The topics (see below) vary and you’re free to focus your essay as you want, but there are objective standards by which you’ll be graded. In short, the essay’s ideas, perceptions, or impressions should be individual and interesting; its organization should be coherent and suggest a significant theme; and its language should be personal, vivid, and clear. The reader should enjoy the essay as he/she is reading it, and should want to reflect on the essay, or its topic, when he/she has finished reading. In The New Oxford Guide to Writing, Thomas Kane gives this advice: “Good writing has personality. Readers enjoy sensing a mind at work, hearing a clear voice, responding to an unusual sensibility.”
Of the essence is sensitivity: to the meaning, or just the sensation, of an experience and to the effects of your language. I expect you to be thoughtful and interesting; I encourage you to be creative as well.
• In the heading, after “EN100” put a slash and then the number of the topic to which your essay responds. • If the essay has an explicit thesis, underline it. If the essay has an implicit thesis, skip a line after the last paragraph and then state the thesis. • At least one metaphor and two similes. Put the metaphor in bold, and underline the similes. • At least four paragraphs
• An original, imaginative title that reflects the essay, in particular the thesis • 350-450 words
• MLA format
Write about one of the following topics.
1. Narrate a time when you had to choose between what was best for or most appealing to you and what was best for or most appealing to someone else. How did your personal goal or priority conflict with the other person’s? Why did you feel an obligation to that person? How did you resolve the conflict? What were the consequences of your choice?
2. Consider this commentary on the Odyssey:
Seen from the perspective of his wanderings, Odysseus’...