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 Thursday, September 29.

  1. In public school lunch programs, the scale of cost (who pays full amount, who pays part, who gets “free lunch”) is complex. Is there a way you believe it should (or could) be simplified or improved or “streamlined”? Write an essay explaining how and why.

  2. Choose a level of education (from Pre-Kindergarten to college), and write an essay explaining how discipline should be addressed in a given situation that you specify.

  3. A quote from one student: “There has been political debate concerning whether the federal government should increase national security efforts at the cost of its citizens' personal privacy, e.g., the NSA monitoring everyone’s texts without a warrant or permission. Write an essay using research to argue for or against the government increasing national security efforts at the cost of personal privacy.” For this topic, take these instructions, but also focus your essay on only one, specific measure the NSA has taken that intrudes upon personal privacy.

  4. On the subject of bullying, write an essay on a form of “borderline” bullying that explains how teachers and administrators should (1) identify it, and (2) prove it. (Do not write about how they should deal with it.)

  5. One student wrote this: “Some black and white people feel personal about the Black Lives Matter movement. Some feel like today’s black youth need to be more educated on the tragedies black people suffered through as they take in the recent events. I have a professor who told me that he spoke to a woman recently who said she wishes schools were still segregated. Not to be racist but just so that people can decide what they think is best for their race to learn. That way black youth would not be so clueless and uneducated on the topic of black leaders, the civil rights movements, slavery, and other events black people went through. What is your standing with the Black Lives Matter movement?” Do you agree that it would be better if schools were still segregated for the purpose of educating students on what is important for members of their race to learn? Why or why not? If not, what would be a better alternative to resegregation?

  6. On the subject of ACT/SAT score requirements for college, one student wrote this: “This essay topic can include something about test anxiety, and even the brightest of students may not be able to make the best score on a test. With that being said, it could prohibit their ability to get in the college of their level. Should they even be required to get into college?” Or should there be a lower minimum score? Pick either the SAT or ACT to focus upon.

  7. How the use of cell phones have an effect on young teens. In what way do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (or vice versa)? Now that many have smartphone apps, what are some of the dangers they expose children to?

  8. What do you believe is the most significant cause of the rise in teen pregnancy?

  9. Write an essay answering one of the following questions: (1) How could government better support student funding? (2) How can tuition assistance help, in its current form? (3) How can it hurt?

  10. Write an essay answering one of the following questions on the presidential election: (1) how will what has been settled already affect the outcome? (2) How are the candidates basically the same? (3) How do their platforms differ from their parties’ platforms?

  11. Write an essay answering one of the following sports-related questions: (1) What is your stance on concussions and the NFL’s handling of the issue? (2) The ethics of performance enhancement?

  12. Do you think that, when all is said and done, Colin Kaepernick’s defiance (in not putting his hand over his heart during the national anthem) will prove to be positive or effective? Is he just being obstinate, or is he being brave?

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 will cover in class during Weeks 6-7.

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. The essay should be formatted using MLA style, and format and citations should be adequately close to what was discussed in class by the due date. 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 through a library as an additional minimum assignment requirement. These details should come in the form of quotes and summary. You should include at least one, and no more than two, secondary sources to support your argument. These must be gotten through library resources. There are no restrictions on your use of primary source material. Use of any source not gotten through 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. Be sure to take advantage of the “Pre-formatted MLA Template” from your teacher’s web site for the MLA requirements.

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

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

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

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

  5. It is stapled (-1 point)

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