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Essay #2 Assignment
With this assignment we will be moving from a personal experience to writing about a text. This kind of writing, writing from a text, will be our main focus for the rest of the quarter in this class. This kind of writing might be a challenge for some of you, but writing from a text is a necessary and important skill to learn and/or improve. We will be practicing some of the specific skills to write this essay over the next few weeks.
You’ll write an essay that analyzes, interprets, and evaluates one of the following texts:
Your essay must include analysis, interpretation, and evaluation (in this order). We will work on all these things in class. Here are some ways you can think about them:
I. Analysis – When you analyze a piece of writing, you look at the different parts that make up the whole. You look at the writing decisions made by the writer and the writing strategies used. How is the text put together? How is it organized? What kinds of words are used? Who is the intended audience? Your essay might include one or two of the following:
1. a description of the style and the tone of the text
2. a discussion of the structure and organization of the text
3. a discussion of the beginning and the ending of the text
4. a discussion of the possible audience for the text
5. a discussion of the vocabulary of the text
6. a discussion of the figurative language used in this text
II. Interpretation – To interpret a piece of text is to tell us what, in your opinion, it means. When you are working at interpreting a text, you are working with its words, its ideas, and its meanings. Your essay might include:
1. a description of what seems to be the purpose for this text
2. a discussion of how your understanding of the text changed after several readings
3. a description of the main point or thesis that you think the author is trying to make and what material in the text supports this point or thesis
4. a discussion of how the ideas contained in the text relate to your previous experience and knowledge and attitudes
5. an answer to the questions, “So what? Why should a reader pay attention to this text?”
3. Evaluation – To evaluate a piece of text is to tell us if it has value or not. Is it a successful or unsuccessful piece of writing? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Do you like it? Why or why not? Your essay might include:
1. a discussion of whether or not the text is successful in fulfilling its purpose.
2. a discussion of the text’s strengths and weaknesses
3. a discussion of whether or not you liked this text (and why)
It will be important to treat your chosen author’s text with respect as you go about writing your own essay. For this paper, you should name the text and the author somewhere near the beginning of your paper. If you want to quote from the text you have chosen, please do so but do so only sparingly – only when you really need to. The focus of this paper is your analysis of the text. Your analysis should be the bulk of your paragraphs – not quotations. We will work on incorporating quotes (where to put the quotation marks, the page number, etc.) in class.
1. Does the essay meet the requirements of the assignment?
2. Does the essay analyze 1-2 aspects of the text?
3. Does the essay make an attempt to interpret the chosen text and convey why this interpretation is important?
4. Does the essay evaluate whether or not the text is successful?
5. Is the essay edited carefully for grammar, punctuation, and spelling? Are quotes and citations handled correctly?
Due Dates and Other Requirements