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English 1099 In-Class Essay (15%) 500 words (+/- 10%) 1.5 hours
The purpose of this in-class essay is to demonstrate your skill at crafting a basic argument essay that:

  1. clearly identifies a specific debate based on class discussion and readings, and

  2. offers your own persuasive argument about that debate (i.e. chooses and defends a side)

For this in-class essay, you will receive the instructions in advance and you will prepare your outline and three reputable sources you plan to use, which you will bring to class to attach to your essay.
No other notes are allowed.
Note: you must write legibly if you want your exam to be marked. Please double space and write clearly. If I can’t read it, I cant give it points.

Essay Question – Choose ONE of the following questions:
Is individual change enough to meet environmental and climate crises, or do we need systemic change, and if so, what would that look like?
Does deterrence (i.e. punishment) work in the case of crimes related to drug addiction? Why or why not?
Should drug treatment be mandatory or optional for crimes related to drug addiction? Why or why not?
Should InSite, the safe injection site in Vancouver, be supported, and if so, in what ways?
Does digital media (texting, chat, social media, MMORPGs, etc.) create richer human social connections, or does it weaken and destroy them?
Group Choice Topic:

Additional Instructions:

See the ‘anatomy of an essay’ and ‘mickey mouse’ sample provided below. Use that basic essay structure. Beyond the basics, consider the best way to organize your thoughts to convince your audience.

Organization of ideas: Exigence and Audience

How you organize your argument will depend on your intended audience and your exigence (reason for writing). What kind of audience do you imagine you are writing to, and what kind of organization would be most effective at convincing them?

There are many ‘right’ ways to organize your paper.

Some common kinds of organization that might work well for this paper are:


Paragraphs divide the material into major categories and distinguish between them.

Increasing importance:

The most important point comes last, thus building the essay's strength.

Cause and effect

Indicates causal relationships between things and events. Be careful, however, not to mistake coincidence with causality, nor to disregard other possible causes.

Comparison and contrast

Involves lining up related ideas for a detailed account of similarities and differences. In this kind of essay it is important to decide whether you will be concentrating on similarities or differences. In general, the more similar things are, the more you concentrate on the differences, and vice versa. If you are comparing two works by the same author, or two love poems, for example, what will most interest you will be the differences between them; if you are comparing an Anglo-Saxon riddle with a science fiction novel the differences will be obvious enough that you will want to focus on the similarities.

For help with the stages of planning and organizing your ideas, see http://library.douglas.bc.ca/__shared/assets/The_Organizing_Stage53848.pdf

For more on options for organization of your ideas, see http://writingcenter.unlv.edu/writing/organization.html

Anatomy of an Essay:
This is an explanation of the basic structure of an academic essay.
Also see the ‘mickey mouse’ pretend essay on the next page for formatting.

Creative Title:

Informative Subtitle

HOOK (grabs the reader :anecdote, story, quote, stat, fact, or something other writers say).
SETTING THE STAGE (can provide context, develop what ‘They Say,’ or lay groundwork for your ‘I Say’).
THESIS STATEMENT with argument and map.

Body paragraphs in ‘TEET’ structure: Topic, Examples and Explanation, Transition:
Topic Sentence: Threading: remind the reader what this paragraph has to do with your argument

Examples (summaries, paraphrases, quotations, evidence, ‘they say’, etc.)

Explanation of the examples and showing how they relate to your argument (develop ‘I Say’)

Transition/Topic Renewal sentence: does two things:
1. ‘Threading’: reminds the reader what this paragraph has to do with your argument
2. Subtly resists closure: ‘I’m not done! Keep reading! Something interesting is coming next!

Conclusion: Without simply repeating the thesis statement, re-emphasize what your essay is about (the argument) and what you hope the reader will take away from it. Then create closure.


  • Write your thesis statement and outline together. As your outline changes, change your thesis statement to match. Structure the ‘map’ and organization of your argument to suit your exigence and audience

  • Audiences from different disciplines (sciences, social sciences, arts & humanities) have different genre expectations for how to structure your paper’s overall argument. There are several different ways to do a good job at organization. We will explore these more in the second half of class. To get ideas, think about and read samples of the kinds of organization common in your discipline.

