Since completing the first essay of the year, we have been focusing on examining and playing with nonfiction. So far you have studied:
- Orwell (nonfiction essay)
- Adams (humorous narrative nonfiction)
- Frankfurt (vaguely humorous persuasive nonfiction)
- andHitchens (pompous persuasive nonfiction/opinion).
Now your job is to take on the mantle of one of these writers (or a writer of your choice--just be sure to identify who in the header) and write your own nonfiction piece. You may choose to write about anything:
- a personal event that carried meaning for you, a lesson, or gave you insight
- a personal philosophy and why/how it formed
- anything but fiction
Once you have chosen a writer, you will need to:
- examine more fully the author's syntax,
- use of rhetorical structures,
- use of language (figurative and argumentative),
- use of metaphor and description,
- and the larger structure the writer uses to make his point.
In your paper you will need an introductory section which:
- points out who your writer is
- Explains your analysis of how he writes
Then you will create a new page or heading and:
- Write in your writer's style
- Create your own nonfiction piece in that
PurposeTo use a superior writer's style as a model to your own nonfiction writing. It may be useful to think of the text as persuasive.
AudienceAn educated, college audience.
Will You Need Outside SourcesUnsure...you tell me. Do you need to do any research to convincingly prove your point? If so, do that research. Include a Works Cited page following the appropriate format (MLA or APA or CMS, depending on which field you think you're writing for).
Tips1. HAVE A CLEAR THESIS. You might think of the thesis as being an observation and consequence. Find the thesis statement in the essay you are using as a model. You may wish to hold-off writing your thesis until you've brainstormed and drafted a few PIE paragraphs.
2. Use quotations from any research you do to prove your point. Be sure to include the page number or page number and author if the author is unclear: either "....." (Tan 5) or "...." (5). Format your paper using correct style guidelines (see Hacker) for your topic.
3. Make full use of opportunities to workshop your draft in class by bringing new and improved versions to each peer review session. Increase your own critical skills by helping your classmates with their drafts. First rough due 10/4-bring four copies; revise for conferences on 10/5 etc-bring one copy to conferences; final essay due on 10/18-bring one clean copy for use in class as well as the copy you will hand to me with ALL drafts and pre-writing attached.
4. To avoid losing credit, compose your essay in STANDARD WRITTEN ENGLISH. If you're concerned about your editing skills, stop by my office hours before the essay is due, and we can review your essay together. Take the time to edit carefully, giving special attention to the items we reviewed in class.
5. Be sure your drafts that show significant changes you made while drafting your essay. Otherwise your essay will be marked down a letter grade.
Length: 1100-1700 words (3-5 typed pages). If your essay runs a bit longer, that's fine. If your essay is way too short, it won't explain enough to be effective, so it won't earn a passing grade.
In order to get a "C" your final paper will need to have:
- a clear thesis that states your opinion about the effect or meaning of the text
- focus -- on the elements of the text that support your opinion
- an organizational structure that is easy to follow
- fully developed ideas:
a) analysis of writer's style
b) nonfiction essay including thesis, points to support thesis (including quotes and paraphrases from research if needed, cited correctly)
c) clear explication of that support -- why & how such and such a quote means what you say it does, or has the effect you say it does, or makes you respond in the way it does
- remember PIE-point, illustration, explanation
- clear prose and no mechanical errors!
(see SG pp. 21-23)
Write the paper you want to read!