CC: Eng 100: Assignments

Grade Breakdown

  • Participation: 10%
  • Grammar Quizzes: 10%
  • Essay #1: 5%
  • Essay #2: 10%
  • Essay #3: 15%
  • Essay #4: 25%
  • Final Exam: 20%


This grade includes taking part in class discussions, talking to me during office hours, and corresponding by email. Please note that you don’t get marks for being right in class or just for attending class; you have to actually participate.

Grammar Quizzes

You will write 8 to 10 grammar quizzes over the course of the semester–as many as we can fit in–and your grade is based on how many of them you write, not on how well you do them.


Essay #1: The Ancient Appeals

Length: 600 words

For this essay, you will respond to one of three topics relating to the Ancient Appeals (pathos, ethos, and logos). Your essay must have a thesis, defined sections, and evidence. You may bring a copy of the essay to the exam. There will be one topic for each text we have read so far:

  • Patrick Stokes’ “No, You’re Not Entitled to Your Opinion”
  • Paolo Freire, “The Banking Concept of Education”
  • George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”


Essay 2: Figurative Language

For this essay, you will find two or three examples of at least two different kinds of figurative language in one of the three texts below. Your essay must do three things:

  1. It must explain how your examples qualify as that particular kind of figurative language (i.e., how you can tell it’s a motif, how you can tell it’s a symbol, etc.).
  2. It must explain how your examples are related to each other (i.e., pick examples that are related to each other).
  3. It must explain how your examples are related to the text’s argument (i.e., how your examples support the thesis, how their imagery is related to the main theme, etc.).

The Texts

  • Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”
  • Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, “from Decolonising the Mind”
  • Martin Luther King “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

The Draft

Due: 17 February (written in class)

Length: at least three pages

You will write a draft of your essay in-class in on Wednesday, 17 February (Week #4). You may bring your textbook to class (or copies of the readings), and you may bring a dictionary (but you may not lend or borrow a dictionary). You will have one hour to write your draft

The Essay

Due: 5pm, 25 February (Friday)

Length: 750 words

You will revise your draft (above) into a finished essay. I will send you comments on your draft right away, and you should come to office hours to talk about how to improve it. Your final essay must have the same examples as the draft, but you can change anything else, including but not limited to the quotations you picked, the wording, the sequence of the sections, etc.

To submit your essay, send the text file to Orion’s email ( You can send it as an MS Word file (.DOC and .DOCX), an OpenOffice/LibreOffice file (.ODT), or Apple Pages (.PAGES). Do not send in Adobe (.PDF).

To determine whether the essay comes in on time, I will look at the time stamp on the email. If it comes in after the start of class, you take a -1 penalty. It takes another -1 penalty for every 24 hours that I do not receive an essay.


Annotated Bibliography

Length: five (5) sources

This assignment is a formal report of the research you’ll do for Essay #3, the Research Paper. To do the Annotated Bibliography, you must first pick a topic for Essay #3 (see below).

Once you have a topic, you must find five (5) scholarly sources that you could use for Essay #3. The assignment you hand in will contain those fives sources written in MLA format (just like your Works Cited lists) as well as a two-sentence description of the source. The first sentence describes the text’s content: its claim and its evidence. The second sentence describes how that text is related to your topic. Click here to see a sample of the proper format.


Essay #3: Research Paper

Length: 1500 words

This essay requires that you pick a topic and research it using acceptable, academic sources: academic journals, books from university presses or other academic publishers, or textbooks. You may use some non-academic sources if it would be appropriate for your topic. There is no minimum number of sources. You must use as many or as few as you need to use in order to make your point. That means that I will grade your essay based, in part, on how well you research it.


The First Draft

You will bring a first draft to class one week before the essay is due. It must be a complete essay (beginning, middle, and end), and printed copy. You must also email a copy of your draft to me by 8am. I will not accept your final essay if you have not sent the draft.



NB: You must submit your essays by email to You may submit the files in the following formats:

  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice (.ODT)
  • MS Word (.DOCX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGE)

If you submit and essay that is not in one of the acceptable formats, you will receive an “F.”




Doris Lessing, “On Not Winning the Nobel Prize”
  • What is Lessing’s implicit solution to the lack of books in Zimbabwe? How effective would it be? Do research on Zimbabwean education and publishing to support your answer.


Malcolm Gladwell, “None of the Above”
  • Gladwell claims that IQ tests measure a person’s ability to think in abstract categories rather than measuring intelligence. Is he right? Do research on IQ testing to support your answer. Based on that research, you may attempt to answer the question “Are IQ tests racially biased?”


Adrienne Rich, “Taking Women Students Seriously”
  • Rich argues that having higher standards for women students, not lower, would help combat the sexism that inevitably exists in the classroom. Do research on other kinds of feminist teaching and compare them to Rich (i.e., point out similarities and differences as well as any bigger trends in the theories).


Emily Martin, “The Egg and the Sperm”
  • Martin concludes that biology textbooks in her day describe the egg and the sperm as if they were adult human beings who behave like stereotypical heterosexual lovers. Do textbooks still describe them that way today? What kinds of metaphors or analogies to today’s textbooks use to describe fertilization?


Peter Singer, “Speciesism and the Equality of Animals”
  • Singer argues against eating meat and using animals for testing under any and all cases. Research other arguments list his in order to find the strongest combination reasons against eating meat and against animal testing


Special Topic
  • Create your own topic! The primary focus of your essay must be one of the texts on the course, and it must be a topic that relies on outside research. You must make an argument of your own that is based on multiple sources. You may not write on either of the texts you used for Essay #1 and #2.