Essay Reading & Writing Assignments

Sources for essays must be deemed academically credible. A minimum of 2 sources must have been published in the current year.

Please avoid the following:

1. No encyclopedia - including Wikipedia
2. No dictionaries
3. No authorless websites - Websites like The American Red Cross or UC Santa Cruz are considered to be corporate authors and are thus acceptable. Newspaper editorials also do not list authors. Use corporate or institutional authors in the place of individual people and cite normally.
4. No quote web sites like Brainy Quotes or Great Quotes. For example:  "All people have a basic human right to preserve their own heritage," David Duke.
5. No blogs without full names.
6. No About.com; howto.com; and other authorless websites.

When you cite a source, you have made the determination that it is academically credible. If it is not, your paper will be penalized. Don't forget to use the CRAAP test.

CRAAP Test Video - Are your sources any good? CRAAP Website
CRAAP - Chico State - pdf

Attributes of an excellent essay:

* Create an argument that is independent of any provided source.
* Evaluate your chosen sources. Do not just use them. (Criticize, Discuss, Praise)
* Write in a good, academic, confident tone. 

 

Argumentation (p. 493)


Guns on Campus

Topic: Seven states (Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin) allow students and teachers to carry concealed weapons to school. Write an argumentative essay in which you defend, challenge or qualify this practice.
Audience:  your fellow students, college community, parents - maintain a formal, academic tone.
Purpose: To establish guidelines for carrying arms to school
Guns on Campus Resources

Sources: 5 minimum, 10 citations minimum. At least 2 sources must have current year of publication.
Format: Chicago 2 (author/date)
________         

 

College Relationships

Topic: California passed a "clear, active consent" law for college relationships. "The rule defines consent as 'an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.'" Write an argumentative essay in which you defend, challenge or qualify this law.
Audience:  your fellow students, college community, parents - maintain a formal, academic tone.
Purpose: To establish guidelines for college dating.
College Relationships Resources

 

Sources: 5 minimum, 10 citations minimum. 11 footnotes minimum. One citation must be a Discussion Footnote. At least 2 sources must have current year of publication.
Format: Chicago 1 (notes/bibliography)

________

 

Racially Based Bias

Topic: Implicit Bias. The definition of this term is "when we have attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge." The recent phenomenon of "Black Lives Matter" implies implicit bias on the part of law enforcement. Conversely, to think that all police operate from a system of prejudice is also a phenomenon of implicit bias. Some students have displayed bias in selecting roommates at college. Hillary Clinton said, "implicit bias is a problem for everyone... [because we] jump to conclusions about each other." Write an argumentative essay in which you defend, challenge or qualify this state. See website.
Audience:
your fellow students, college community, parents - maintain a formal, academic tone.
Purpose: To combat implicit bias
Implicit Bias Resources

Sources: 5 minimum, 10 citations minimum. 11 footnotes minimum. One citation must be a Discussion Footnote. At least 2 sources must have current year of publication.
Format: Chicago 1 (notes/bibliography)

 


College and Race:

Topic: Write and expository paper on Colleges and Race. (Admissions, Sensitivity, Housing, Dating, Religion, etc.) See a list of possible sources.
Audience: your fellow students, teachers, parents
Purpose: to inform
Sources: College web sites, College newspapers, DeVitis, WWW - minimum of 6 sources and 10 citations.
At least 2 sources must have current year of publication.
Format: Chicago 1
(notes bibliogrpahy)


 

College Housing

Topic: "Should Colleges Allow Students to House Themselves in the Dorms in Any Housing Preference They Want?" (Co-Ed? Gay? Hispanic ONLY? Black ONLY? White ONLY? Jewish Theme?)
Audience: your fellow students, college community, parents - maintain a formal, academic tone.
Purpose: set a policy for your college
Sources: Parker, Davis, and 3 more sources. 10 citations minimum. 1 discussion footnote required.
Format: Chicago 2 (author/date)
         Ethnic Housing Resources


 

Science Writing
 

Topic: Pick a scientific topic. Feel free to write about something you are currently studying (biology, marine biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, etc.)
Audience: Scientific community
Purpose: Convey a scientific precept
Sources: 1 science book; 1 or 2 science journals or magazines; 2 or more credible sources. At least 3 of your 5 sources MUST be published in  the current year.
10 citations minimum; multiple source citation required (at least one of the ten citaitons)
Format: CBE/CSE C-S

Suggested Topics:

Topic -  Human Brain Development
"Cooking Up Bigger Brains"  - Rachael Moeller Gorman (also Moodle)
"Evolving Bigger Brains Through Cooking: A Q&A with Richard Wrangham" -  Rachael Moeller Gorman  (also Moodle)
Human Brains Getting Smaller - NPR
Learning Domains/Styles? NPR
Teen Brains - NGM
"Human Gene" ARS Technica
Brain Chapter from AP Psych in Moodle

 

Topic - Nanotechnology

Technology is not only expanding, it's also getting smaller. Nanotechnology is the development of technology and machines at the molecular or atomic levels. These technologies could be injected into our bodies and become very useful in combating diseases, old age, and illnesses.

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
What is nanotechnology?
Developments in nanotechnolgy
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Nanotech for high schoolers.

