Ideas for college writing assignments

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Ideas for college writing assignments

September Remember the essays you had to write in high school? Topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, conclusion.

The conclusion being, say, that Ahab in Moby Dick was a Christ-like figure. So I'm going to try to give the other side of the story: Or at least, how I write one. Mods The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real essays are not exclusively about English literature.

Certainly schools should teach students how to write. But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature.

Student Success Strategies: Writing Assignment Tips

And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens.

With the result that writing is made to seem boring and pointless. Who cares about symbolism in Dickens? Dickens himself would be more interested in an essay about color or baseball.

Expository Writing Prompts: 30 Writing Prompts for School and College Students

How did things get this way? To answer that we have to go back almost a thousand years. AroundEurope at last began to catch its breath after centuries of chaos, and once they had the luxury of curiosity they rediscovered what we call "the classics.

These earlier civilizations were so much more sophisticated that for the next several centuries the main work of European scholars, in almost every field, was to assimilate what they knew.

During this period the study of ancient texts acquired great prestige. It seemed the essence of what scholars did. As European scholarship gained momentum it became less and less important; by someone who wanted to learn about science could find better teachers than Aristotle in his own era.

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In the 19th century the study of ancient texts was still the backbone of the curriculum. The time was then ripe for the question: The answer, of course, is that the original raison d'etre of classical scholarship was a kind of intellectual archaeology that does not need to be done in the case of contemporary authors.

But for obvious reasons no one wanted to give that answer.

ideas for college writing assignments

The archaeological work being mostly done, it implied that those studying the classics were, if not wasting their time, at least working on problems of minor importance. And so began the study of modern literature. There was a good deal of resistance at first. The first courses in English literature seem to have been offered by the newer colleges, particularly American ones.

But Harvard didn't have a professor of English literature untiland Oxford not till Oxford had a chair of Chinese before it had one of English.

This idea along with the PhD, the department, and indeed the whole concept of the modern university was imported from Germany in the late 19th century. Beginning at Johns Hopkins inthe new model spread rapidly.

Writing was one of the casualties. Colleges had long taught English composition. But how do you do research on composition? The professors who taught math could be required to do original math, the professors who taught history could be required to write scholarly articles about history, but what about the professors who taught rhetoric or composition?

What should they do research on?

ideas for college writing assignments

The closest thing seemed to be English literature.Succeed in college. Read real student strategies about the methods they use in their college writing assignments to achieve academic success.

25 Creative College Essay Ideas and Prompts most colleges will require you to write a personal statement to submit along with your college application. To assist you in . Cooperative learning is to be distinguished from another now well-defined term of art, "collaborative learning", which refers to those classroom strategies which have the instructor and the students placed on an equal footing working together in, for example, designing assignments, choosing texts, and presenting material to the class.

The collection also seeks to extend the conversation begun in the first volume by providing in-depth analysis and discussion of assignments and student writing. The librarians at Clark College Libraries are your partners in research and can support you as you seek information for your assignments or for your own personal growth.

Explore our carefully designed Research Guides to find article databases, explore a specific topic, or learn how to properly cite your sources. Note on range and content in student writing. To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students need to learn to use writing as a way of offering and supporting opinions, demonstrating understanding of the subjects they are studying, and conveying real .

The Age of the Essay