Project #54127 - English 203 Paper

Writing Exercise #1 is designed to give students practice employing one of the skills required in all of the papers for this semester: close-reading.  For this assignment, students will select at least one piece of textual evidence from Coming of Age in Mississippi and use close-reading analysis to demonstrate how this evience supports a clear thesis argument. Since coming up with a viable thesis is usually the most difficult challenge for students, we have provided the following prompt to help focus your argument:


            While organizing the Woolworth’s sit-in, Essie acknowledged the fact that even

SNCC “had a rough time finding students who were in a position to go to jail” (270); however, in the demonstrations that followed, “Those who did not go to jail were considered cowards by those who did” (279). Considering all of the details of Moody’s autobiography closely, take a position that either agrees or disagrees with the label of “cowards” for those civil rights activists who were unwilling to go to jail for the cause. Is Essie’s frustration with those unwilling to join her in the fight for justice justified or counter-productive? Moreover, what does your answer tell you about social justice movements themselves: does a movement have room for people of many different “positions,” or does it require a total commitment to revolution from all of its members in order to succeed? Make sure to support your argument with evidence from the text.


Sample theses might argue:


            Essie’s frustration with those activists who are unwilling to get arrested is

unjustified because she never considers the possibility that some people have too much to lose by acquiring a criminal record.


—or —


Essie’s frustration with those activists who are unwilling to get arrested is entirely justified because individuals who prioritize their own personal welfare over the good of the many only stand in the way of progress and entrench the problem.


Important Components of your Writing Exercise:

1)      Make sure you have a clear thesis, which makes an argument (not a summary) about the label of “cowards”

2)      Make sure to support your argument with evidence from the text

3)      Make sure to close-read that evidence, and tie your reading into your thesis argument

4)      Pay attention to Dr. Allen’s “Writing Workshop” for detailed information about the requirements for close-reading


Minimum Expectations for Structuring Your Writing Exercise:


Paragraph 1:

  • A specific introduction that leads up to a clear thesis statement (offering an argument, with a point of view, instead of a summary), and ends in a strong transition to your next paragraph


Paragraph 2:

  • A clear topic sentence forecasting your next paragraph, one argument that supports your thesis, textual evidence supporting your argument, and close-reading of that evidence


Writing Exercise #1 Requirements:
- Must include the academic honesty statement at the top of the first page
- Must be a minimum of 500 words in length, not including the heading, the title, the works cited page, and the academic honesty statement
- Must have an interesting and original title
- Must offer a clear argument (not just a summary or description)
- Must provide close reading analysis of at least one passage from the primary text
- Must include a works cited page
- Must be typed, double-spaced, written in 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, and formatted according to standard MLA style
- Must conform to the following file name format: essay1lastnamefirstname.
For example, if your name is John Doe, your file name would be: essay1doejohn

Essays are due by noon on February 5, 2015. Late essays will be accepted for three days after the due date. A penalty of 2.5 points will be applied to all essays submitted after noon on February 5, 2015. No essays will be accepted after noon on February 5, 2015.

A penalty of 2.5 points will be applied to all essays that do not meet the minimum length requirement (500 words).


Good luck!

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 01/20/2015 12:00 am
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