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Solved by verified expert:Essay 1: Description—See Ch. 7, College EnglishDraft Due: 6.9 (upload a Word or OpenOffice file through the Assignment on Canvas)Length: 2-3 pages/500 word minimum
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ENG 1101
Essay 1: Description—See Ch. 7, College English
Draft Due: 6.9 (upload a Word or OpenOffice file through the Assignment on Canvas)
Final Copy Due: 7.28 (again through Canvas)
Length: 2-3 pages/500 word minimum
For your first writing sample, describe your most prized possession—whether you still
have it or not—how you got it and why you value it so much and how it is part of your
identity.
It must be an inanimate object—I know you love your children, pets, parents and
spouses/partners/girlfriends/boyfriends—but even a dog isn’t really a possession—if
you’re like me, your dog(s) own you far more than you own them. And that’s not even
the half of it with cats. But I digress.
This is an argumentative assignment—you must explain why this thing—whatever it
might be—is (or was) so valuable to you. You will want to think about how Angell
describes the baseball and how Didion uses language to get to the heart of what she
observes and values, and that what she judges as foolish or worthless, about the Las
Vegas wedding industry. Both Angell and Didion are masters of the key detail—learn
from them to be succinct, but precise.
The essay should be descriptive—it should be clear to the reader what the object is, why
you cherish it, what it looks, smells, sounds, tastes, and feels like. Who made it, and does
that matter? Was it mass-produced or is it unique to you? Did you receive it as a gift,
save up for it yourself, make it yourself?
For me, my most prized possession is probably a watch I received as a wedding present
from my wife; it’s not a Patek Phillipe or something crazy like that—it’s just a Seiko—
but more importantly, the face is an old fashioned “Conductors’” like the pocket watches
railroad workers used in the past—the numbers are Roman and the second hand is where
the VI should be—and I had been looking for just such a watch for years.
My fiancée, now wife, found it before we got married and knew it was the one I’d been
looking for. It has been repaired twice for a bad dial, and it has a very small scratch on
the crystal. Otherwise, it is perfect. Currently, it has a brown leather strap, and fits on my
wrist just a little loosely. The face is a soft white with black numerals. I wear it quite
often though it is not my everyday watch; but every time I put it on, I think of my wife
and our marriage, which is nice.
If I were going to expand that paragraph into an essay, I would certainly talk about our
rehearsal dinner where my wife gave me the watch, and when and why I wanted this
particular kind of watch-face.
You may think, “I can’t possibly get 2-3 pages out of describing something.” And maybe
you can’t if you only think about describing the object. But instead, describe the object in
action—we’ll cover narration in another essay, but think of its story—in the art world
they speak of “provenance” to describe the condition of a work and who or what has
owned/displayed the work since it’s creation; perhaps you can include the history of the
object as part of your response.
Basic Guidelines:




Double space your essay; include your name, the course number and section at the
top of the first page.
Avoid the use of the second person as it is conversational and too direct. Use the
first person to describe your own thoughts, but better to use the third person in
most of your analysis.
Do not focus on the writing process—your reader does not need to know why you
chose the topic or what you’re going to write about. Instead of telling your reader
what you are going to do, do it.
Write in the present tense unless specifically describing past events.
How it will be graded:




A failing paper, either a “D” or an “F,” will either be completely off-topic, so
short as to be negligible, and/or be so marred by mechanical errors that meaning
is lost. Further, the argument may not be grounded in a thesis or else lack
examples or explain why the examples given mean for the interpretation.
A “C” paper is one that manages to competently convey information to the
reader—each part has a logical organization with clear thesis statements, contains
coherent and complete sentences, appropriately answers the essay prompt, and
does not have so many mechanical flaws that legibility suffers.
A “B” paper has all the characteristics of a “C,” and in addition displays effective
insights into the essay prompt (possibly acknowledging multiple perspectives on
the issues, or making particularly good choices about what material to address),
has fewer mechanical flaws, and has an organizational scheme and general tone
appropriate to the material.
An “A” paper has all the characteristics of a “B,” and in addition displays few or
no mechanical flaws, pays attention to appropriateness of word choice and
shifting tonality through the essays, displays a command of pacing and sentence
variety appropriate to the varied content of the essays, and may display
particularly thoughtful insights, of contain stylistic devices which illuminate the
material.
Further, per the English Department’s Guidelines, the essay will be judged according to
this breakdown.
15%
Introduction
The student introduces the subject being described, creating a sense of context
and import that builds up to the thesis statement.
15%
Paragraphing and Design
The student develops his/her description of the subject matter in paragraphs of at
least 6-7 sentences. The details described give a sense of thoughtful arrangement
or design that gives the organization a sense of cohesion.
20%
Specific language
The student demonstrates a commitment to avoiding vague phrases (“it is,” “there
are”) and ambiguous language (“something, everything, what, how”). The paper
appeals to the senses through immediacy and concrete details. The language
demonstrates some attention to expanding the student’s vocabulary.
20%
Audience and Purpose
The essay demonstrates a sense of intention aimed at a particular audience. If the
subject matter is technical, for example, but the audience is a general one, the
author makes an effort to “translate” professional terminology into accessible
language.
15%
Grammar and Punctuation
The essay demonstrates a commitment to correcting grammar issues identified in
the student’s pretest. These may include dropped apostrophes, subject/verb
agreement, they’re/their/there confusion, or any number of potential issues.
15%
Conclusion
The essay reinforces the essay’s thesis by reminding readers of the main point and
importance of the topic.
After you turn the paper in through the assignment in the Week 2 ‘Weekly Activities.’ I
will grade and return it to you via email as a Word or OpenOffice file. I will make
comments throughout the paper to offer guidance on how to improve the paper and your
writing in general. If you choose, you may revise the paper once for a new grade—I am a
big believer in revision, so I urge you to take advantage of this option. You may have
until the end of the term to re-submit any or all of your formal essays for a re-grade.

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