English 1101 paper 1, fall 2020

Paper 1

Read every word below carefully, more than once, before starting your essay.

Choose one of the following options and respond in a carefully structured essay of 700-1000 words (in the body of the essay, excluding headers, name, date, title, works cited entries, etc.). Raise a central question at the end of your introduction that the rest of the paper strives to answer.

For details of the physical formatting of your paper on papermargins, headers, titles, etc.see the simple stuff page. For guidelines on quotation and documentation, see the quotations page. All options require quotations from the readings, so a works cited page is necessary.

I encourage you to seek my help with your paper outside of class. I cannot respond to whole drafts through email, but I will be glad to go over your paper from start to finish with you in person or by videoconference in Teams or Zoom before you submit it for grading. If my office hours don't mesh with your schedule, we can make other arrangements. 

I am neither expecting nor encouraging you to use any sources beyond those assigned as readings for this class. Understand that if you bring in quotes from web sources, you will still need to document citations correctly according to the quotations page, but they will not count towards quotation requirements for the assignment.

Paper proposals: Before you begin writing the essay, construct a topic sentence outline just as we did in two writing exercises: begin the outline with the literal question your paper addresses, then give full topic sentences that answer the question directly for each primary point in your paper (i.e. for each body paragraph), just as they will appear in the essay itself, and conclude the outline with the paper's overall thesis, answering the central question directly and combining your essential points from the various topic sentences. See sample topic sentence outlines on my writing tips page and on the paper proposal assignment page.

Works cited info: For bibliographic information on any readings handouts not taken from our 12th edition textbook, such as "My Husband's Nine Wives," for instance, see the referring pages from our schedule of readings and assignments (the pages from which you loaded the Adobe PDF files).

1) Mary Eberstadt argues in "Eminem Is Right" that 21st-century rock and rap lyrics convey the damaging impact of a deteriorating family structure. Quoting from the article at least three times, and including additional song lyrics of your own choosing, explain how rock and rap lyrics do indeed demonstrate psychological damage or pain resulting from changes in the "traditional family."

2) We have seen how arriving at a comprehensive definition of "family" is difficult. Argue against Lewis Coser's definition of family as outdated or too limited (or too broad), and offer your own definition of family encompassing the significant changes in typical family structure over recent decades. While your definition need not deal only with types of families recognized by law and tradition, you must restrict your definition to groups that include one or more parents and children—in other words, your soccer team, your street gang, your AA group, etc. are off limits. Quote from appropriate class reading(s) on this topic at least three times.

3) Both "Letting Go" and "Big Mother Is Watching Us" argue that parents are harming children with their dramatically increased involvement in their children's lives. Explore this topic: consider different ways parents may indeed harm or cause problems for their children by watching over them so closely. Include at least three quotations, total, from these articles.

4) Develop an argument on the issue of whether plural marriage (polygamy) is more beneficial for women than monogamous marriage. Quote Elizabeth Joseph's article at least three times in your discussion.


blue bullet Make every topic sentence answer the central question directly.
blue bullet Introduce all quotes: see nugget 3.
blue bullet Sweat the details: use the Golden Rules, Nuggets, Simple Stuff, and Quotations pages and proofread carefully.
blue bullet Offer concrete evidence (quotes) in support of each of your major assertions.
blue bullet See me in the office or email if you have questions or problems. 

Use the Writing Center! I encourage you to see tutors for help with your papers at the Writing Center. We have well-trained, qualified tutors who can give you plenty of one-on-one attention with any aspect of the writing process. Be sure to take a copy of this assignment with you to any tutoring session, or show your tutor this assignment page on the web.