Sunday, February 28, 2010

General Issues from Opinion Essay One

As you prepare your future opinion essays, there are a few things to keep in mind that came up as I graded the first batch.
  • Reread the Prompt: Several people did not do things that the prompt said to do, whether it was to use a certain heading, create a title for your essay, or write for a particular audience.  I always recommend that you reread the prompt for any assignment in any class before you turn it in to make sure you include all of the elements you are supposed to include.
  • Use Quotations: Often, the best way to prove your point is to use quotations from the articles you are discussing and the texts from class to which you are connecting those articles. Yes, you do not have a lot of space, so every word matters.  Sometimes, though, the best words to use are in quotations.
  • Proofread:  Many people had their grades lowered because of too many sentence-level issues.  Go over your essays when you are done to make sure you are putting your best work forward to be graded.  One issue with which many people had problems concerned commas after introductory clauses and phrases.  You may also want to check out a Facebook page that shows how punctuation can save lives.

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