OPTION ONE. Your Progress as a Reader, a Critical Thinker, and a Writer.

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OPTION ONE. Your Progress as a Reader, a Critical Thinker, and a Writer.

Write a persuasive essay in which you argue that you have made progress as a reader, a critical thinker, and/or a writer over the past twelve weeks. Support every assertion you make with evidence. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, your notes, your essays, the essay feedback, your homework assignments, your experiences in or related to this course.

Final Exam Goals/Grading Criteria (OPTION ONE):

1) An introductory paragraph with appropriate background information that prepares your reader for your thesis.
2) A thesis that makes a persuasive claim and previews your support for that claim.
3) Focused proof paragraphs that include clear topic sentences that provide a POINT in support of the thesis, specific INFORMATION (examples/details) in support of the point, and EXPLANATION or analysis of how your information supports your point.
4) Refutation of opposing claims. (This may take the shape of acknowledging difficulties you continue to face, while asserting that you have nonetheless made progress or will continue to develop in the areas you find most challenging.)
5) A conclusion paragraph that restates the main points of your essay and addresses the significance of your argument.
6) Unity, coherence, and organization of your ideas—everything in the essay should work together to support your central claim/thesis.
7) Sentence clarity and correctness.
8) At least two quotations from your essays, class discussions, lectures, or handouts to demonstrate your points. (No citation is required; make the source clear in context.)
9) Thoughtfulness and persuasiveness.

Preparation:

o Review your midterm, your essays and my feedback, your notes on class discussion, and your homework assignments, taking notes on areas in which you have grown.

o Respond to the prewriting questions below.
o Write a thesis that incorporates the points you develop in your prewriting responses.
o Write a blocking plan for your essay with reference to supporting examples where appropriate. To demonstrate your

writing progress, for example, you might include quotes from an earlier essay and a later essay to demonstrate how a particular writing skill has improved. (The process of creating a blocking plan will be useful, even though you will not be able to reference it during the exam.)

Prewriting Questions (Your essay does not need to address all of these topics. The purpose of these questions is to help you generate ideas):

1. What strengths and weaknesses did you enter the class with?
2. What specific writing skills have you learned in the course, and how did you learn them?
3. What reading skills or strategies have you developed? Do you approach texts any differently?
4. Think back to the discussions we’ve had in class and in groups. What did you gain from interacting with your peers? What did you gain from sharing your own thoughts with the class?
5. This class emphasized critical thinking. Have you developed new habits of thought? Do you, in some small way, think about the ideas and information you confront in your daily life any differently?
6. Think back to the themes for each unit—the individual and the community, advertising, and poverty. Reflect on the reading, discussion, and your own writing process for each. How did your understanding of these issues change? Which of these units had the most impact on your thinking about its topic? Why?
7. In each paper, what were your goals and how did you achieve them? Which assignment do you feel forced you to stretch you abilities to develop as a writer?

*Make sure you take the time to review and edit your essay.

*In a timed writing exam, you should focus on getting down all of the main parts of your essay. You will be graded more on coherent structure, sophisticated ideas, and accomplishment of the writing task than on perfect, elegant sentences. If you blank on a word, or if you’re not sure how to put your ideas into words, don’t get bogged down and linger on a single sentence. Get it down on the page as best you can and move on.

Final Exam: OPTION TWO. An Argument of Your Own

Main Task: Write a persuasive essay in which you argue a point about a topic of your choosing. What’s most important is that you take a clear and arguable stance on an issue. Support every assertion you make in your proof paragraphs. In the refutation section of your essay, explain and refute arguments that contradict your position.

Evidence: Two quotations are required from at least two different text sources. You may, of course, use more sources. You may conduct your research online or in the library. Use your own best judgment to determine whether sources are reliable.

• One of the best resources to begin with is “Opposing Viewpoints in Context.” 1) Go to the Foothill Library webpage. 2) Click on “Articles and Databases” under “Research Resources.” 3) Search for “Opposing Viewpoints in Context.” 4) Log in if you’re off-campus. 5) Click on “Browse Issues” to see a vast array of topics. For each of these topics, the website provides many different texts that represent different perspectives on the issue.

Citation: Please include in-text citation where appropriate. Rather than a Works Cited page, please just link to your sources at the end of your essay.

Introduction (1 paragraph): Provide context for your argument. What does your reader need to know about the topic in order to understand your thesis? Why is this an important issue?
Thesis (1-2 sentences): In clear and persuasive language, state your position and preview your evidence in support of that position.

Proof (2-3 paragraphs): Every proof paragraph should begin by stating one specific claim in support of your thesis. Then provide concrete examples, quotations, experiences, or observations in order to prove to the reader that this claim is valid. Finally, analyze and explain the evidence. (USE PIE.)
Refutation (1 paragraph): Explain why some might disagree with you. Represent this counterargument clearly and accurately before refuting it. (USE PIE.)

