Erie Community College
English Composition Assignment
Interdisciplinary Course Materials
English 021/ 023
Writing a Persuasive Personal Essay
For this assignment, the student will be asked to read two selections written by chefs about their work, and then explain in an essay of about 500 words why he or she would or would not be a good chef. Author:
Phyllis MacCameron (North Campus English Department) Curriculum Expert:
Paul Stenzel (North Campus Culinary Arts Department) Semester Created:
This assignment will ask you to read two selections and then to write an essay that will persuade its reader that what you are saying is correct.
Print out the assignment and its related materials, which are in an accompanying file.
Your essay should be word-processed if at all possible. Whether it is printed or not, it should conform to the basic requirements for college essays: it should be presented neatly in black ink, with writing on one side of the paper only. If it is word-processed, it should be double-spaced. Whether your paper is word-processed or not, you should use a heading that gives your name, the course number, the number of the assignment, and the date. The essay should have a title.
Things to Learn Before Starting the Project
This assignment directs you to write a college essay of about two pages. The essay is a personal essay, based on your analysis of your own skills and personality. Since it is required to be a persuasive essay—one that convinces your reader that what you are saying is correct—you will need to be sure you know how to support a main idea with supporting details.
This means that you should understand the concepts of
• the thesis statement (a statement of the overall main idea of an essay or longer work), • the topic sentence (a statement of the overall main idea of a paragraph), and • the supporting detail.
Each paragraph in an essay of this kind is usually a presentation of a single supporting point, and its topic sentence (the main idea of a paragraph) states that point. But that supporting point, being the main idea of a paragraph, will have its own supporting material. It will be up to you to make sure you develop your paragraphs adequately and build your essay in a sensible way.
Your textbook should be helpful in explaining these concepts.
The Project Assignment
First, read the accompanying materials, a short statement by Chef Geir Kilen and a longer essay by Joseph George entitled “Becoming a Professional Chef.” These materials should provide you with ideas for your essay.
In an essay of about 500 words, write to convince your reader either that you would be a very good chef or that you would not do that job well.
If you refer in your composition to ideas or information from either article, refer to the author by name. If you use the words of either writer, use the writer’s name AND use quotation marks. Here are two examples of sentences that make adequate reference for this type of writing:
As Chef George points out, a chef needs to be able to tolerate heat.
Chef Geir Kilen tells us that for him “it is not ONLY about money.”
In later courses, you will be asked to use systems that are more complicated than this for documenting references. The skills you are asked to practice here are the foundation of all those skills. In composing sentences like the ones above, you will be preparing for later work.
A note about “I”:
In general, college writing does not feature the word “I” often at all. The exception is the personal essay, which can hardly go forward without “I.” However, even in a composition that depends upon the use of “I,” you should work to avoid overuse of that word. It may be possible to rephrase some of your sentences so that they do not hit the reader...
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