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Essay 4: Documented argumentative essay?at least 1000 words. (20% of final average)
[Note?your essay should be set up in MLA format with proper spacing and headers as exemplified on page 198 in The Little Brown Handbook.]
Because our text contains chapters on individuality and community, family and identity, and power and responsibility, this essay will focus on one of those ideas. This essay is your opportunity to voice your opinion about a theme related to individuality, community, family, identity, power, or responsibility in television or movies. The hardest part of this assignment is figuring out your focus. Part of the challenge with this essay is to explore the issue without merely summarizing plots. As with anything written for this class, you must try to convince your reader that your view is correct without allowing your bias to overshadow your message.
You must use at least three secondary sources, and you must give specific examples and direct quotations from each secondary source. The movie or television show you choose will work as your primary source, but you do not necessarily have to use quotations from your primary source. General reference books are not good sources. This essay must contain proper in-text citations and a works-cited page. Secondary source materials must be submitted for sources other than our texts.
Your essay must be original; no essay submitted for another course will be accepted for this assignment.
Requirements for documented essay
In order for your essay to be graded, you must have adhered to the following rules:
* You must deal with a theme related to individuality, community, family, identity, power, or responsibility.
* You must focus on how that theme works in television or movies. This assignment works best if your focus is placed on only one television program or one movie because there is not room in 1000 words to explore more than one and incorporate secondary source material effectively.
* You must have an arguable thesis.
* You must have at least three credible secondary sources and submit those sources a week before the essay is due. Not submitting the sources will result in ten points being deducted from the final essay?s grade. The actual source, not information about the source, must be submitted.
* Note that your sources must be credible?as a general electronic encyclopedia that anyone can edit, Wikipedia is not a credible source. Choose your sources wisely; a definition of a term is not going to count as a source, nor will a web site that gives quotations from the movie or television show. A web site that is designed to help students ?improve? their grades like Gradesaver.com or Shmoop.com will not count either.
* You must use specific examples and direct quotations from each secondary source. Again, you do not necessarily have to have a direct quotation from the primary source, but if you do, it must be cited.
* The movie/television show does not count as one of the secondary sources, but if you use quotations from that primary source, it must be cited in the essay and on your works cited page. If you do not use quotations from the primary source, you will list your movie/television show as a work consulted.
* You must include properly set up in-text citations in your essay.
* You must use secondary sources that are no older than three years, and at least one source must have been written in the past nine months.
* Although you have more choices with your secondary sources because you can use credible internet sites as sources, at least one of your sources must be an article from one of the library?s databases. If your sources do not fit the criteria given in the assignment, you will lose points automatically; the number of point you lose will depend on how many of the requirements you do not meet.
* You must include a works-cited page that lists every source used in your essay and is set up according to MLA guidelines.
* You must submit the required paragraphs on the discussion board by the date specified on the study schedule. Not posting the paragraphs will result in ten points being deducted from your essay?s grade. You must submit copies of your secondary sources. Not submitting the sources will result in ten points
being deducted from the final essay?s grade. The actual source, not information about the source, must
This essay is worth twenty percent of your grade, so use this list of requirements as a checklist when you are
working on your essay.
Make sure that you do the following in your essay:
Introduce the issue that you have chosen to argue.
YOUR THESIS should be a statement that tells what you are going to prove about the issue you have
chosen. This statement must appear as the last sentence of your introductory paragraph. In order to
make sure that your thesis is arguable, you might want to begin the sentence with because or although.
Each aspect or element of your evaluation should be developed in a paragraph, with a topic sentence,
explanation, and specific examples. Keep in mind that the movie or television show is your focus, so
all ideas need to be related back to the movie or television show. Be certain to include parenthetical
documentation after each quotation or idea that you borrow from a source.
For this essay, you want to acknowledge that there is another way of looking at whatever issue you
have chosen, and the best way of doing that is by having one source that opposes your stance. Keep in
mind that this is supposed to be your argument. Your sources are supposed to be used to give
information related to the facts that you want to present, but your voice should always be stronger than
your sources?. In other words, for each example you use from a source, there should be something
that links your ideas to your source information and an explanation of how the source?s information
helps prove your point (or what was not considered in the source that takes the opposite stance from
yours). If there are citations after most of the sentences in your essay, then you have not written your
essay; your sources have. Make certain that your sources do not dominate the essay.
As we have discovered, we can find some of our sources for this essay by using the library’s databases
(given the nature of this particular essay, you might want to refer to Academic Search Complete or
JSTOR first when looking for information on your topic). After we find our information, we also have
to cite the sources we use both in-text and on a work(s)-cited page. The Little, Brown Handbook gives
us a research and MLA guide. We also have access to MLA citation guides on the library’s page.
Offer a well-developed paragraph that reflects all the evidence in your paper.
4. SET UP
* Make certain that your essay follows the set up shown on page 198 in The Little, Brown Essential
* Times New Roman twelve-point font must be used for all parts of the essay (including your header)
* One-inch margins on each edge of the page
* Header (your last name and page number) half an inch from the upper right corner of each page
* Heading on the first page in the proper order with the proper information
* Double spaced with no extra spaces within the essay
* Proper in-text citations used for any information learned from the sources, especially quotations
* A works-cited page at the end of the essay utilizing proper MLA citation
* If the primary source is not cited directly, a work-consulted reference at the bottom of the works-cited
* Look at the information on the writing checklist posted under course documents for stylistic help with
composing your essay
* Make certain that you turn in secondary source material
* Post your paragraphs on the unit discussion board by the due date, make certain that your secondary
sources meet the assignment criteria, and submit your secondary sources in the drop box by the due
date to avoid losing points on the essay
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