriate, include a brief biographical sketch of the author(s)

— Proper citation, footnoting, and crediting of sources (MLA format)

Your essay format will be graded on the following:

A thoughtful title

Outline (see provided sample; also survey our Norton Handbook)

Introduction with underlined thesis

At least 3 media-design pictures to illustrate and illuminate your work

At least five body paragraphs containing underlined topic sentences

and supporting examples and clear transitions

At least three properly cited and integrated quotations

Insight on your topic

Creative expression (vocabulary and style)

Strong Conclusion

MLA Work Cited Page / Proper Cover (see below)

Suggestion of Sources for your paper

— Primary sources (interview, original documents, surveys,

compilation of statistical data)

— Secondary sources (books, journals, studies, magazines, newspapers)

— Academic Books [non-class texts]

— Electronic database articles

— Journals & periodicals articles

— Encyclopedia/Reference text

— Newspaper articles

Length: 750-1000 words

Paper Due: First draft (April 16); via email, NOT Blackboard/must include outline; final paper due; 1 May – UPLOADED on Blackboard)

Final Paper (Essay 4) Format

1] Cover & Title page / with your name, date, and class)

2] Outline of essay 4#

3] ONE page of reading notes (single space)

4] *Binding or stabled

5] TWO articles on your topic

6] Any additional sources you researched

7] A professional look, including a photograph of the author – You! with a paragraph bio.


You have the freedom to be creative with your READING notes, but all notes must include the following:

1] Approach the reading with reflection and serious consideration. Please understand that you are reading to write an academic paper, and your essay’s purpose is to convince and inform readers.

2] Assume you are writing for two broad and diverse audiences: those who know your

subject, and thus are reading your notes for analysis, insight, and clarity; and those

who know very little on your subject.

3] Biographical information only if needed and essential to the work

4] Your writing should provide Analysis, not be a summary of your readings

5] Your notes/essay needs to reflect context and content of your topic.

6] Your essay should highlight [your] critical viewpoint of essay’s subject

One example of critical reading notes is below. I like the musical artist Lauryn Hill. If writing about Hill’s music, my notes and essay need to reflect the historical context of her music and life.

Sample reading notes (one approach):

1990’s was a decade of information transition, post-industrial world economy,

AIDS, mass media & marketing, gender reformation, Prison-Industry complex, high

Degree of African-American imprisonment (especially males), etc. These factors –

and others – influence, shape, and impact Hill’s music and musical sensibility.

My Notes/essay need to account for and contextualize specific musical genres and individuals of influence and grounding for Hill. To say ‘African-American’ music and artists have been instrumental is correct and does not say enough.

As a writer, I should be specific about genres and artist, and keep in mind any true musician goes beyond one cultural tradition for inspiration and knowledge.

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