on College Learning
Select a narrow, debatable issue from course readings
related to academic success in college reading, writing, or online learning.
Identify specific arguments and ideas from course readings related to the
issue. Then design a short, informal primary research project that will help
you explore the issue and collect additional information for your essay. Write
a thesis-based essay that takes a position and presents your own thinking about
the issue based on your research. Support your thesis with evidence from
original primary research and at least two course reading assignments.
The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to
strategies for using evidence from sources to support a college thesis and
other claims. This assignment will also introduce you to basic strategies for
conducting college-level research. You will strengthen your ability to identify
a complex issue for research and inquiry, organize a college research and
writing project, structure an essay around a thesis and clear topic sentences
for paragraphs, write a college-level thesis statement, select appropriate
evidence from sources to support a thesis, analyze evidence from sources,
incorporate sources into a college-level essay, and explore your own thinking
about college-level writing.
Include an original title that reflects your
specific essay issue or thesis.
Write an introduction that introduces the
narrow, specific issue that you discuss in the essay.
Write an insightful thesis statement that
takes a position on an issue from course readings. Your thesis statement should
present your own thinking on the essay issue in response to your research and
course texts. Include the thesis statement at the end of the introduction.
Organize each paragraph or section around a
topic sentence that a) presents a clear main point for the paragraph and b)
helps readers see how that paragraph will develop the thesis.
Develop and explain your thesis statement
with specific evidence from interviews, a survey, or other informal but
appropriate primary research.
Include relevant quotes, examples, and/or
details from at least two course reading assignments to support your thesis.
Analyze evidence from your research and
course readings by explaining your own thinking about ideas from your sources.
Also make sure that readers can clearly see a connection between supporting
evidence and both the main point of each paragraph and your thesis statement.
You may also use additional evidence from
your own experience if it is relevant to your essay issue. However, the essay
should focus primarily on analyzing evidence from sources.
Write a conclusion that ties the rest of your
Introduce your essay with anauthor’s
you submit it for peer and instructor feedback. Write a revised author’s note
when you include the essay in your course portfolio.
Write at least three typed, double-spaced
Citation Guidelines for Readings and
Use an appropriate signal phrase to introduce
each quote, summary, or paraphrase from a source.
Use MLA citation style to cite sources within
the text of your essay. SeeUsing
MLA Style to Cite Sources.
For the course portfolio, create a works
cited list that includes every written or oral source that you include in the
an MLA Works Cited List.
If you conducted interviews, use MLA style to
cite them. SeeCiting
Additional research for outside written
sources is not required for this assignment. However, if you choose to use
research, your sources should be appropriate for college-level academic
writing. Make sure to cite your sources using MLA documentation style.
Citation Help for the Essay on College Learning discussion
board to get help and feedback as you work on citing sources.
In addition to the assigned course readings, you may also
use any of the following texts as sources for your project:
“The Novice as Expert: Writing the
Freshman Year” by Sommers and Salz (in The Mercury Reader)
Reading and Writing (from the UWC Writing Program website)
in College: A Short Guide to College Writing by Williams and McEnerney
Please contact the instructor if you would like to use
other secondary sources in your essay to make sure that each source is
appropriate for college-level academic writing.
Links to Reading Assigments