COMM3321 Essay #1: Non-Fiction Compare/Contrast Essay
Length: 800-1000 words (3-4 pages, 1.5 or double spaced)
• Include title page (includes assignment name, essay title, your name, instructor name, course name & number, & date); body (include page numbers, proper APA-style in-text citations for quotations and references); reference page
• Clean, readable typeface (Times New Roman, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, Calibri, etc.) 11 or 12 point type • Double spaced or 1.5 spaced; no indentation at the beginning of the paragraphs, but leave an extra space between paragraphs
• Please include your name and the short title of the essay in a running header
• Upload your essay to the Moodle assignment dropbox as one file, with the filename YourLastname_Firstname_Essay1. Do not submit assignments in paper form or via email.
Choose one of the readings that we have covered in the textbook or the Supplement. Do some library research in the online databases or the web and find another opinion article on the same general topic.
Write an essay in which you compare and contrast HOW the two authors of these articles make their arguments. What techniques do they use? What evidence do they present? Are there any problems with their approaches? Is there an evident bias in their perspective on the subject? Reading or re-reading Kent Lewis’ introduction to Chapter Eight on “Argument” and Chapter Three on “Questions” will be essential here, since you will want to analyze the logic of the arguments in terms of the types of reasoning, the measurability and testability of the evidence, as well as the logical and emotional fallacies, that Lewis discusses. The first one or two sentences of a compare/contrast essay should introduce the authors (with dates), the titles, and the main ideas of the two works being compared.
This is a very general topic, and it is your job to decide on what specific aspects of the articles you want to focus. You will develop your own viewpoint/angle/thesis statement for this essay, and this will determine your approach to your body paragraphs. Feel free to check with me to make sure that you are on the right track.
• Do an outline first (please!!!!), though you don’t need to submit it
• Spell check and proofread (get someone else to proofread too!) • Check citation and reference format ahead of time
• Short paragraphs and simpler language are better
• If you include quotations, make sure you explain what they mean and why they are important (and of course cite and reference properly).
• Avoid personal pronouns (I, we, you, us) – you are aiming for a persuasive essay that sounds objective, even though you are arguing your viewpoint
• If you have ANY QUESTIONS, I am just an email away!
1 – Lacking 2 – Beginning 3 – Developing 4 – Effective 5 – Exemplary
Organization – Introduction and conclusion clearly identify the main topic that is the focus of the report; summarize subtopics and make clear how they relate to main topic; open and close the essay in a strong and definite manner. Organization of headings and subheadings is logical and makes sense; individual paragraphs have only one topic per paragraph; paragraphs are well-structured and not too long; the order of sentences and paragraphs is logical; essay flows nicely 0 1 2 3 4 5
Content – Analysis/evaluation of sources demonstrates solid understanding of material in articles and conveys an original interpretation of the material; applies concepts we have learned in the course, where applicable; explains the meaning and relevance of quotations; displays evidence of reflection and thought; doesn’t just restate the original topic given to the student 0 1 2 3 4 5
Tone, Style and Readability – Appropriate style and tone for the subject matter; objective approach (no personal pronouns); simple, direct language whenever possible; easy to follow and understand; short, clear sentences; correct word use 0 1 2 3 4 5
Formatting & APA Documentation
Correct Reference Page – hanging indents, alphabetical order, syntax, dates;
In-text Citations – correct formatting (Author, year, p. #) – correct use of direct quotes, paraphrases, summaries, lead-ins, ellipses, and brackets;
Formatting – proper font, follows formatting guidelines 0 1 2 3 4 5
Grammar and Mechanics
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling 0 1 2 3 4 5