Assignment #2 Reflection (Due Wednesday March 19, 2014):
Part 1: After reading the essay “Self Reliance),” write a reflection essay about some personal experience that helps you understand Emerson’s essay. Type the 4-1/2 page essay in MLA format (your paper must be a minimum of 4 + complete pages for a passing grade and have a Works Cited page as page #6 and the following short essay titled “Writing Analysis” as page 7). Type a second short essay (350 words) describing your writing process and any problems you encountered–specifically discuss your invention strategy and MLA format. Attach this second essay to the back of the first essay, after the works cited. Follow classroom instructions carefully. Remember the audience for your work consists of classmates, in addition to the instructor.
You will find a copy of this essay on this site: Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Part 2: Submit research paper proposal (typed or handwritten).
Part 3: Submit revision on Assignment #1.
Writing Research Papers:
Purpose: Preparing an essay that uses some object or event to create a personal reflection about the subject can be interesting for the audience and frequently demonstrates a universal theme. Your ultimate purpose is to convince your audience that the connection you have made provides a valuable insight into the human condition.
Step 1: Brainstorming
Using notes taken in class or observations made while reading your assigned text, select a topic and then scribble down a few key points about the topic you selected. (In this case the text is Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.”
Step 2: Developing the Thesis Statement
Develop a specific question you would like to answer in your paper. The answer to this question will then become your thesis statement.
Here is a sample question: What (specific person, idea, object) caused me to understand how “Western Thought” and how the influence of Renaissance Italy became a foundation for American culture? As far back as the Romans, Italians seemed to value a democratic form of government.
Here is one thesis statement the question might engender: “When I visited Siena and saw Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s “Allegory of Good Government” fresco, I realized Americans value individuality, a free and orderly society, and the opportunity to live a financially independent life; these are the same values held by medieval Italians.”
Step 3: Developing a Rhetorical Strategy and Outline
Reflections are usually written with first person point of view. Remember to produce coherent paragraphs with 5 – 9 sentences. Always support your statements with facts.
First, introduce the specific person, idea, or object that caused your reflection.
Second, think of one or two significant events or moments in your life that made you understand about your topic (specific person, idea, or object). Here a significant event or moment refers to an experience from which you learned something you consider important. These events could have occurred at any time during your life. Though they could have occurred in formal learning situations, please do not limit your thinking to consideration of such times.
Third, describe the event or moment in your life, focusing on factual details.
Fourth, tell what you personally learned from the significant learning event or moment that you described above.
Step 4: Reviewing Reflection–use the following “invention sequence” for developing a reflection essay:
Select a topic (specific person, idea, or object)
Explore what you know about the object
Consider what experience in your own life caused you to learn from your topic (specific person, idea, or object)
Consider connections to your own experience
Research your topic
Consider your audience
Develop your argument
Anticipate and refute objections
Reflect on your ideas
Step 5: Presenting Your Idea in Print
Word Process your paper in MLA format. Proofread carefully. Did you use the spell check and grammar check? Did you cite your quotations or paraphrases? Did you include a works cited page?
Let your paper sit on your desk for a day or so and then revisit it. Can you improve your paper by clarifying your ideas and sentence structure? Did you miss any relevant points? Go back to the computer and make your final changes. You are on your way to improved writing skills.