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INSTRUSTION THAT WAS FOR ESSAY
For the first essay, you made use of ONE of your previous Informal Writing posts from Sept. 28, Sept. 30, Oct. 2, Oct. 5, Oct. 7 (New Post #4, 5, 6, 7 and Response #3). Now, for your second essay, you will make use of ANOTHER of your previous Informal Writing posts from those dates.
Due date: Monday, Oct. 19, by midnight, on Blackboard (newly renamed Informal Writing / Essays tab). If you need a brief extension, write to me in advance, explaining the circumstances and letting me know when you would like to hand in the work. Otherwise, you will be penalized one point for each day of lateness.
Length: 1000 words or more.
Because this is a formal essay, it should involve more planning, editing, and proofreading than a typical Informal Writing assignment has. There should be a clear beginning, middle, and end, along with Works Cited listings, following MLA guidelines, on a new page at the end. What you should do for this essay: work hard on it.
What you should not do for this essay: worry excessively about how good it is. Right now, for this first formal essay, I will be happy if I see you making a serious attempt to follow all the guidelines. I am not putting a grade on the essay at this point.
Since Sept. 28, you have been doing assignments based on opinion articles (also known as op-ed articles, meaning “opposite the editorial” page). In each of these articles, the author has expressed a strong opinion. The goal of your essay is for you to express and explore YOUR opinion on the same topic.
In the beginning section (which can be one, two, or more paragraphs), include an enticing title, one that relates to what your essay is about, and one that you hope will make the reader curious to see what follows once the essay begins. In the opening sentences, aim to hook your reader, to grab your reader’s attention (we’ll look at the University of North Carolina handout about types of hooks). In the rest of the beginning section, give your reader a brief taste of what the rest of the essay will be about, and make sure your thesis or main argument is clear. A good thesis gives the reader a sense of where the rest of the paper will go; it is thought provoking, somewhat specific, and not simplistic. In the middle section (which could be four, five, six, or more paragraphs) explore in more depth different aspects of the thesis, as you try to persuade the reader to agree with your way of looking at the topic you’ve chosen. In several of your paragraphs, make use of the opinion article from The New York Times that you originally wrote about for Informal Writing, as you build on aspects of that article or disagree with parts of it while you assert your own views. Include at least two quotation sandwiches. Since you will have more than two “middle” paragraphs, that means some of those paragraphs do not need to be made into quotation sandwiches if you don’t wish. In the ending section (which can be one, two, or more paragraphs), briefly remind the reader of your thesis without merely repeating the same words, and leave the reader with a personal connection, either something that happened to you directly, or to someone you know, or to someone you read about, or to a character in a movie or TV show. Show how this personal connection supports the thesis you have been exploring throughout the essay. If you do end up including something that happened to you, I urge you to tell a brief story, using the five senses, with a beginning, middle, and end, the way you did during the first week of classes. In the final sentence or sentences of the essay, provide closure, perhaps by reminding us how your personal connection indeed connects to the thesis of the essay.
On a new page at the end, include your Works Cited listing for The New York Times article (and other articles if you have included any). Follow this MLA (Modern Language Association) format:
In the article, (Kristof) tackles numerous issues, among which is the issue of accepting
the election outcomes and the erosion of norms that define the American society. In
addition to that, (Kristof) also talks about the response to COVID-19, a global
pandemic that has led to numerous deaths in the country. It is important to note that, in
the fight against this pandemic, following expert advice supersedes following political
advice, and as such, it is important for people to focus on what is important, staying
alive and fighting COVID-19, by following the World Health Organization directives.
The erosion of the norms that define the American society, as described by (Kristof) is
seen in the case where people would rather follow a politician’s assumption while
disregarding the advice given by health professionals on issues regarding health. It is
important to remember that after leading his supporters to assume that the virus was
not as severe as the medical experts suggested, and even made them believe that the
virus was exaggerated, Donald Trump later tested positive for the virus. Also, the
erosion of the norms is the issue of increased laxity, while experts warn of an increase
in the number of infections. It is important to note that among American society’s
unique characteristics is its adherence to the set rules. As a civilized society, America
has been known to stand with the truth and doing what is right. However, this has not
been the case in the handling of the COVID-19. Even after numerous deaths have been reported, we have continuously witnessed blatant disregarding of the set guidelines,
which is a clear sign of erosion of the norms that previously defined us as the
(Kristof) , further insists on the issue of wearing masks as a way of safeguarding the
economy. It is important to remember that as much as wearing masks do nothing to
stimulate the economy’s growth, it plays an important role in safeguarding the lives of
people. It is essential to appreciate the significance of keeping citizens alive plays in
the stimulation of economic growth. Additionally, (Kristof) goes on to explain how
wearing masks have helped in the fight against COVID-19 in the other counties and
urges us that in the case that we want to emerge victoriously, we need to ensure that,
just like the other counties who have won the fight, we need to ensure that we wear
masks. It goes without saying that ensuring strict adherence to the World Health
Organization guidelines plays a huge role in fighting the virus.
It is essential to remember that currently, COVID-19 has been declared a global
pandemic, and as (Kristof) puts it, wearing masks, and following the guidelines issued
by World Health Organization play a huge role in ensuring that the virus is contained.
The role of government in taking care of its citizens should also not be forgotten. It is
common knowledge that the pandemic has caused panic, which led to the closure of
the various industries, and as such, production processes were halted. This has
negatively affected the economy, and as such, people’s lives are jeopardized, not just
by the virus, but by the decline in the economy. Therefore, in an effort to combat the
virus, the government needs to take into consideration providing a safe working environment while at the same time urge the citizens to adhere to the World Health
Organization guidelines strictly.
