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For this paper, you will be expected to plan and write a response to one of the readings from this module using one of the prompts below.  You should submit this paper via Turnitin.  
Before you begin, you should view the Essay Rubric in the Course Resources section.  The goal of this class is to teach college-level writing conventions, which may require some students to move beyond previously taught writing models, like the 5-paragraph essay format.  There are many significant weaknesses to this model and it is not adequate at this level.  Some aspects of this formula should be particularly noted. It is not desirable to have a thesis statement that presents the ideas of your body paragraphs.  This “A + B + C” thesis always sounds forced and is overly simplistic.  It also contributes to the next major issue, which is a lack of real transitions between body paragraphs.  Your body paragraphs need to have clear relationships between them–in the 5-paragraph model, this is usually not the case, but instead the paragraphs read more like a list.  You can often see this in the choice of transition words–“First, Second, and Finally”.  There is no relationship here but the order in which they come.  The final major issue with the 5-paragraph model is the summary conclusion.  The conclusion is a vital space that can engage the reader in new and unique ways.  By simply summarizing points from your essay or restating the thesis, you will disengage the reader’s attention and add nothing to your paper.
There is no one, single way to approach a paper, or one size or shape.  Therefore we are not looking for a particular number of paragraphs (although to prepare you for the exit essay, you should have at least 5) or a particular word count.  If you look at the rubric, you will see what we want.  First, you should have a strong introduction, which introduces the topic and identifies the paper’s direction.  Next, there should be quality support, which offers specific details that are well organized and thoughtful.  Finally, you will need a conclusion that challenges the reader and adds to the paper.  This should be done with clear and concise writing.  Think outside of  formulas and focus on being as effective as you can be.
Please choose a prompt from the following sources.  Take careful note of what the prompt is asking, and be sure that you are directly addressing the question at hand.
For “DNT TXT N DRV” answer the following:
In the article, Winfrey suggests, “All we have to do is hang up or switch off.  It really is that simple.”  Do you think it is that simple?  Why or why not?

DNT TXT N DRV, by Oprah Winfrey

WHEN I started out as a TV reporter in Nashville in 1973, a death from
drunken driving was big news. One person killed by a drunken driver
would lead our local broadcast. Then, as the number of drunken
driving deaths across the country continued to rise, the stakes for
coverage got even higher. One death wasn’t good enough anymore.
Two deaths — that would warrant a report. Then a whole family had to
die before the news would merit mention at the top of the broadcast.
The country, all of us, had gotten used to the idea of drunken driving. I
just kept thinking: How many people have to die before we “get it”?

Fortunately, we did get it, and since 1980, the number of annual traffic
fatalities due to drunken driving has decreased to under 15,500 from
more than 30,000. But in recent years, another kind of tragic story has
begun to emerge with ever greater frequency. This time, we are
mourning the deaths of those killed by people talking or sending text
messages on their cellphones while they drive.

Earlier this month, I visited Shelley and Daren Forney, a couple in Fort
Collins, Colo., whose 9-year-old daughter, Erica, was on her bicycle,
just 15 pedals from her front door, when she was struck and killed by a
driver who was distracted by a cellphone. I think about Erica’s death
and how senseless and stupid it was — caused by a driver distracted by
a phone call that just couldn’t wait.

Sadly, there are far too many stories like hers. At least 6,000 people
were killed by distracted drivers in 2008, according to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the number is rising. A lot
of good work already is happening to try to change this. President
Obama signed an executive order banning texting while driving on
federal business. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is pushing for
tougher laws and more enforcement. States are passing laws, too. Local
groups are gaining strength, spurred by too many deaths close to home.

But we are hesitant to change. I saw this firsthand when I instituted a
policy at my company that forbids employees from using their phones
for company business while driving. I heard countless stories about
how hard it was for people to stop talking and texting while driving.
Everyone is busy. Everyone feels she needs to use time in the car to get
things done. But what happened to just driving?

It was difficult for my employees to adjust, but they have. Life is more
precious than taking a call or answering an e-mail message. Because
even though we think we can handle using our cellphone in the car, the
loss of thousands of lives has shown we can’t.

So many issues that we have to deal with seem beyond our control:
natural disasters, child predators, traffic jams. Over the years, I’ve done
shows on just about all of them. But this is a real problem we can do
something about and get immediate results. All we have to do is hang
up or switch off. It really is that simple. Once we do that, not another
son or daughter will have to die because someone was on the phone
and behind the wheel — and just not paying attention.

So starting from the moment you finish this article, and in the days,
weeks and years that follow, give it up. Please. And to those who feel
like this is asking too much, think about your own child just 15 pedals
from your front door. Struck down.

A/200-180 (7)

B/179-160 (6) C/159-140 (5) D/139-120 (4) F/119-0 (3)

Focus Subject well-defined;
thesis clear and strong;

thoughtful, with some

insight and originality ;

unified, with effective

op ening and closing

Subject fairly well
defined; op ening and

closing consistent

Subject fairly well
defined; op ening and

closing consistent

Subject less than exact;
thesis vague or

commonp lace

Subject ill-defined;
thesis uncertain or


Organization Plan evident and major
p oints signaled by

p aragrap h divisions and

clear transitions

Plan clear, with many
major p oints signaled

by p aragrap h divisions

and transitions, with

p erhap s some minor

digressions or gap s

Plan clear, but p erhap s
incomp lete; some major

p oints signaled by

p aragrap h divisions and

transitions; most p oints

logically related; a few
minor digressions

Plan noticeable but
incomp lete or must be

inferred by the reader;

not all major p oints

signaled by p aragrap h

divisions and
transitions; some p oints

logically related; some


Plan attemp ted but
difficult to infer;

hap hazard relationship s;

with transitions often


Development Thesis well develop ed

in four or more

p aragrap hs, with

ap p rop riate details and
examp les

Thesis adequately

exp lained and fairly

well develop ed in four

or more p aragrap hs,
with ap p rop riate details

and examp les

Thesis fairly well

exp lained and

develop ed in three or

more p aragrap hs; some
unsup p orted

generalizations or

irrelevant details

Thesis p oorly

exp lained, with

frequent unsup p orted

generalizations and
redundant exp ressions

or ideas; p erhap s some

irrelevant details

Little develop ment of

thesis, with infrequent

or irrelevant details;

restatement often used

Vocabulary Precise, ap p rop riate

word choice; p erhap s

use of figurative


Clear language, usually

ap p rop riate word

choice; p erhap s some

figurative language

Generally ap p rop riate

vocabulary but at times

oversimp lified

Some clear, ap p rop riate

word choice, but some

confused or

inap p rop riate language
or faulty idiom

Vague, confused, or

inap p rop riate word

choice; clichéd or

informal language

S entence S tructure Strong control of

sy ntax, with effective

use of comp lex


Good control of sy ntax,

with occasional errors

in comp lex structures

Clear exp ressions; a

few major errors, but

overall command of

basic sentence structure

Some errors in sentence

boundaries; narrow

range of sy ntactical


Tangled or unclear

sy ntax; frequent

uncertain sentence


Grammar, S pelling,

and Punctuation

Correct grammar,

sp elling, and

p unctuation; shows
evidence of editing

With few excep tions,

correct grammar,

sp elling, and
p unctuation; shows

evidence of editing

Usually correct

grammar, sp elling, and

p unctuation; shows
evidence of editing

Some missp ellings;

recurrent grammar

and/or p unctuation
p roblems

Frequent errors in

grammar, sp elling, and

p unctuation

To receive a p articular score, an essay must meet or exceed the requirements for each of the six categories.

To receive this score, the essay may not fall below the requirements of any category

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