English Composition 1
Essay: Purpose and Expectations
You will have two weeks to work on each of your graded essays, plenty of time to plan, pre-write, write, revise, and proofread, major aspects of the writing process that I feel are vital to writing a good essay. However, you have only about an hour in class to write your diagnostic essay. Because you do not have a lot of time to work on this essay, I don't expect any literary masterpieces, but I do expect the basics:
Don't worry if these expectations sound intimidating; just do the best job you can in the short time you have to write the essay.
You can assume that your audience has already read Joyce's "Eveline," so you should not just summarize it. Instead, try to focus on addressing the writing prompt above.
One of the first things you should consider when you begin working on a short essay is how you will divide your essay into different body paragraphs. You will need a minimum of three body paragraphs, along with an introduction and a conclusion.
For your other essays, you will need to decide on the main point of each body paragraph, but, for this diagnostic essay, I will give you a suggestion concerning what you might discuss in each body paragraph. I usually do not give such specific suggestions concerning what you could write about and how you could organize, develop, and support your ideas, but, because of the limited time we have for this essay, and because this is the first essay in the course, I have included specific suggestions below for each body paragraph of your essay.
Answering these questions should help you prove your thesis, or the main point of your paper. You might start by coming up with one sentence for each of the body paragraphs that would answer each question presented above for that paragraph. This sentence could serve as the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph, and you should then use specific examples from the story, including quotations, to help you support and develop the idea throughout the rest of the paragraph. In each body paragraph, you should stay focused on proving the claim you make in the first sentence of the paragraph.
The following web pages should help you with the organization of your essay and with the support and development of ideas:
You will also need a one-sentence thesis statement in the introduction of your essay. The easiest way to formulate the thesis statement is by combining all of the main ideas from your topic sentences into just one sentence.
Of course, you can come up with your own questions to help you develop your essay, and you may discuss any aspects of Joyce's story as long as your essay addresses Eveline's decision not to leave with Frank. The suggestions above are just designed to help you get started on this essay and to give you an example of an effective way to think about the organization and development of ideas for an essay before you begin writing.
The minimum required length for this essay is 500 words.
This page was last updated on June 01, 2006. Copyright Randy Rambo, 2002.