The diagnostic paper is a paper of at least 1000 words, exclusive of title and heading, following the rules in "What a Paper Should Look Like," which is a short form of the MLA standards of writing.

The paper will be about a the career  you have chosen, or might choose, after college.    Use as little first person as possible; focus instead of what value is in that kind of career, what kind of people might be good at it, how promising is the job field in your choice.  If you have not yet decided what to be when  you grow up, you must choose a profession to write about, because all three papers will focus on this career choice.  So pick something now if you haven't decided yet, as you will be doing a lot of research on it.

Do not use "you."  Most assignments will not be allowed first person "I" but this one allows LIMITED use, which means, as little as possible..

The diagnostic is intended to test whether or not you can follow directions for sending a paper. Content is secondary; content is not being graded, so say whatever you think, as long as it's on topic. The major papers will be sent the same way. 

When you are finished with the essay, save it using your last name. Save it in rtf format.


This should be a very simple assignment, since I won't make any remarks on the paper, or criticize grammar, spelling, sentence structure, or punctuation, as I will on graded papers. I will consider the level of writing that is the common denominator of the class, and adjust my assignments so that everyone will be able to do their best depending on the average level.  

However, if the essay shows major problems in syntax, grammar, or punctuation, I may refer you to the early warning system to see if you are ready to take this course at this level.

The only exception is if a student writes something totally off topic, as occasionally students try to turn in narratives or other work from a previous class. A zero for this essay would not be a negative grade, it would just fail to give you points towards participation.

The essay itself is not the point here. It is a test to see if you can follow directions, so that when you do graded papers, we won't have to bother with how to get it to me; we can concentrate on how you can learn to do an analysis instead of a summary. So the whole point is to see if you can follow these steps.



This paper needs to look just like the paper in "What a Paper Should Look Like" and the MLA format guide.


See attached for additional instructions.

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