Classics English literature

In this essay, you will be writing about success. As with the previous paper, you will draw from your own experience and compare your ideas with the writers we have been reading Your paper should address the following:

What is your definition of success? Whom do you consider to be successful? This can be someone famous or someone whom you know personally. Why do you consider them successful? (Use lots of details here!)

In your opinion, what are the key determiners of success? Education? Hard work? Class? Merit? Race? Or something else?

Discuss the concept of success with someone whom you consider to be successful. What is his/her definition of success? How is it similar/different from yours? Has he/she achieved success? If so, how? If not, does he/she plan to? What obstacles has he or she had to overcome to get to where he or she is today?

Compare/contrast your idea(s) with one or more of the writers we’ve read or people we’ve read about.
Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger
Horatio Alger by Harlon L. Dalton
Stephen Cruz by Studs Terkel

How do you hope to be a success? What are your long-range and short-range goals? What steps do you need to take to achieve that success? What obstacles might you encounter, and what will you do to overcome them? (Be specific as possible!) Your plans for success should reflect your definition of success stated earlier.

Consider how any forms of oppression might affect a person’s (including your own) ability to achieve success. (If oppression doesn’t apply, don’t discuss it.)

As with your first essay, this essay will be graded on how well you have organized your ideas, and how clearly you define success. Also, very important, is the amount of details in all parts of the essay. Notice that the minimum length is 1,000 words, and if the paper is well developed, it could go well over that number. The final draft should also be carefully proofread to avoid sentence fragments, run-on sentences, spelling, and grammar errors.

Try NOT to use the word ‘success’ in the title of your paper. Use an interesting title.

Make sure that your paper has an introduction which is either a narrative example, or anecdote, to lure your reader into reading your paper, or a paragraph which makes a general statement telling what your paper is about. But do not start out “My paper is about..” It is best to begin with a general statement in which you express your opinion (thesis) about the topic, and use much of the rest of the paper to support that opinion with examples. If you open with an anecdote, you should state your opinion at the end of the anecdote to show your reader both the purpose of the anecdote and to announce the thesis of the paper. (See examples at the end of these instructions.)

Sample Introductions

There I was, in the middle of my high school civics class, a freshman, and completely bored. This was an education? Mr. Verona was explaining, as usual, his interpretation of the history book we had all read. After accusing all of us as being too young and ignorant to comprehend what the simple minded (I thought) text had told us, he proceeded to go over every point made in the book. We sat in long rows, facing Mr. Verona, staring, as much as possible, at his ill-chosen plaid suit and pointy toed shoes, at the clock ticking slowly above his head, and at the other poor, forgotten minds in the classroom. My best friend, Gracie, and I sat across from each other, and when we weren¿t rolling our eyes, we were saying things in our newly found code, American Sign Language. Yes, we were typically bored, eye-rolling teenagers, but looking back now, I know that Mr. Verona was simply not making the best use of class time by going over the information we had already studied. Our voices seemed unimportant, our ideas too “stupid” to be expressed. Eventually, when I got to college, I was to experience a less teacher-centered classroom, but high school, for me, was a wasteland, a firsthand experience of what Paolo Freire, in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, calls the “banking concept” of education.

Analytical introduction:

From the age of five, until the age of eighteen, children march dutifully through your educational system, experiencing various forms of teaching that either stimulate them to learn about their world and go on to become educated, thinking citizens, or, in one way or another, discourage them from wanting to learn and wanting to rise above the class into which they were born. It is this educational experience that can determine a person¿s self-image, as well as the quality and quantity of tools he or she will have to be able to have a liberated, unobstructed way toward success. For the most part, our schools, unfortunately, are designed to limit the ways in which students learn and develop such tools. Paolo Freire, in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, expresses this limitation as “the banking concept” of education, in which students are simply depositories of information given by the teacher, information that is, itself, limited to what the teacher thinks we should know, in order to stay in their pre-determined social category. I agree with Freire’s theory and have experienced its practice during my own days in high school and college.


General Hints:

Your essay will be evaluated on the completeness of the development of your ideas, on correct and effective use of citations (See the uploaded material I upload on how to cite and quote on the Course Information page.) to the works we have read, and on your attention to proofreading, including spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Although part of your grade will be based on the mechanics of your writing, I am also interested in how you organize your essay and to what extent you use details to describe and illustrate your ideas. What mean by ‘details’ is that you try to give us a ‘word picture’ of your experiences, telling the reader ‘who, what, when, where, etc.’ Finally, make sure you follow the directions outlined in the assignment!

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