We have been discussing the purpose of college in class, and we have read essays from the course pack that discuss the purpose of college and education in general. In this first essay, you will give a personal answer to the following question:
What is missing in your life that you hope college will fill?
Clearly, this is not a question with a single, or simple, answer. You will look at the readings and do some thinking over the weekend as you complete your draft. Today, we will begin to discuss the form of a college essay, and you will put your thoughts into that format, which I am outlining below. In your introduction, begin generally, discussing the many reasons why people decide to go to college. By the middle of the introduction, you will focus on yourself and your own reasons. Finally, you will end the introduction with a sentence that will be your thesis, your argument, which you will prove in the body of the essay.
In your body—two or three paragraphs—you will give reasons to support your thesis. You will begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence, a general statement about each reason. Back up each topic sentence with evidence which may be drawn from life, as you’ve observed it, or, better yet, specific personal experiences.
In your conclusion, restate your thesis (reword it). Then, go on to let the reader know why your individual answer may apply to others. Give us some advice, and tell us what we should do to achieve what you hope to achieve in college and beyond.
Yes, I’m assigning this essay very early. Yes, I will correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. However, as I grade the essay, I will pay most attention to structure—how clearly you make your argument, how well you support it, and whether you are able to apply it to the wider world.
Remember that my office hours are Monday 4-6 and Thursday 2:10-3:30, but I am also available by appointment. We will go over your drafts individually in class next week, but if you would like to have additional time with me, let me know, and I’ll schedule a meeting at a time that will suit us both.