College Writing Exercises
Responses should be approximately 300 to 400 words
- Exercise One: After completing the reading in the Norton Field Guide about synthesizing ideas (473-477), read each of the following articles concerning a current Supreme Court case. Create an essay of approximately 400 words that supports your own opinion you have arrived at after completing them. You need to quote from each article, relating each quote to your thesis. In the language of the reading, you are "synthesizing" the readings to support your own original position.
- Exercise Two: Post a draft of your introductory paragraph to your research paper. In addition to introducing the reader to your topic, it should include your thesis sentence, with your claim and stated reason(s).
- Exercise Three: After reading Chapter 13 of They Say/I Say, answer the following question (which appears on page 172): Have we formulated the debatable issues above in a useful way? Have we left out anything important? Write an essay (400 word minimum) in which you summarize some of our commentary as your "they say" and offer your own response, whether to disagree, agree, agree with a difference, or reframe the issues in some way.
- Exercise Four: Write a 400 word discussion of Harrison Bergeron in which you identify the target of its satire and give two examples from the story that show how the story is using exaggeration to make a point about a mistaken belief that some people have.
- Exercise Five: Sonny's Blues: Write down short answers in complete sentences for each of the five questions at the end of the story.
- What views of life and its meaning are in conflict in this story? Does one appear to triumph over the other?
- According to the story, what is the function and value of artistic expression in human life?
- What does the story say about living a "safe" life?
- What does the mother contribute to the older brother's knowledge of Sonny? What does she mean when she says, "…you got to let him know you's there"?
- Interpret this passage and relate it to the story: "For, while the tale of how we suffer and how we are delighted and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard."