help with engl assgn due in 24 hours



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Rough Draft, Introduction Paragraph

Writing the Introduction Paragraph

The introduction paragraph is arguably the most important paragraph in a research essay because it's your chance to get your reader interested in what you have to say. That's why it's important to not be boring! 

For many students, writing the introduction can also be the most challenging part of writing an essay. That's why you should focus on it separately from the body. Don't let struggling with a good introduction turn into struggling with the whole essay. 

In this discussion board, I want you to write a rough draft of an introduction paragraph, based on what you have learned in your research. Don't get hung up on "perfect."

Here's what you should focus on: 


· Make it interesting

· Make it plenty long enough, with no filler or really broad statements

· Write a solid thesis statement that makes a point about your term

Introduction paragraphs should follow this structure: 

1. Start with a “hook,” preferably from your research. Think about something really interesting that you read. Was it a story about a real person’s experience? Was it a fact or a statistic that shocked you? Write about that in 7-10 sentences (give or take), and be sure to use your in-text citations. Use a combination or paraphrasing and direct quotes. (Remember that direct quotes should only be 1-2 sentences.)

2. Next, write your definition of your term. Make sure it “flows” in the paragraph, so you may need a transitional phrase.

3. Finally, end with your thesis statement. This is the point about your term you will make. This isn’t an argument paper, but you should have something to say about your term.


Rough Draft, Outline with Topic Sentences

In any essay,  organization is key. It's important to go into the essay with a solid plan. (Remember, we're trying to avoid staring at that blank Word document!) 

We've already talked about what goes into an introduction paragraph. Now let's think about our body paragraphs. One key to an organized essay is to keep each paragraph  focused. 

Each body paragraph needs to be focused around ONE MAIN IDEA. We state that main idea in the  topic sentence, almost always the first sentence of the paragraph. We then make sure that we ONLY include information about that one main idea in that paragraph. 

PRO TIP: One way to keep your essay tied together is to choose a key word from your thesis statement and repeat that word in each of your topic sentences. 

Do not start your body paragraph with a direct quote, a paraphrase from your source, or a statement of fact or statistic. The topic sentence should set up the focus of that particular paragraph. 

After the topic sentence, remember that your body paragraphs need to  rely on your research. Don't just include one fact from your research; you need at least three pieces of evidence from your research in each paragraph. (Maybe more!) Also, try your best to use more than one source in each paragraph. Avoid turning your body paragraphs into summaries of your sources. 

You've already written an outline in the main course. Are you sticking with that outline? 

Using this discussion board, outline your essay, focusing on the most important sentence in each paragraph. 

· For your introduction paragraph, write your thesis statement. 

· For each body paragraph, write your topic sentence. 

· For your conclusion paragraph, restate your thesis. 

Essay #2: The Definition Essay

When someone asks us what a particular word means, we do not just rattle off a dictionary definition; instead, we define the term as we understand it, usually offering up specific examples or other evidence to further clarify the meaning. 

For our next essay, we are going to further explore a term that is used in the news today.

The topics: 

In a 2 to 4 page essay  (PLUS a Works Cited page), define one of the following terms: 

1. Universal Basic Income

2. Fentanyl

3. Cultural Appropriation

4. Gerrymandering


What do you have to do? 

We will include a basic definition as well as an extended definition, which may use specific examples, history, etymology, compare/contrast, and more.

The idea is not to write a technical article; instead, we are going to use denotation and connotation together to define a term in such a way that our audience can easily understand.  

NOTE: This is our first research essay, which means you must include correct  in-text citation and a  Works Cited page.  Any essay that lacks either will receive a zero F.  Also, any information in the essay without a citation that is not common knowledge is considered plagiarism, which will also result in a grade of zero F.  Serious cases of plagiarism will be reported for Academic Dishonesty.  I have includes lots of notes, video lectures, and quizzes in the Essay #2 module to prepare you.  Learning these rules is up to you! (Remember that first discussion board about self-directed learning!) 


