You will be researching and writing two different essays about a contemporary author. The first essay will be a biographical sketch, which is an informative essay. The second essay will be a persuasive essay. How well you do on the first essay will determine how well you do on the second essay.
Part I- Research
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week you will report to the Library Media Center Lab. Mrs. Scott will be teaching you the best methods of research for this project. She will show you how to use both Contemporary Authors and EBSCO (explora) which is found under Destiny Database. This project will require you to use at least three sources total, and at least two sources from the databases.During your research, you will need to take notes on all the information that you learn. We will only be in the lab under Mrs. Scott’s instruction for two days. If you do not use this time the way it was intended (similar to how majority of you did not use the time the way it was intended last week) then you have lost that day, and this project will now become more difficult for you.
You will continue to research your author in class next week. You will then begin writing a draft of your biographical sketch. Remember, you are writing a five-paragraph essay that is informative in nature, and follows the format of a biographical sketch. Keep in mind that this is not a full biography; rather it’s a sketch, which is a brief biography. Your finished essay should be around 1 1/2 pages.
Your first paragraph will be your introductory paragraph, and it must demonstrate strong characteristics of writing. Your opening will set the overall tone of your essay. Do not begin your essay with, “My author is Matt de la Pena, and he wrote books” or “Matt de la Pena was born in California” or some other trite opening. Follow the format we studied in class.
Your second paragraph will focus on the author’s life. This will be the biographical section of your essay. Do not include trivial facts that do not relate to the overall concept of the essay such as “his favorite food is pizza and his favorite color is green.”
Your third paragraph will focus on the author’s writing career. How did this author begin writing books? What is the backstory to his or her career? What types of books does this author write? NO LISTS! This is also where you will incorporate the novel you selected to use as your third source.
Your fourth paragraph will focus on the author’s achievements, awards, recognition, accolades, etc. If this author has not won any awards, then you will focus on any other notable accomplishments. For example, author Jay Asher went on a “50 States Against Bullying” book tour. Yes, many authors go on book tours, but none go to all 50 states in one tour (Jay was the first to do this). This is one example on how he stands out against other authors.
Your fifth paragraph will be your summary / conclusion paragraph, and it must also demonstrate strong characteristics of writing. Think of a unique and memorable way to end your essay. Do not end with, “As you can see I just told you about this author” or some other weak ending.