Help writing a essay for college

English Composition 1150 and English Composi- tion 1160 — the courses that fulfill the first two writing require- - 31 - 62 COURSE DESIGN ments for all majors — focus on narrative and investigative writ- ing, respectively. My Approach In my sections of Advanced Composition, students learn to focus on all of the composition course elements by writing four per- sonal but researched essays that they then compile in their final projects as bound autobiographies. Students generally enjoy English 1150 because it involves personal-based writing, but some feel stifled by the guidelines. In other words, students in this first writing course usually feel com- fortable with the subject matter, but they find it difficult to ex- press themselves within the rules and expectations of the assigned modes such as narration, observation, and description. Students of English 1160, the second writing course, typically enjoy learn- ing new strategies of investigation, but they too often struggle with the artificiality of not only imposed modes such as persua- sion and evaluation but also the subject matter of traditional aca- demic research papers. I designed Advanced Composition to encompass the best of both courses — personal subject matter and investigation — while focusing more on personal style. Although my assignments all have certain parameters, they allow for what nearly all of my first-year students crave: free- dom. I designed the class, therefore, not to teach students how to conform to a certain style but to encourage them to develop a style that works for them when composing nonfiction.

I encour- age them to experiment with everything from point of view to visual aids. In addition, I promote the kinds of research that do - 32 - Autobiography in Advanced Composition not necessarily take place in a library, such as digging through the family files or talking with a relative over coffee. As a result, what I initially imagined as a course driven by narrative writing with some research included has grown into one that produces fascinating and original multimedia autobiographies by each stu- dent. The four formal writing assignments are as follows: Heritage: Describe your family ancestry as it is in some way rel- evant to your life today. Consider how your background has shaped or influenced you. Family: Extend a metaphor to describe your family and the roles that each member plays.

In depth, discuss the roles and what it means to fill them. Mentor: Select someone who has had a positive impact on your life and write an essay explaining the significance. Use a popular text of some sort (a poem, a song, a movie, etc.

These assignments serve merely as springboards from which the writers may dive. Although I do hope to see students, for in- stance, speak of their families metaphorically, I neither offer nor expect any particular format or page length. Given these relatively help writing a essay for college loose parameters, my approach to the teaching of each assignment relies heavily on workshop activities rather than lecture. Since I do not rely on textbooklike writing conventions, such as the principles of argu- mentation, to teach style and technique, I run the course essen- tially as a workshop in which students learn by trial and error with my help and that of one another.

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All along the way, we share our ideas and our writing, providing praise, suggestions, and constructive criticism.

This writing process, which I describe in detail in the follow- ing paragraphs, works custom research paper services well with students because it capitalizes more on their intellect and common sense than on their ability to memorize or follow rules. As a result, students seem to become personally invested in the tasks of the course, engaging themselves COURSE DESIGN more than they might with more traditional or textbook exer- cises. Fortunately, the personal subject matter and relative freedom help writing a essay for college afforded to them creates engaged and productive participation practically without fail. After I introduce the general parameters of the assignment, as a class we analyze several finished versions of the assignment essay from previous classes.

I present essays with the widest avail- able range of styles and formats on overhead transparencies and invite the class to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each one. For each assignment, I usually read one or two sample es- says in the traditional prose format. Then I present some of the other unique creations students have produced for that particu- lar assignment. For the heritage essay, for instance, I often illus- help writing a essay for college trate using a piece by a young man who provides full-page color photos along with prose to make the written connection between ancient Hispanic warriors and his own child. This spectrum of formats and styles, which demonstrates a mere sampling of the possibilities, serves as an invention exer- cise, as it usually prompts students to imagine the directions they can take in their own essays. Furthermore, in the discussions that ensue from these exercises students inevitably discover for them- selves whether the various approaches are effective and whether the best writing essay alternative formats complement or distract from the prose. In essence, we brainstorm as a class about creative and effective ways to address the issues presented in the assignment. I also introduce each group to the text for the course, The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock (1987).

I invite them to page through this collection of rhetorical questions about values, be- liefs, and life and encourage them to answer a few of their choice.

This exercise, aside from helping the students focus their ideas for the help writing a essay for college essay, provides an opportunity for them to get to know the classmates with whom they will soon share their personal stories. At the next class meeting, I ask the students to more closely scrutinize The Book of Questions for an intriguing question that relates to the essay assignment at hand and respond to it in one to two pages.

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