Rules to remember: 

· The essay must be typed and in MLA format.  

· It must also cite at least 3 scholarly sources, making sure to use proper MLA citation both in the text and in a Works Cited page.  

· Your 3 sources must come from CQ Researcher, Academic Search Complete,, and

· You may use more than three sources, but they can only come from one of these sources listed; information from any other source will be considered plagiarism and result in a grade of zero. 


I strongly recommend starting with  CQ Researcher, then moving to  NPR and  PBS Newshour, and filling any specific "holes" in your essay by searching  Academic Search Complete

Articles in  CQ Researcher,  NPR and  PBS Newshour are all pretty easy to understand; while  Academic Search Complete can provide good information, you run the risk of running into some overly technical articles as well.  

Do NOT use the dictionary, an encyclopedia, or Wikipedia as a source. 

 Any final draft without in-text citations or a Works Cited page will automatically receive a grade of zero. 

If you reference sources that you do not then include in your Works Cited page, that is also considered plagiarism and will result in a grade of zero.


The writing process:

Step 1:  Read about your topic.  Look up your term in CQ Researcher, PBS Newshour, and NPR. (There are plenty of articles on all of the topics; I've checked!)  Find interesting quotes. Decide what information you would want to quote directly, and what information you should paraphrase.   

Step 2:  Brainstorm and outline.  Now that you have a grasp on your topic, how would you explain it to a friend?  What was the most interesting thing that you read?  These should be the focus of your essay.  You’re not writing an encyclopedia entry; you are explaining your topic to the class. How would you explain your term to someone you know in real life?  

Write an outline.  Will you give some history about your term?  A specific example?  How will you connect your term to what’s happening right now? 

1. Introduction and thesis.

Grab your reader’s attention!  Maybe start with an interesting fact.

2.  First body paragraph

3.  Second body paragraph

4. Third body paragraph

5. Conclusion

(Depending on what you choose to include, you may have more than three body paragraphs; however, you should not have fewer.  Remember that your essay must be three full pages.)

Step 3:  Write the rough draft.  Use your outline as a guide and write the essay one paragraph at a time.  Start each paragraph with a topic sentence, add specific evidence from your sources, followed by your own analysis.  Always connect quotes and paraphrases to your topic sentence.  Don’t forget your parenthetical citations!  (See the video on building a paragraph using research in the module.)

(Remember to choose the PDF version in CQ Researcher to get the page numbers. Leaving off the page numbers or using incorrect page numbers when citing  CQ Researcher is a mistake that will cost points.  With the PBS Newshour and NPR articles, you will not have page numbers, so use only the author’s last name in the citations.) 

Add a Works Cited page after the rough draft is complete.

Step 4:   Revise and edit.  Make sure that you never use first person (I, we, my) or second person (you, your) pronouns.  (10 point penalty)  Check for fragments, run-ons, and comma splices.  Edit carefully; even small mistakes matter! 



Be prepared: 

Because this is our first essay that requires in-text citation, be sure to watch the videos in the Essay #2 module before you begin.  There are three video lectures: The first covers direct quotes and paraphrases, the second explains the rules of in-text citation, and the final video walks through writing a body paragraph using research.  All of these are very important and will impact your grade on the essay. 

Also, read through the notes posted in the Essay #2 module about signal phrases, integrating sources into the essay, and avoiding plagiarism.  There is also a 2016 MLA Guide PDF in the module.  Read pages 3-6 for examples of correct in-text citation.  There are also four quizzes due that will make sure you have mastered all of these skills before you finish the essay.  


Common pitfalls that cost students points: 

This essay may not include any instances of first person (I, me, we, us) or second person (you, your.)  (10-point penalty)

Your thesis statement must not be an announcement.  An example of an announcement: “In this essay, I will define…” (10-point penalty)

Make sure your essay is 3 full pages at least. (10 point penalty) If your rough draft is short, do not add filler words; instead, consider providing more specific examples; examples are always interesting! Don't write a boring paper!

After you receive your peer review, revise and edit again.