Essay 1 Instructions
In this assignment, students will demonstrate the ability to compose a well-organized and
effectively-developed essay in MLA format. This essay should include a clear thesis statement,
topic sentences to support the thesis statement, major details to expand on the topic sentences,
and additional evidence to reinforce the major details.
Rhetorical Strategy Options
• Cause, effect, or cause & effect
• Compare, contrast, or compare & contrast
There are many topic suggestions for the above rhetorical strategies. The topic is
selected by the student. You may use potential prompts in your textbook (see below), or
you may look for suggestions online. Since you must write a college-level essay, not all of
the topics online will work for this assignment, so if you have reservations about one of
the topics, please ask your instructor. If you do use the internet to look for a topic, see
your instructor for approval.
Topics for each rhetorical mode are within the chapter exercises:
Compare and Contrast
See exercises 16, 17, and 18
Cause and Effect
See exercises 21, 22, and 23
Your essay must adhere to the following requirements for ENGL 1101:
• Your essay must be in 3rd Person Point of View.
• Your essay must have a title that creatively introduces an essay to readers
o Include Rhetorical Mode with the Title (Contrast: A Mother’s Journey to Childhood)
• The essay must have at least five well-developed paragraphs
• It must have 950-1000 words
• The introduction must have an attention-getting hook and effectively introduce your
• The thesis must be the last sentence of the introduction
• Each body paragraph must have an easily identifiable topic sentence, major and minor
details, and transition words and phrases that correspond to the rhetorical strategy that
you are following
• The conclusion must illustrate that you have thought critically and analytically about
the topic. It should NOT simply restate your intro paragraph.
• Essay format must adhere to 8
th edition MLA Style
o One-inch margins, 12-point font size, Times New Roman font style, page number
o If you choose to cite a source or if your instructor requires you to use sources,
you must properly quote, paraphrase, or summarize the cited material and
include an in-text citation following the quoted or paraphrased material.
o The in-text citation should correspond to a full source citation on the Works Cited
• Please see the documents on Blackboard, MLA Websites, the writing tutor, or your
instructor for assistance with MLA formatting if need help.
• Be sure to review the assignment rubric and syllabus for additional grading specifics.
If you submit someone else’s words or change only a few words or copy someone else’s ideas
without providing a parenthetical citation and quotation marks where applicable and a
corresponding Works Cited page, you will receive a zero for plagiarism, and may be subject to
disciplinary action based on WGTC Academic Integrity standards.
Essay Writing Tips
Here are some tips for you to produce a quality essay. Be sure to schedule several days to
complete your essay, and work through the writing process carefully.
- Choose a topic that interests you and that can be developed without research.
- Brainstorm and compile your ideas about the topic (Note: This is your prewriting.)
- Based on your prewriting, draft a working thesis. Refer to the thesis statement lecture
notes in Blackboard and Chapter 1 of your textbook if you need help. (Note: Avoid
copying statements you find online. Most are average, C-level thesis statements.)
- Gather all notes and any written assignments done to prepare for this essay, including
- Outline your main points, compare them to your thesis statement, and modify either your
thesis or outline so they match. Revisit the essay prompt to be sure you are still on track.
- Fill in the outline with topic sentence main points and supporting detail sentences
that further support your thoughts. If you used any research, remember the citations
(and Work Cited information).
- Finalize and submit your outline based on instructor’s directions.
- Begin the rough draft of your essay.
- Review to the essay rubric and make necessary adjustments to the draft.
- Submit your rough draft to UpSwing for extra guidance. Feedback can take up to 48
hours. Use feedback from your instructor and UpSwing to revise.
- Proofread the final draft for grammar and MLA errors before finishing.
- Submit your essay as instructed.