Your paper should be formatted according to the MLA style. Make sure each new paragraph is indented. Double space between paragraphs (in other words, no extra spacing between paragraph) and throughout the paper?your choice if you want to do this with the header with your name and class information. Margins should be set at 1? all around. ???
Give your essay a witty title and center it. ?If you can?t come up with a title on the first draft, just title it ?Rough Draft,? or ?Discovery Draft,? but be sure to come up with a title for the final draft. Capitalize the first and last words of the title and all other words in the title except articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions.
Select one topic or idea that has been discussed in one of the assigned essays you have read so far. Write on any topic you like, as long as it involves the assigned readings. Be sure to build the paper around your own central thesis, a point you develop throughout the paper. Do not just summarize views presented by an author. Use selective material from at least one author?and, if appropriate, from other sources, from your own experience, or from the experience of others?to develop and support the point you?re making. You may question or disagree with an author?s ideas, but do not misrepresent an author. If your own perspective contradicts the views presented by an author, contrast it with the author?s views.
When referring to another author, either summarize that author?s ideas in your own words or use the author?s exact words. Do not take an author?s words and just change a few details?that?s both bad writing and a form of plagiarism. If you use an author?s exact words, put quotation marks around those words and cite them correctly. You must cite all quotations. Quotations must be 100% accurate. ?If you omit words, indicate the omission by using ellipses; if you insert words, use brackets around the words you insert. ?
A ?formula? that works well for developing paragraphs in a paper such as this is to present your idea, support it with specific information (perhaps an example or a quotation), then explain how this example or quotation supports your idea. While you need not follow this ?formula,? it usually leads to strong and unified paragraphs.
Some things to keep in mind as you write this paper:
Build your paper around a clear and specific central idea
State this idea clearly and precisely in a thesis statement
Be sure the paper develops your idea and is not just a summary of other writers? ideas
Support every statement your make
Punctuate and cite the quotations correctly
Make your opening paragraph interesting; ?hook? the reader’s ?attention
Make your points strongly, then support them; avoid wishy-washy statements beginning with ?I think? or ?It seems?
Organize and paragraph the paper carefully; use strong, clear transitions
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