A2: Informative Essay
Demonstrate the ability to locate, select, and organize material from a variety of electronic and hard copy sources.
Write organized, unified and coherent texts using correct grammar, mechanics, diction, and a standard documentation style.
Create informative and persuasive texts in which the main points are supported by appropriate evidence.
Pre-work (preliminary Bibliography, Proposal & Meeeting): 10%
Final Draft: 20%
This assignment comes in two distinct parts; please note the due date for each part.
It is worth, in total, 30% of your final mark.
BIBLIOGRAPHY and PROPOSAL (10%)
Assemble a preliminary bibliography for your research essay. This will be a list of sources you have already used or may use in researching your topic. Format will be covered in class so be prepared to take accurate notes. There should be 8-12 different sources, no more than two of which may be internet sources and at least one of which must be a periodical. This will give you a number of different sources to work with, but they may not all be useful to you. Remember that this is your preliminary bibliography designed to give you flexibility.
Your bibliography is due with your proposal in week 10 during your meeting with me.
Your proposal is a one paragraph outline for your research paper. You will need to narrow your topic down and compose a clear, concise thesis statement (the topic sentence of your proposal paragraph). Each sentence that follows should be, effectively, a potential topic sentence for each paragraph in your essay. In other words, you will tell me what each paragraph of your essay will be about. The number of paragraphs you use in your essay will depend on the amount of information and the amount of quotation you intend to use, but an average proposal should be approximately 8-10 sentences long. As this is a proposal and not an essay plan you may frame your paragraph as a series of very focused questions, which you will then go on to answer in the course of your research. By the time you get to your plan all your questions should be recast as statements.
Your proposal is due with the bibliography in week 10 during your meeting with me.
You are required to write a major research paper. Your paper should be approximately 1500-2000 words. Essays that are much longer or much shorter are strongly discouraged and will be marked down. Format will be covered in class. Your paper will include a bibliography or list of works cited. You should be conscious of the three parts of the writing process.
1. Pre-writing. In this case the majority of your work is in the pre-writing stage as this covers all your research and all of your organization of that research into a coherent, logical, focused essay plan. Your plan should be adapted from your proposal. Complete your research being careful to take accurate notes and to note all sources. Reread your plan carefully. Has your research taken you in a different direction or have you stayed on course? Were you able to answer all of the questions you posed or are some left unanswered? Adjust your plan as necessary. Do any extra research that may have to be done now as you don’t want to be surprised by holes in your research while you are trying to write your paper. Put your notes in order and plan the overall shape of your essay, ensuring that you have arranged your points in the most logical sequence. You should have a clear thesis statement and a clear topic sentence for each paragraph. You should know – and make note of – the major and minor supporting details you will cover in each paragraph. Leave writing your introduction and conclusion until the end of this stage.
2. Writing. This is the composition of your first draft, essentially just getting everything down on paper. You should have a first draft finished and ready to revise at least a week before the final paper is due.
3. Editing and revision. This is very, VERY important. Reread your work for coherence and logic. Have you stuck to your plan? Does one sentence logically lead into the next? Does each paragraph focus on some aspect of your thesis? You may at this point begin to edit for length, asking whether information is “need to know” or “nice to know”. Obviously “nice to know” has to be cut if length is an issue. Also, think about paraphrasing or summarizing instead of using lengthy quotes. Finally, when you have solved any focus or organizational problems, you should give your work a careful proofreading for mechanics. Check all spelling, even if it hasn’t been flagged by spell-check (on spilling error is on to manly). You should also read your work out loud to ensure that your language is varied and interesting and that it flows. As well, all APA style issues have to be corrected.
You should use the TLC and attend the writing labs I’ll be holding. Your final essay is due at the beginning of class in week ____. At that point you will have had several weeks to work on your paper, so it should be good and on time.