AP Biology Students:
Topic B - The Effects of Lactose on Yeast Fermentation 
Topic C - The Effects of Temperature on Yeast Fermentation 
Topic D - The Effects of PH on Yeast Fermentation 

Topic - Human Induced Global Warming?
The controversy:  The New York Times, ProCon.org, Science Daily 2014, LiveScience 2014
Humans are to blame:  Science Daily National Geographic, Washington Post 2014
Nature, not humans at fault: Prof at Univ Missouri; National Geographic, Fox News 2014
 

 

Topic:   Ebola
Approaches may include: 1. general scientific information, 2. quarantines, 3. dangers/likelihood of a pandemic, 4. appropriate international response
CDC (Center for Disease Control)
WHO (World Health Organization)
CNN News
More CDC
BBC News
NYTimes News
Science Journals

 

Controversial Topic Essay
  2014 Essay Contest - Legischool Project
Gun Control vs. Gun Rights

Choosing your weakest citation format: APA, Chicago 1, Chicago 2, CSE - write a paper following the Legischool protocols (less than 750 words)
Requirements: 5 sources, 10 citations minimum, at least 1 discussion footnote, at least 1 citation with multiple sources.
All sources must be academically credible. (CRAAP Test)
Extra Credit for Entering Contest (up to 50 pts) [bcc entry email to me - docraygen.aplanguage@gmail.com ]

A ton of resources: CNN Special

 

Cause & Effect (p. 265)
"A Peaceful Woman Explains Why She Carries a Gun" Linda Hasselstrom (p. 298)
"The Black Table is Still There" - Lawrence Otis Graham (p. 294)

Topic: Psychology, Economics, or American Government - Why did/does it happen?
Audience: General Public - maintain a formal, academic tone
Purpose: Explain a social phenomena happening today
Sources: One of your text books and 4 more sources. 10 citations minimum.
Format: APA
Use Terms: Immediate Cause, Remote Cause, Main Cause, Contributory Cause
 

 

 

 
   
Comparison & Contrast (p. 321)
"Sex, Lies, and Conversation" - Deborah Tannen (p. 367) - also in Moodle
 Kill 'Em! Crush 'Em! Eat 'Em raw!PDF document  (Moodle)
  •  Between the Sexes, A great Divide (Moodle)

Topic:  Compare & Contrast:   Men and Women  or  2 colleges
Audience: Other Students - but maintain a formal, academic tone.
Purpose: Informational 
Sources: 1 print source, 1 media source, and 3 more sources. 10 citations minimum.
Format:
MLA

Choose Point by Point or Subject by Subject design.
           Dr. Jennifer Ashton,  "
Size Matters: How Male, Female Brains Compare" The Early Show. CBS News Aired September 22, 2010
           Miranda Hitti, "US Life Expectancy Best Ever, Says CDC" WebMD. February 28, 2005.
 

 

 

 
   
Exemplification (p. 169)
"The Peter Principle" - Peter & Hull (p. 181)
"Just Walk on By..." Brent Staples (p. 197)

Topic: Pick a cliche, a school phenomenon, or a social networking web site - explain its popularity
Audience: General Public - maintain a formal, academic tone
Purpose: Explain by providing a sample and explication
Sources: 1 print source and 4 more sources. 10 citations minimum.
Format: Chicago 1
 
Classification & Division (p. 397)
"College Pressures" - William Zinsser (p. 390)
"Sexism in English..." - Alleen Pace Nilsen (p. 413)
"The Ways We Lie" - Stephanie Ericsson - (p. 426)

Group or Individual writing  - minimum 2 classes/divisions (if you work in a group, there must be the same number of
      classifications/divisions    eg. three people = three classifications/divisions)
Topic: Kinds of colleges, Kinds of scholarships, Kinds of phone, Kinds of athletes, Kinds of music - explicate and categorize
      - make a point
Audience: General Public - maintain a formal, academic tone
Purpose: Explain by providing a sample and explication
Sources: 3 sources & 5 citations per person. MUST have print sources. Individual = 5 sources, 10 citations
Format: Chicago 2
 

Combining the Patterns
"A Modest Proposal" - Jonathan Swift (p. 648)
What is Satire?
The Onion
Writing Satire

Assignment: write a satire - your own "Modest Proposal" - could be about school or college or dating
No references required.
Partners are allowed.
 

Definition (p. 455)
"Tortillas" - Jose Antonio Burciaga (p. 470)
"I Want a Wife" - Judy Brady (p. 474)
"Does America Still Exist?" - Richard Rodriguez (p. 482)
Description (p. 119)
  "More than Just a Shrine..." - Mary Gordon (p. 142)|
"Words Left Unspoken" - Leah Hager Cohen (p. 133)
Process (p. 217)
"Anatomy of a Joke" - Garry Trudeau (p. 233)
"The Embalming of Mr. Jones" - Jessica Mitford (p. 248)
Narration (p. 69)
John Adams - David McCullough -in Moodle
"My Mother Never Worked" - Donna Smith-Yackel (p. 94)
"Thirty-eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police" - Martin Gansberg (p. 99)

Topic: Leader as a Catalyst for Change - Narrate a Leader's Episode in Life -make a point, not a report of info
Audience: General Public - maintain a formal, academic tone.
Purpose: Informational 
Sources: 2 PRINT sources and 3 more sources. 10 citations minimum.
Format: MLA