ENGLISH COMPOSITION/RHETORIC I
(You may not consult with the Writing Center staff on any stage of the Step-by-Step essay with your paper in hand. You may, of course, consult with the staff on all areas of grammar, usage, and punctuation to help you complete your Step-by-Step essay more successfully. The aim here is that you apply the lessons from the Writing Center staff to your essay. You may not write on the following topics: abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia.)
Essay #1 (Step-by-Step), typed (3-4 pages, double-spaced, due _______.
(This essay consists of five successive revisions of the original 3-4-page essay; please refer to your syllabus for due dates.
Essay #2, in-class, due _______. You'll write this draft in a blue book in the Testing Center and revise in class (TBA).
Essay #3, in-class, due _______. You'll write this draft in a blue book during one class oeruid and revise it during the next.
For your essays, you may choose any of the following topics--preferably without relying on any research. Because your Step-by-Step essay requires five successive revisions, choose a topic that you can "live with" for six or more weeks. Please note that books, periodicals, film, television programs, and albums require italics or underlining. Also, please note that you may use the editorial we (sparingly) only if using third person produces awkward/artificial rhetoric. Avoid the use of I and me, however. Finally, ALWAYS support your work with specific details.
I shall note errors in specific areas on the first and second drafts only; I may or may not elect to note errors on the third.
- In your view, what is the most pressing issue we citizens of the United States face today?
- Champion a "good cause" -- volunteer service, recycling, wildlife preservation, etc.
- Write about a current event or issue that has personal meaning for you: care of the elderly or homeless, latchkey households, day care facilities, illiteracy, politics, education, etc.
- Discuss the reasons that some college students do well and others do not. What are the effects of their performance?
- Discuss the qualities that one of the following professionals must have for you to pronounce him or her "successful": nurse, teacher, police officer, minister, fire fighter, attorney, accountant, physician, politician, athlete, or television anchor.
- Are public manners breaking down? Is the "age of chivalry" dead? Why or why not?
- Explain why you admire or do not admire a public figure, present or past. Please avoid first person.
- In a high school newsletter/newspaper, offer advice to incoming ninth-graders. Your audience for this essay (location, interests, etc.) is particularly significant in relation to your purpose. You may use second person for this paper.
- Discuss either three reasons that states should outlaw lotteries OR three reasons states should encourage them. Please remember to to acknowledge briefly at least one element of the "other side of the argument."
- Most of us need friends to enrich our lives and thus to enjoy our lives fully. Describe the qualities you seek when choosing a friend "for a lifetime." Caution: This topic can produce repetition. Try to extend beyond the typical tendency to repeat the importance of qualities like loyalty, honesty, etc., in a friend to include the results of such qualities in general.
- Many Americans fail to vote in important elections. Write an essay explaining why you think many people have lost interest in voting and what can be done to revive their interest.
- Make a case for or against the current practice of paying professional athletes high salaries and bonuses.
- Are new things always better than old ones? Write an essay that explores the advantages of buying items from auctions, thrift shops, or estate and garage sales.
- We are frequently reminded through various media that we live in the "age of anxiety." Agree or disagree that anxiety permeates our daily lives.
- Imagine that you are the superintendent of a school district consisting of approximately 10,000 elementary and secondary students. Addressing a convention of educators, offer a plan to improve education in your district. You may choose the locale; you may choose the issue(s), and you may use second person.
- Write a cause and effect essay about the impediments in achieving a particular goal you have (but avoid using the pronouns I, me, my. ) Suggest approaches, methods, and solutions aimed toward dissolving the impediments and issues you raise in the paper.
Composition/Rhetoric I Syllabus: Spring Summer Fall
Professor Joyce M. Miller Return to Home Page Return to Instructional Menu