  • Evaluate your sources! For 1099, you can use articles from reputable newspaper and magazine sources.

  • There is no rule about how many body paragraphs to use. Use the number of paragraphs you need to make your case. Each paragraph can be between 4-10 sentences depending on how many EE’s you use. To reach word count, expand or trim material in the EEs of each paragraph. Word count can be plus or minus 10% of the official word count for the assignment without losing marks.

Nifty 1

Nora Nifty

Professor James T. Kirk

English 100

6 June 2009

Word Count: 748 words

Miserable Mickey:
Irony in Mouse’s poem “Dancing With Ducky.”

(HOOK) In the words of famous author Trinh T. Minh-ha, “[o]ne train may hide another train” (Minh-ha 14). In this quotation, Minh-ha argues that the appearance of simplicity or innocence may be a disguise for more complex and dangerous matters. Mickey Mouse’s poem “Dancing with Ducky” is no exception. (SETTING THE STAGE) The poem’s main character, Mickey Mouse, is wholly owned by Walt Disney Studios, the international mega-corporation that owns 93% of the world’s chocolate pudding (Dumbledore 639). In this poem, Mickey presents what seems – at first glance – to be a happy portrayal of childhood, the image readers have come to expect from the little squeaky rodent of “Mouscapades” fame (Granger 106). However, the ultra-innocence of the childhood this poem depicts is too perfect to be real, which suggests an ironic intent. The play of the children, while extremely happy, is stylized and artificial, and the friendships are saccharine, which suggests that the author intends an ironic criticism of the seemingly innocent Mickey Mouse persona. (THESIS STATEMENT): While scholars have traditionally accepted – even applauded – the poem’s apparent innocence, a critical rereading suggests that "Dancing with Ducky" employs an often-overlooked irony in its depiction of childhood, play, and friendship; taking this irony into account reveals the false innocence of the peom’s Mickey Mouse persona in the face of the actions of Disney corporation.

Nifty 2

Topic: The depiction of children in Mickey Mouse's poem seems sweet at first, but the sweetness is artificial and soon tastes bitter, revealing ironic intent on the part of the author.

Example, Explanation (EE)

EE (respect ‘planes of generality’)



Transition/Topic Renewal (almost as general as your topic sentence, but not quite)

Topic: The children's play is so stylized that it can't be real, which exposes the ironic message of the speaker.





Transition/Topic Renewal

Topic: The friendships described in the poem, which again seem innocent and good at first, are revealed as ironic mockery of friendship when their forced, artificial character is taken into consideration.





Transition/Topic Renewal

Nifty 3


(WRAP-UP: bring the reader back to your argument: remind them of how the arguments you’ve just presented convince the reader of your ‘I say’.) The irony at work in the depictions of childhood, play, and friendship in this poem thus reveal the underlying bitterness of a Mickey Mouse who has been forced to work in inhumane conditions in the hard labour camps of the Disney corporation. (CLOSURE: the closing statement draws links and opens up to larger context, or uses a famous quotation or expression, or something creative to create closure. Try varying sentence length and word choice, or using other rhetorical strategies such as parallelism or climax, to strengthen the sense of closure. ) Perhaps "Dancing with Ducky" is Mickey's subtle but desperate way to reach out to his audience; perhaps we should read this poem not as a happy product of "Disney magic" but as a piercing cry for help.

Nifty 4

Works Cited

Dumbledore, Albus. “Cocoa Production and Global Media Corporations.” Journal of Magical-Industrial Relations 23 (2005): 635-42. Print.

Granger, Hermione. “Human Rights for Mice and Men: A History of Slave Labour in the Magical World of Disney.” Social Science Quarterly 63 (2004): 99-150. Print.

Minh-ha, Trinh. “From ‘Commitment From the Mirror-Writing Box.’” Landmarks: A Process Reader. Ed. Roberta Birks et al. Toronto: Pearson, 2004. 12-16. Print.

Mouse, Mickey. “Dancing With Ducky.” The Collected Works of Mickey Mouse. New York: Mouskateers Press, 2004. Print.

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