ENC 1101—out of class essay 3

04 Apr

ENC 1101—out of class essay 3 (research essay)—T, Th

ENC 1102, the next English class, focuses intensely on researching:  choosing sources, finding information, evaluating information, and thoroughly supporting ideas with evidence.

For our research paper, we will not be quite so ambitious.  Here are our goals for this assignment:

  1. Demonstrating understanding of how to structure an essay (introduction, thesis, topic sentences, focus) and how to make an essay smooth (using transitions)
  2. Following directions for the assignment
  3. Developing the paragraphs with sufficient evidence and details from assigned sources
  4. Explaining ideas clearly
  5. Choosing effective evidence to prove the point
  6. Using correct MLA format for heading, quotes, and works cited
  7. Communicating without a lot of major or minor errors
  8. Demonstrating clear and effective wording

Research papers usually take a stand and argue one side of a topic.  Discussing both sides (pros and cons) of a topic would be unusual.

Most research papers use evidence from several sources of information to develop each supporting paragraph.  Therefore, no source is mentioned in the topic sentence.  However, when you include an idea, number, quote, or detail from a source (whether quoted or paraphrased) you need to cite it within the paragraph.  Citing usually includes putting the author’s name in a tag phrase and the page number in parenthesis at the end of the sentence.  If there is no author, use article title.  If there is no page number, omit it.

Don’t forget that you can include a specific example from your own experience as one of your sources in a paragraph.

A research paper might also include one or more refutation paragraphs.  These paragraphs begin by giving a brief summary of an idea held by the opposing side (a few sentences).  Add a contrast transition like “however”.  The rest of the paragraph explains why you think that opposing view is wrong.  Add evidence from the readings, the optional websites, and examples from your own experiences.

Include all the sources on a Works Cited page.

For this essay you will select one of the following topics:

Going to college is a smart idea for most people.


       Going to college is not a good idea for everyone.

  • Your essay should have an introduction, 3-5 supporting paragraphs (one or more of which may be a refutation paragraph), and a conclusion. Your essay must have at least 500 words.
  • Use MLA format for heading, page numbers, spacing, font, and indenting.
  • Your essay must include evidence from the readings in our textbook. A few additional sources are posted on Canvas.  Do not use other sources.
  • Include at least 2 quotes. These quotes should be presented in MLA format (tag phrases, page numbers, proper capitalization and punctuation).   Don’t overwhelm the reader with long or frequent quotes.
  • Include at least 2 paraphrases of material from sources. (In other words, tell the information in your own words).  Give the author’s complete name and page number for each paraphrase just like you would for a quote.
  • Include an MLA works cited page that lists all the sources you used. The entries should be presented in the correct format (information, indenting, alphabetized).
  • Bring a printed copy of your thesis and 2 supporting paragraphs—with quotes and research added and cited) on 4/12.
  • The completed essay is due on Canvas by 11:59pm on 4/24.


This essay will be assessed using the Communications Learning Outcomes Rubric.  Every instructor in Communications classes needs to assess the class as a whole to document and report what percentage of students pass the learning outcomes.

You will be assessed on the following rubric:






Definition of Communication Skills


Successful communication involves expressing oneself within the conventions of a medium and working in many genres and styles. It can involve working in many different disciplines and technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum.




Evaluators are encouraged to assign a zero to any work sample or collection of work that does not meet benchmark (cell one) level performance.


  Capstone Milestones Benchmark
4 3 2 1
Context of and Purpose for Writing

Includes considerations of audience, purpose, and the circumstances surrounding the assignment(s).

Demonstrates a thorough understanding of context, audience, and purpose that is responsive to the assigned task(s) and focuses all elements of the work. Demonstrates adequate consideration of context, audience, and purpose and a clear focus on the assigned task(s) (e.g., the task aligns with audience, purpose, and context). Demonstrates awareness of context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned tasks(s) (e.g., begins to show awareness of audience’s perceptions and assumptions). Demonstrates minimal attention to context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned tasks(s) (e.g., expectation of instructor or self as audience).
Content Development Uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to illustrate mastery of the subject, conveying the writer’s understanding, and shaping the whole work. Uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to explore ideas within the context of the discipline and shape the whole work. Uses appropriate and relevant content to develop and explore ideas through most of the work. Uses appropriate and relevant content to develop simple ideas in some parts of the work.
Genre and Disciplinary Conventions

Formal and informal rules inherent in the expectations for writing in particular forms and/or academic fields (please see glossary).

Demonstrates detailed attention to and successful execution of a wide range of conventions particular to a specific discipline and/or writing task (s) including organization, content, presentation, formatting, and stylistic choices Demonstrates consistent use of important conventions particular to a specific discipline and/or writing task(s), including organization, content, presentation, and stylistic choices Follows expectations appropriate to a specific discipline and/or writing task(s) for basic organization, content, and presentation Attempts to use a consistent system for basic organization and presentation.
Sources and Evidence Demonstrates skillful use of high-quality, credible, relevant sources to develop ideas that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of the writing Demonstrates consistent use of credible, relevant sources to support ideas that are situated within the discipline and genre of the writing. Demonstrates an attempt to use credible and/or relevant sources to support ideas that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of the writing. Demonstrates an attempt to use sources to support ideas in the writing.
Control of Craft Uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to readers with clarity and fluency, and is virtually error-free. Uses straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to readers. The language in the portfolio has few errors. Uses language that generally conveys meaning to readers with clarity, although writing may include some errors. Uses language that sometimes impedes meaning because of errors in usage.


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Posted by on April 4, 2018 in Academic Writing


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