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 wvenus@gdn.edu.

This essay is due, printed out and stapled, at the beginning of class on Friday, March 2.



  1. The two readings we did on Wal-Mart have separate takes on the question of whether or not Wal-Mart is good for America. You can see from reading them that there are many smaller issues surrounding this topic. Choose one of these issues, identify it in the introduction, and write an essay stating and defending your position on that issue.

  2. “Earth without People” is an essay that speculates about how much different (and mostly how much better) the world would be without us if we were to just disappear from it. The author seems to maintain a seemingly neutral position on the issue, though. Choose one aspect of that essay’s description of the world without people and write an essay on whether or not you think the difference it is describing is a positive one.

  3. The two readings we did on gun control seem to take separate sides on the issue of whether or not gun control is the answer to problems of crime. You can see from reading them that there are many smaller issues surrounding this topic. Choose one of these issues, identify it in the introduction, and write an essay stating and defending your position on that issue.

  4. In “The Embalming of Mr. Jones,” the author seems to be criticizing the way that we have built up an entire industry around death and interment. Unlike “Earth without People” and some of our other readings, this one leaves little to the imagination. Think about what you think the purpose of Mitford’s essay is and write your own essay explaining how well you think that purpose is achieved.

  5. “Get it Right: How to Privatize Executions” is an essay that satirically argues for the privatization of capital punishment. It doesn’t take much to see that Miller is being satirical and that he doesn’t really think capital punishment should be privatized. Like Mitford and other essays we’ve read, his true purpose for writing the essay seems to be obscure. Read Miller’s essay carefully and write an essay of your own explaining what you think Miller’s purpose was in writing this and how well you think his purpose is achieved.

These questions all involve many of the principles of argumentation 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 way that PCW describes this pattern on pp. 547-65 and in the way we discussed in class on February 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. 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 the readings we have done to support your argument. These details should come in the form of quotes. 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 title (-1 point)

  5. It is stapled (-1 point)



1 See p. 449 of PHRG for an example of an MLA header

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




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