Interact with assigned reading and demonstrate skills reviewed in Week 1 module (thesis, topic sentences, logic, argumentation).
Demonstrate your research skills by finding evidence online in the West library databases (Links to an external site.) (begin in OneSearch text box) or in Google Scholar (Links to an external site.) to support your points.
How do I reset my library database password: https://wlac.libanswers.com/faq/301478 (Links to an external site.)
Write a 4- 5 page* double-spaced essay with an introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs with examples and evidence from the reading and elsewhere supporting your points. You MUST use sources, one of which must be Miller’s book, and you must have a Works Cited page.* I encourage you to find source material in the library databases index. (Links to an external site.)
an introduction (with the research question and/or thesis)
strong topic sentences
supporting detail from sources, such as articles from online databases, or reputable online sources–Miller must be one of your sources. You must have at least 6 sources total. That means you have to find 5 others using the Library Databases.
a Works Cited page (Links to an external site.)* detailing the works you actually cited (quoted or paraphrased) in your essay. Your Works Cited page does not count as one of your 4-5 pages. Using Microsoft citation tool for in-text citations (Links to an external site.) and Works Cited page (Links to an external site.). More explanation here of Works Cited page in MLA format. (Links to an external site.)
You have read about the ideas that Matt Miller thinks are dead in the introduction to his book, The Tyranny of Dead Ideas. (Links to an external site.) What ideas do you think are dead?
Assert one or more ideas that you think are dead. You can focus all your attention on one, or you can present several ideas you think are dead.
These can come from any subject that exists on earth: history, politics, religion, science, etc. There is no correct answer. I don’t care what your politics or your religion are. I judge only whether you support your assertions well or not, and I make suggestions to help you make the strongest possible argument.
If you are having trouble coming up with something, brainstorm this prompt with someone in your life. This is one of those things that brainstorming is great for. Then, once you have an idea or two, do some preliminary research on Google and see what you turn up. Then, move to the databases for some more quality sources to add to your internet sources.
This essay may include personal experience, since that is often what points us in the direction of dead ideas! However, personal experience should be only one type of evidence you use, together with expert opinion, statistics, etc. that you gather from research databases.
Some brainstorm starters:
I don’t know why ___________ still exists.
Why are people convinced that __________?
Why is our society built around ___________ when things have changed…
It’s useless to ___________ because…
(These sentences may get you thinking about ideas that you feel are dead. You are not so much concerned with the “why” as the idea itself.)
The Tyranny of Dead Ideas (Links to an external site.)
**If you submit it online as an attachment, it must be in one of the following formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf
Let me know if you have some other file type and we can figure out what to do.
See attached rubric to see how you will be graded. It’s a good idea to look at it before writing your essay.
Microsoft Office MLA Templates: Support Videos (Links to an external site.)
What is a Works Cited page (Links to an external site.)?
More explanation here of Works Cited page in MLA format. (Links to an external site.)
Don’t use a quote for a topic sentence. Cite your sources with author and page number (if applicable) at the end of sentences where you have made use of a source, either directly (with quotation marks) or indirectly (paraphrase.) Many online resources do not have page numbers and that’s okay; only add page numbers when page numbers on printed on the source.
Don’t copy material from the internet word for word and plug it into your essay without citing it and or putting exact words in quotes. We consider that plagiarism, which is against the rules in college. If I find that you purchased or copied your essay that you purchased online, I will give you a zero on the assignment. If you have trouble rephrasing quotes, use quilbot.com (Links to an external site.) to help you get started with paraphrasing quotes.
Remember that in an argument-driven essay, your opinions become your assertions/arguments, even without the word “I.” Avoid using the “I” voice in this essay; this will force your essay to sound more professional.
Please ask me any questions you have, or feel free to run your thesis past me if you are uncertain. With big ideas like these, outlines can be very helpful.
Here is a student example (with a few notes regarding in-text citations): Essay #1: Dead Ideas Student Example
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