Essay Project 2 Requirements Directions

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Essay Project 2 Requirements

Directions: For the second essay, you will choose from one of the topics listed below and write a 1,000-word essay that responds fully to the guidelines provided. Students with any further questions should please ask in class during designated times and direct any specific questions to the teacher via email at

This essay is due, printed out and stapled, at the beginning of class on Wednesday, March 6.

  1. Many students complain about the cost of textbooks, and many teachers complain that their students aren’t buying the textbooks that they assign. This leads to several issues. For this topic choose one of the following issues and write an essay on it. (1) How much of a consideration should teachers make of the cost of a textbook when it comes to assigning it? (2) How should teachers deal with students who don’t buy their textbooks? Remember, there are two sides to every story, so in your answer to this topic, if you choose it, take the teachers’ points of view into account.

  2. Administrators at Gordon have been playing around with the idea of making changes to the summer semester calendar. Instead of two four-week sessions, they want to make it two five-week sessions. In the four-week term class meets on Monday to Friday, and in the five-week term class meets on Monday to Thursday. The hours in class would be the same. Write an essay explaining which you think is the better, fairer option. Remember to take into consideration not only your personal preference, but the preference of the average student.

  3. Every teacher has a make-up policy and an attendance policy on his or her syllabus. Surely you have seen several different types of these. Choose an attendance policy or a make-up policy that you think works best, and for this topic write an essay explaining why you think it is the best one to have.

  4. One item in the local news recently is the eleven Dekalb County police officers suspended from duty and arrested for corruption. They are accused of taking money to protect drug dealers. Investigations have shown that many of these officers have had previous legal troubles: some had problems with alcohol abuse and domestic violence, and three of them had previously filed for bankruptcy, making them targets for corruption. This leads to the question of how to avoid corruption in the future. For this topic, write an essay explaining how you think cases of corruption like this can be prevented. You might argue that an officer on drug task forces must not have committed, or been accused of, certain types of crimes. Remember, there will be those who will disagree with you, so take their points of view into account and explain how they are wrong.

  5. It is common practice in the world of sports, when a team is building a new stadium, to ask the fans to pay for at least part of it. The team makes money through endorsements and ticket sales, and they pay for their part of the new stadium with that money, but they also ask citizens (some of who aren’t even fans) to pay for the expansion with their tax money as well. In the case of the Atlanta Falcons, for example, the citizens of the city will pay an estimated 20% of the bill for a new stadium; otherwise, the stadium might be built in the suburbs, where it is cheaper to build. For this topic, write an essay explaining whether or not you think this is a fair practice. You can use research on previous stadium projects to support your argument, but there are other sources that might be useful as well. A side issue might also be that, if you think citizens should pay at least some of the cost, what percentage do you think they should pay, and why that amount?

These questions all involve many of the principles of argumentation and documentation we have been talking about so far this semester, so you want to answer them in your essay by approaching your chosen topic in the ways that we’ve been discussing.

The grade you receive will be based on how carefully and thoughtfully you answer these essay topics. Part of that will be determined by how well you document and cite your supporting information. You’ll be graded most strictly by how well you apply the documentation and citation material we covered in class during Week 8.

Minimum Assignment Requirements: Your essay should answer the topic question carefully; be careful not to exclude any part of it or answer it differently than it is asking you to answer it. Your essay should also have a specific thesis statement near the end of the introductory paragraph, and it should have a works cited page. You cannot expect a grade better than a D if you do not meet these minimum requirements.

Also, because research is an important part of this essay, you should use details from primary and secondary source material available to you in the library. These details should come in the form of quotes and summary. You should also include at least one, and no more than two, secondary sources to support your argument. These must be gotten from the library. Use of any source not gotten from the library will result in a grade no higher than a D for this assignment.

Special Assignment Requirements: Below there are listed each of this assignment’s special requirements, along with their numbers and the points deducted for each requirement not met.

  1. Every line is double-spaced (-1 point)

  2. It begins with a properly formatted MLA heading1 (-2 points)

  3. There are properly formatted MLA headers on each page2 (-2 points)

  4. It has a properly formatted title3 (-1 point)

  5. It is stapled (-1 point)

1 See p. 449 of PHRG for an example of an MLA header. Note that it is double-spaced, as your header should be.

2 Also see p. 449-54 of PHRG for an example of a properly formatted MLA heading.

3 Titles should be centered, and they should not be underlined, in bold, in larger font, nor should they be in quotation marks.

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