Assignment: Essay #1 (Argument/Synthesis) What are some ways people can improve their success and/or happiness? What do you think are the barriers college students encounter? How do you think we can keep capable college students from failing or quitting? In this thesis-driven essay, you will use cited ideas from our class readings and your own experience and logic to think about possible causes and solutions to the questions above. Audience: Students who are at risk of failing or quitting and teachers who are trying to help Purpose: Persuade students and teachers to adopt specific ways of thinking and take specific actions Genre: Academic argument essay that follows the conventions of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
Use at least 2 (or more) of the following readings to help you make your case, but make sure that your essay is dominated by your own opinion and voice (personality): • “Brainology: Transforming Students’ Motivation to Learn” by Carol Dweck • “True Grit” by Duckworth & Eskreis-Winkler • Sami vs The Negative Voice by Sami Kader • Your essay should have an introduction, body, conclusion paragraph, and Works Cited page. It should also be in MLA format, including in-text citations. It will be a minimum of 3 typed pages and a maximum of 5 with a word count at the end of the paper. Your introduction should: 1. Grab the reader’s attention and introduce the topic with a brief summary of the texts to be explored 2. Give a clear thesis statement: this gives your clear, strong opinion about what things cause capable students to fail and what can be done about it. This statement will control the body of your paper. It is good to draft a “working thesis statement” and then adjust it as necessary after you have written the body. The body of your paper should: • Consist of several paragraphs that clearly prove your thesis • Contain body paragraphs that lead with your voice. • Give several main claims/reasons (expressed in clear topic sentences dominated by your voice). These topic sentences clearly state the claim/reason and connect to (prove) the thesis • Contain specific (not just general) examples, reasoning, and evidence that clearly support your main claims and thesis. This evidence can be drawn from our class readings, personal experience, the experience of others, other things you have read, things you have researched outside of our class readings (use credible sources), illustrations, and/or things you have heard from reputable sources. When quoting or paraphrasing, be sure to use proper MLA in-text citation.

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