Due Dates:
Essay 1 Outline: Weds. of Week 2
Complete Rough Draft: Friday of Week 2
Peer Review: Weds. of Week 3
Edited, Revised Final Draft: Friday of Week 3

Essay 1 Requirements & Info

Our class just watched a documentary produced in 2010 about our contemporary digital life. A lot has changed since that time, and I'd like to hear about your individual viewpoint on a theme related to the documentary.

Write a closed-form essay (see p. 17-19 of your textbook) of approximately three double-spaced pages (12-point type) or 750-1000 words answering this question: What kind of citizen are YOU in our “digital nation,” and why?

What is an Academic Essay, Anyway?

The essay is an art form with a long and powerful tradition and recognizable qualities. The most important element of an essay is your thinking. Unless you write honestly, with the conviction that comes when using your own voice, you are not writing an essay. An essay generally addresses one central question and develops a thesis--the answer to the question. Usually you explain or defend your thesis with reasons and evidence gained from your own personal experience; often you are expected to include new thinking gained from your reading or research. Generally, you will need to settle on some organizational strategy, often including an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Required Elements In Your Essay:

The rhetorical aim of your essay (see Table 1.2 on p. 10 of your textbook) is to inform or explain your reader how you'd answer the question above. The acceptable file type for this assignment is .docx (Microsoft Word, which Madison College provides for you free.)

Apply the information in your textbook about closed-form essay types to create an essay with the following features:

  • a creative, accurate title
  • an attention-grabber or hook in the introduction.
  • an explicit thesis statement that clearly answers the question “What kind of citizen are YOU in the ‘digital nation’?”
  • a method of forecasting the paper content, such as a purpose statement, blueprint or mapping statement, etc.   
  • cohesive and unified body paragraphs that begin with topic sentences.
  • clear, logical transitions between sentences and between essay parts.
  • particulars or exemplification in the body paragraphs.
  • a conclusion that returns to your hook and un-hooks.
  • no digressions.
  • strong mechanics, usage, grammar skills demonstrated.

Although I want to see closed-form structure and organization from all essays, I urge you to be as creative and unique as you can with the content. Responses that demonstrate substantial thought and complicated responses are ALWAYS more interesting to read than oversimplified, "expected" answers!

To persuade me that your essay is believable, significant, and worthy, you need to know something about ethos, pathos, and logos, which are basic rhetorical terms. View the video below to learn!

Optional Essay Elements To Consider

In Chapter 12, a number of strategies for closed-form writing are explained. For this assignment, consider including personal snapshots or screenshots that illustrate points in your essay. You can insert them as pictures into your essay; here's how. Let's limit the photos to ones you yourself took (to avoid any unfortunate copyright problems). Also, consider using carefully worded sub-headings as described in Ch. 12 to focus the reader.

Grading and Points

  • Essay 1 Outline: 30 points
  • Complete Rough Draft: 30 points
  • Peer Review: 50 points
  • Edited, Revised Final Draft: 100 points

As you can see, your effort actually earns more points than the final product on this essay! Your final product will be evaluated using a rubric located in the ESSAY 1 INFO main menu area in Blackboard. Use that rubric to self-assess your essay before submitting.