Length: about 4-6 typed pages
By this time, we have read and discussed Gardner’s essay, Multiple Intelligences. We have brainstormed ideas about how this theory applies to us and what the implications might be in understanding ourselves as learners. For this assignment, you will write an essay in which you make an argument about yourself and one or two of the intelligences Gardner describes in his article. (I like to think of intelligences as ways we experience the world.) The main point of your essay will be a claim related to your life of experience with various ways of knowing. In other words, tell us how you have experienced one or more types of “intelligences” and how that experience informs your ideas of yourself as a person and as a learner today.
You will need to use examples from Gardner’s article to define and explain his theory and the intelligences that you are discussing.
You will need to use specific examples and/or narrate an experience, a defining moment that supports your claim about yourself.
Thesis: No matter what topic you choose, your essay should be focused on a clear thesis. You should be able to express your thesis in one or two sentences, and it should be significant and complex enough to sustain interest, but narrow enough so that you can adequately develop the thesis in about four pages. You might claim, “I like potato chips because they’re yummy,” and this might be true, but could you write four interesting pages about this claim? On the other hand, you might claim, “I am a vegetarian because a vegetarian diet is healthier for my body and for the environment than a meat-based diet.” This second example is significant and complex enough to develop into a four-page paper.
Development: The body of your essay will be devoted primarily to illustrations, examples, explanations, and details that give essential background and support your claim. When making an argument based on personal experience, the best way to make your writing powerful is to let your reader share in that experience as closely as possible. You want to re-create your experience so that your reader can see the logic in your claim.
Structure and Presentation: Each of the essays you write for this class should include an effective introduction, conclusion and smooth transitions. Open your essay with a sentence that will catch your readers’ attention AND introduce the topic of your essay. Include in your opening paragraph a general introduction to the topic and a statement of your thesis. As you move from point to point in the body of your essay, be sure to help your readers to follow that movement with transitional phrases and clear topic sentences. Finally, close your essay with a strong paragraph that brings your readers’ attention back to the main point of your essay, and perhaps to a deeper level of understanding.
Editing and Proofreading: Writing skills include good editing and proofreading habits. The best way to improve your writing skills is by practicing regularly and stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone. This means re-reading your own writing critically, being willing to make changes, learning how to identify your own errors, and paying attention to feedback. You are always the author of your own writing, so you are responsible for everything (both brilliant and weak) in your essays.
MLA: All material used from a source (the Gardner article) must be cited correctly– whether summary, paraphrase or quote. See Rules for Writers, 55c, 58b.