Conclusion (1 paragraph): What’s important about this argument? How might this issue affect your reader and how could your reader benefit from adopting your position? What bigger-picture questions or issues might your argument shed light on?

Final Exam Goals/Grading Criteria (Option Two):.
1. The introduction engages and prepares the reader, establishing the context for your argument.
2. The thesis communicates a clear, compelling argument and previews the support for that argument.
3. The essay uses adequate evidence in order to successfully prove the claim made in the thesis.
4. All of the proof paragraphs have a clear connection to the thesis, creating a unified essay.
5. Each proof paragraph has a topic sentence that previews the content of the paragraph and clearly supports the thesis. (Effective use of the P.I.E strategy.)
6. Each proof paragraph has evidence that proves the claim made in the topic sentence. (Effective use of the P.I.E strategy.)
7. Each proof paragraph includes analysis of the evidence and an explanation of how the evidence proves the point made in the topic sentence. (Effective use of the P.I.E strategy.)
6. The essay engages and refutes a position that opposes your own.
7. The conclusion answers the question, “so what?” It explains the “big picture” implications of your argument.
8. The essay is carefully proofread and edited. It is mostly free of grammatical and mechanical errors.
9. The essay integrates at least three quotations with rhetorical effectiveness.
10. The essay is original, creative, and thoughtful, demonstrating the critical reading and thinking skills practiced throughout the quarter. It effectively persuades the reader.

Final Exam: OPTION THREE. An Analysis of Your Own.

Main Task: Write an essay in which you analyze the strategies used by any work of art or media. This could be a piece of music, a movie, a TV show, a work of visual art, a novel, a poem, etc. Synthesize the content of the work of art and a single text about the strategies used by that type of work of art to examine how it successfully appeals to listeners, viewers, etc. Finally, explore the significance of your analysis.

Analysis is a type of synthesis in which you use the ideas of someone else in order to examine whatever you’re trying to understand. The ideas you use are referred to as an analytical principle. The thing you’re analyzing is referred to as an object of analysis.

Evidence: At least two quotations are required from the text that provides your analytical principle. You will also be referencing the work of art or media you’re analyzing throughout the essay.

  • Object of analysis: A work of art or media—a piece of music, a movie, a TV show, a work of visual art, a novel, a poem, etc. You would treat this exactly like you treated the advertisement in Essay Three.
  • Analytical principle: If you’re writing about a piece of music, this would be a text that explores the strategies and techniques of music in general. If you’re writing about a film, this would be a text that explores the strategies and techniques of film in general. You would use this exactly like you used Fowles’s “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals” in Essay Three.

Citation: Please include in-text citation where appropriate. Rather than a Works Cited page, please just link to your sources at the end of your essay.

Introduction (1 paragraph): Provide general context about the type of art or media you’re analyzing. Then use the majority of the paragraph to introduce the object of analysis—this should be a description of the specific work of art or media you’ll be analyzing that orients the reader.
Bridge (1 paragraph): Introduce the text you’re using, including the author and the title. Then summarize the key ideas from the text you’ll be using to analyze the work of art or media.

Thesis (1-2 sentences): Synthesize the text and the work of art or media. What strategy from the text does the work of art or media use?
Proof (2-3 paragraphs): Assert a connection between one element of the work of art and the strategy described in the bridge/thesis. Describe the element in detail then explain why and how it contributes to the work of art’s overall strategy. Use quotes from text to help explain.

Conclusion (1 paragraph): Explore the significance of your analysis. If you’ve analyzed a work of contemporary art or media, what does it reveal about its audience—that is, our contemporary culture? If the work of art or media came from a different time period, what does it reveal about the culture and audience for whom it was originally intended? Or, what does it say about our contemporary culture that it still values this older piece of art or media?

Final Exam Goals/Grading Criteria (Option 3): These goals will be incorporated into the grading criteria for the essay. 1) Accurately summarize a work of art or media, and accurately summarize the main ideas of a relevant text.
2) Successfully communicate an analytical principle (from the text) and apply it to an object of analysis (work of art).
3) Create a thesis statement that provides a clear, compelling analysis and previews the support for that analysis.

4) Substantiate your thesis using analysis, supporting evidence, and logical organization.
5) Achieve a unified and focused statement with your essay—everything in the essay should work together to support your central claim.
6) Incorporate an introduction that engages the reader and prepares the reader for the thesis.
7) Incorporate well-developed supporting paragraphs using the PIE strategy.
8) Incorporate a conclusion paragraph that explores the significance of your analysis.
9) Write clear and correct sentences while using diction and tone appropriate for the academic community.
10) Integrate quotations and paraphrases with rhetorical effectiveness.
11) Be original, creative, and thoughtful, demonstrating the critical reading and thinking skills practiced throughout the unit.

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