English 101: Essay I
“Superman and Me…” by Sherman Alexie
“On Being a Cripple” by Nancy Mairs
In this first section of class, we have read and discussed a few articles that explore aspects of identity. The readings should inspire us to consider and analyze our own identity. An individual’s identity is composed of traits and qualities they are born with, but also aspects that are learned or gained through life experience. This essay asks you to analyze your own identity and identify an aspect of your identity that is critical to ‘who you are’. It is best to focus on a single aspect rather than multiple parts of who you are, and keep in mind it may be an aspect that is positive or negative, advantageous or not. After identifying the aspect you would like to focus on, consider the following questions (just a few ideas, though you may have your own points of analysis) to build support points around:
· What does this aspect allow you to do or what does it do for you?
· How does this aspect play a role your day to day life?
· How are others in your life affected by this part of who you are?
This first essay is about establishing a strong approach to essay and paragraph structure; an essay built around a specific thesis and paragraphs that have a clearly developed main points.
After choosing an aspect of your identity to focus on, identify and create a clear thesis for the paper. The thesis should be a specific statement on the influence or effect this aspect has on you. What does this element of your identity mean to you? From this point, you should build support paragraphs that display how it affects you and others around you, and analysis around specific ideas of what this part of your identity does for you. Ultimately, the assignment is asking you to reflect upon a part of who you are and explain to your audience what this aspect means to you. Whatever your approach, be sure to build paragraphs that are focused on a single idea that is specific. Avoid falling prey to the “story” essay or creating a paper that is too broad and general.
· Essay must be 3 pages minimum, and no more than 4.
· Essay I should follow a 5 paragraph structure
· Essay should follow MLA format.
· Pay close attention to essay and paragraph structure.