Topic: Discuss gender roles and empowerment in the film the hunger games, incorporating the information in the essay on the male gaze, and whether or not the film passes the Bechdel Test.
Essay Instructions – HUM 344
You will write three 800-word-minimum essays for this course. Essay deadlines are in the syllabus. The links to submit the essays go down at the deadline date and time; if you turn the essay in late, you will need to email it directly to me as an attachment and take a grade penalty.
Steps to a good essay grade:
1) Study the assigned material carefully, because the writing assignments require you to incorporate the course material.
2) Read these Instructions carefully.
3) Click on the Essays menu button and open the Essay 1 folder. Choose a topic that interests you.
4) Write a first draft of your essay, and run the spell and grammar checker. Then compare your essay to the Essay Checklist in the Essay Information folder. If you have made any of the errors listed in the document, correct them BEFORE turning in your essay.
5) Read the section on SafeAssign reports in the Essay Information folder. Go back to the Essays menu button and open the Essay 1 folder; there will be a “Draft” link for you to upload your essay draft to SafeAssign, which checks for plagiarism. It usually processes in about an hour, but this can vary. Go back to the Draft link and click “view” to see the SafeAssign report on your essay. Highlighted areas in the report indicate that there is material in your essay that is not original, i.e. exists elsewhere on the internet, in a book, or in another paper. This isn’t a problem if you have put the highlighted material in quotation marks and cited it. It is definitely a problem if you have not. Correct this in your next draft, either by removing the material or citing it properly. If you turn in a final draft without having gone through this step, and there is any amount of uncited, borrowed material in your essay, you will receive a “0” for that essay.
6) When you have finished your final draft and it conforms to these instructions, has no errors from the Essay Checklist, and no uncited borrowed material, use the second link marked “Final Copy” in the Essay 1 folder. Be sure that you hit “submit” and that you see confirmation that your essay has been uploaded. You do not need to email me a copy unless you did not see the upload confirmation or are otherwise uncertain that your essay was submitted properly.
Topics: Essay topic choices are in folders (e.g. Essay 1, Essay 2) under the Essays menu button. Be sure to read the topic you’ve chosen carefully both before and after you’ve written your first draft to make sure you have addressed it completely and properly.
Organizing Your Essay: Introduce your topic and your main point (thesis) in a first (brief) paragraph, and include a short summary or conclusion. In the middle paragraphs, organize your points logically. (If you are writing on a creative topic, this may not apply.)
Formatting: You are graded on using MLA formatting. Owl Purdue has a good, easy-to-use website. On the first page, create a double-spaced heading on the upper left side of the page:
Date of Submission
Essay # [fill in], Topic # [fill in]
Then skip a space and center the title of your essay, but don’t underline, italicize, or bold it. Number the pages (either top or bottom is fine). Doublespace the body of the paper and consistently use a 12-point font.
Grading: Each essay must be a minimum of 800 and a maximum of 900 words, and can be worth up to 100 points. An essay that is late loses 10 points for every day after the deadline, and an essay below the required minimum word count loses an automatic 20 points; essays under 700 words will be returned. Grading focuses on two areas:
Subject/Content – 50 points: essay fully addresses the topic without wandering; has a thesis/topic statement; demonstrates careful thought and reflection about the topic; uses consistently valid arguments and statements; shows understanding of the course materials.
Writing/Mechanics –50 points: essay employs clear, focused, effective writing; uses words and terms appropriately; follows a clear and logical structure; has none of the errors on the Essay Checklist; spelling-and-grammar checker does not reveal any errors. Effective introductory and concluding paragraphs, body organized logically. Repeat errors from the Essay Checklist cost more points each time they are made.
A Serious Word About Plagiarism: Every semester I have students who lift stuff off the internet, stick it in their essays, and don’t identify it as not being their own words or ideas. This is plagiarism, because they are turning in material they didn’t write without identifying it as such. Students who use uncited material they didn’t write will get a “0” for the assignment. “I didn’t realize” is not an acceptable justification. (Penalties can be more severe; please check out JU’s Code of Student Conduct.) The simplest way to avoid inadvertent plagiarism is to write every single word of your essay yourself; and if you do use any other material at all, identify it with a simple parenthetical citation like this (Sayre, p. 1137) or (name of website) and a bibliography listing.
You do not need any outside sources to write the essays for this course. If you do any online or print research to get more background about the topic you’ve chosen, you must acknowledge this by listing the sites/books/articles you used in a bibliography at the end of the essay, even if you don’t have any direct quotes or paraphrases needing citations. If you use someone else’s exact words, “put them in quotation marks followed by the citation” (Bailey, 104) and then list the source on a bibliography or Works Cited page. If you’ve put someone else’s ideas into your own words, you don’t need the quotation marks but you still need the citation and bibliography listing.
You do not need to use a citation or bibliography listing if you’re relating basic facts known or accessible to a college-age audience in, for example, an encyclopedia (e.g., the dates of Picasso’s life or the names and dates of his artistic periods; but you do need both if you’re using or quoting an opinion you didn’t personally arrive at (“Picasso’s Blue Period was his most emotionally intense period”). If you’re in doubt as to whether you need a citation, email me or pose the question in the General Information forum.
Turning in a draft submission through SafeAssign (see step #5 above) will generate a report that will show you whether you have material that needs to be cited, and give you an opportunity to either remove the material or cite it properly. Please do not skip this step. I hate giving zeroes.
As always, email me with any questions or requests for clarification of any of the above points, or post them to the General Information forum.
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