Among the most important issues addressed by (Kristof) is the issue of Donald
Trump’s COVID-19 test results. It is important to remember that the virus cannot be
wished away, and denying its existence does not eliminate it. Previously, the
president, Donald Trump, had insisted that the virus was an illusion, and in numerous
instances, he was spotted walking without masks. His supporters also ignored
guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, and in most cases, some
infections resulted from the rallies he conducted. It is important to note that the
numerous deaths witnessed were preventable, and by just following the issued
guidelines, the infections would have been prevented. Furthermore, Donald Trump
should seek to educate his supporters regarding the virus instead of misleading them to
believe that the virus is not as serious, even after claiming more lives than World War
The assertions by (Kristof) that wearing masks automatically ensures that jobs and the
economy are protected to me sounds ridiculous. It is important to note that the
strategies the government puts in place to ensure that the citizens are gainfully
employed plays a huge role in ensuring that the economy stays afloat. The creation of
jobs plays a huge role in ensuring that people have enough resources to purchase the
items they need. With increased purchasing power, the economy is set to grow as the
citizens ‘ ability to purchase increases the circulation of the money in the economy
dramatically. When we critically analyze the factors that help in the development of the economy,
we realize that none is associated with wearing masks, and as such, finding a viable
solution to the economic crisis should be prioritized, as opposed to wearing masks like
(Kristof) suggests. The government can begin by catering to a safe work environment
to allow individuals to engage in production while protecting them from the virus to
ensure that the economy develops. But urging people to wear masks raises a lot of
questions, like, where will they get the rent and food to sustain them after they wear
masks? And, what would be the need to survive COVID-19 by wearing masks only to
die from hunger or being homeless? The only answer the government can provide is
ensuring that despite the virus, people are provided with safe work environments that
are in line with the World Health Organization’s guidelines to ensure that they do not
get the virus as they engage in the production process.
However, I agree with (Kristof) that there is a need to take the COVID-19 seriously.
Failure to take it seriously, as he says in the article, will result in the loss of lives, and
the youth, who are required to work in order to sustain the economy will not be
spared. The deaths will damage the economy as there will be no youths to work to
ensure that economic activities are carried out. It is important to note that of great
importance is ensuring that lives are not lost as the population decline caused by the
COVID-19 will not just limit the labor force we currently have but will also lead to an
increasingly dependent population, which will negatively affect the economy as the
government will be forced to help provide for the people, weakening the economy in
Kristof, Nicholas. “Trump’s Diagnosis Is a Wake-Up Call for Americans.” New York
Times (2020): https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/opinion/sunday/trump-
Comments BY PROF.
The only part of this essay worth commenting on is the last paragraph, when you finally include your own opinion. You make an intriguing point criticizing Kristof’s claim that wearing masks will ultimately help the economy. It’s fine to disagree with him, but first you should attempt to understand why he says this. I’m writing on Friday, October 23, the day after the presidential debate. Joe Biden made this same point at the debate: that the economy and our response to the pandemic are closely tied together. I am not at all asking you to agree, only to recognize that there are lots of people making this claim. Rather than dismiss their views immediately, show that you understand those views—and then show why you think they are wrong
What should be different about this version, compared to the first version?
As I said above, I want you to address the five comments I made last time. If you have any questions about those comments, or if you think I might have gotten something wrong, let me know. Keep in mind that I limited my comments to five. That means there might have been lots of things that I didn’t say anything about. Don’t only rely on what I said; now that you are looking at your essay with your own fresh eyes, after having been away from it for a few days or weeks, what else would you like to do to improve it?
Whether I wrote it explicitly or not in my comments, I am looking for you to have a deep engagement with the original article you chose from The New York Times. That means rereading the article paragraph by paragraph, as you consider more fully not only what the author’s main argument is, but which examples, which parts of the article, you wish to talk about in your essay.
I’m looking now for a higher level of polish. That is, I want to see you proofread more carefully. This time around, I will mark up grammar/mechanical/spelling errors. Make a genuine effort to keep those errors to a minimum.
This will be your second version of the essay. For the third version, I will ask you to include other readings besides the original article—at least one more article from the Times itself, plus if you wish anything else from a respectable news organization. You don’t have to include those additional readings for the second version, but if you would like to get going with this aspect of the essay, by all means do so.
Something else I will ask you to do next time but that you may want to practice now: presenting the views of those who disagree with your own views about the subject. What are the best ideas that those people have as they disagree with you? Present their ideas fairly, then explain why you believe your way of looking at the subject is better.
A number of you forgot to include a Works Cited page last time. Do not forget again! On a new page at the end, put the words Works Cited at the top, centered Follow this MLA (Modern Language Association) format:
Author’s last name, first name. “Title of Article.” Title of Publication, Date.
(For the date, use the Day Month Year format. Thus, Oct. 3, 2020 would be listed as 3 Oct. 2020.)
For instance, here is what the citation would look like for “The Case for Accepting Defeat on Roe,” by Joan C. Williams:
Williams, Joan C. “The Case for Accepting Defeat on Roe.” The New York Times, 29
Notice that when I got to the second line of the entry, I indented. Notice too that the entry is double spaced.
If you include more than one entry, put your listings in alphabetical order, based on the author’s last name. If, say, you had articles by Williams, Krugman, and Kristof, the order of the listings would be Kristof first, then Krugman, then Williams.