English Composition 102 Departmental Essay

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Dear Students:

Instructions for Writing the Essay....

Please note the following important information:

What you need to bring to the exam:

  • Your confirmation of registration
  • An ID (preferably your student ID)

What you cannot bring to the exam:

  • Handbooks or dictionaries
  • The essays that you downloaded
  • A prepared essay
  • An outline

What you will be given at the exam site:

  • The essays that were on the exam web site. These readings will be double-sided, so be sure to turn the pages.
  • Scratch paper

Please note that the essays and the scratch paper will be collected as you exit the exam.

Instructions and Preparation Before the Exam:

In addition to  reading these instructions carefully, be sure you read the articles for the assigned topic:

         Topic: Would raising the minimum wage help the economy?



Read and use both articles.  Take a position and support it. Refer to the opposing point of view for your refutation.

Highlight, underline and annotate each reading. Highlighting and annotating important points in the readings will help you remember the points you want to make during the examination. You may want to discuss these readings with your classmates. Remember, you may not bring a prepared essay to the examination. There will be proctors in the room to be sure that no student has an unfair advantage.



Guidelines and suggestions for writing your essay:

1) Be sure that you have an introduction, body and conclusion.

2) Develop a thesis statement that clearly states the position you are going to support.

3) Define any terms that you think need to be defined.

4) Refer to any arguments and illustrations in the readings to support your thesis.

5) Refer to any arguments and illustrations that oppose your thesis and refute them.

6) Be sure to include and cite both essays.  Try to include original arguments and recommendations; for example, you may refer to personal experiences, the experiences of your peers, your own creative ideas, and common knowledge; however, the greater part of your essay should rely on the two readings.

7) Demonstrate your ability to make logical deductions, to paraphrase, and to select appropriate quotations to support your claim.

8) Be sure that you understand the difference between paraphrasing and plagiarizing. Lifting an author’s words from the page and not including quotation marks is plagiarizing, which is a serious offense and will result in your failing this examination.

9) Use proper citing techniques (parenthetical citations); refer to the Works Cited for the information you will need for the citation.  You do not need to rewrite the Works Cited.

10) Take the time to proofread/edit to be sure that your sentences are clear, coherent and free of grammatical and mechanical errors.