English 111 Educated Essay Guidelines Choose one of the prompts below and

English 111 Educated Essay Guidelines

Choose one of the prompts below and respond to it in a logically organized, well developed, and grammatically sound essay.

Though her education is far from traditional, Westover carefully titled her book Educated. She learned many life lessons from her family, her educational experiences, and her experiences with people outside her family that she presents in Educated. Identify at least four life lessons she learned, discuss how she learned each one, and explain how each impacted her throughout her life.

Many of the characters in the novel directly affect Tara, her life, and her choices. Choose one (or more) of the characters, and explain specifically how he/she influenced Tara.

There are many symbolic objects and actions in Educated. Choose one or more of the symbols you find significant, present examples of where your chosen symbol(s) appear, and discuss the deeper meanings these symbols contribute to the novel.

Educated discusses obstacles that Tara must overcome in order to achieve success. Identify at least four obstacles Tara faced, discuss how each impacted her, and explain how she could overcome them.

Many significant themes are represented in Educated. Choose one theme, and discuss examples of its importance throughout the novel.

Your essay should:

Include an effective introduction that provides context for the essay. The first sentence of your essay must give the title and author of the book. Then, you should give a brief summary (5-8 sentences) of the entire book in your own words.

Have a concise, straightforward thesis statement that is the last sentence of the introduction. The thesis will provide focus for your essay and should express a clear stance that will be explained and supported throughout the essay.

Contain clear, specific, and relevant examples that work to support and prove the thesis. Each example must be specific and explained, so it is clear how it relates to your topic/thesis statement. You must use textual evidence with lead-ins and correct MLA citation. Focus on analyzing and not summarizing—fully discuss the implications/meanings of examples.

Use an effective organizational style with a clear paragraph structure. If your discussion goes on for too long in a paragraph, transition and move to another paragraph. Each paragraph should begin with a specific topic sentence that outlines/explains that the paragraph will be about and end with a clear concluding sentence. Remember, the body will be as many paragraphs as you have examples.

Include clear transition words/phrases that smoothly move the reader from idea to idea.

Have a conclusion that brings the essay to a close without repeating information, reinforces the main idea, and makes a lasting impression.

A Note About Plagiarism:

This is not a research essay. As such, you should not conduct any research or use any online or print sources other than your book or class materials. Your entire essay should be based on your reading of the book and your own analysis of characters and events.

Please review the plagiarism policy on your syllabus.


Your essay must be a minimum of five full typed pages. Essays not meeting minimum page requirements will not receive a grade higher than 50.

Essays should be typed in Times New Roman, 12pt font and be double-spaced.

Essays should follow MLA guidelines.

No late essays will be accepted!

Final Draft must be submitted on Blackboard as a Microsoft Word Document. Essay will be scanned via SafeAssign, plagiarism detection software.

Grammar, Mechanics, and Style:

The title of the book should be italicized each time it’s used in your essay.

Use quotation marks around any material taken from the text and put the page number in parentheses.

Spell names of characters correctly.

Do not use I, me, my, you or your in the essay.

Do not use slang, clichés, or weak conversational phrases like “I believe…” or “I think…” or “It is my opinion that…” Instead, focus on stating ideas with conviction.

Read your essay for wordiness and repetition. Focus on writing clearly and concisely.

Edit for fragments (pieces of sentence with something missing).

Edit for run-ons (fused sentences and comma splices).

Edit carefully for misspelled and commonly confused words.

Use clear, correct sentence structure.

Include an original, fitting title that is not in quotation marks, italicized, bold, or underlined.

Do not begin or end a paragraph with a quote (if you choose to quote). You must begin and end paragraphs with your own words and make clear connections between quoted material and original ideas.

Read your essay out loud to help you catch grammar and mechanics mistakes you might have missed. Keep in mind: spell check does not catch all or most errors.

**This essay counts 30% of your grade in English 111. Plan accordingly and spend the needed time drafting, writing, revising, and editing before submitting the final document.

Essay Writing Schedule:

November 16:

Receive Essay Guidelines

Complete prewriting and planning

Due next class: Pre-writing & Introductory Paragraph with thesis statement (Optional)

November 21: (Remote Essay Workday)

Pre-writing/Plan & introductory paragraph with thesis statement due at start of class

Participate in Instructor Conference (Optional), Class time to work on essay writing.

Due Next Class: Three page typed/printed draft due at beginning of class (Optional)

November 28:

Three-page printed draft due at beginning of class (Optional)

Complete peer review of essay draft and/or class time to revise and work on essay writing.

Due Next Class: Complete draft for Peer Review—minimum of five full typed pages

November 30:

Five-page complete draft due at beginning of class. Only prepared students may participate.

Complete full peer review during class-—will be graded

Class time to work on revisions.

Due Next Class: Complete Essay due at the start of class

December 5:

Complete Essay Due at the beginning of class

Essay counts 30% of grade.

Late work is not accepted.

Final draft must be at least five full typed, double-spaced, MLA formatted pages and must be printed at the start of class.

Final Draft must be submitted on Blackboard as a Microsoft Word Document. Essay will be scanned via SafeAssign, plagiarism detection software.