short story writing assignment

The successful essay will:
be a minimum of 300 words
follow essay format (that is, have an introduction, body section, and conclusion)
have a well-formulated thesis statement
develop ideas in a detailed, clear, and logical manner
demonstrate solid knowledge of grammar and sentence structure

You may wish to make notes, an outline, etc. for your essay. You may use spellcheck and grammar check if you wish. You may not use any outside sources for this essay.

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Note: you may choose to write your essay in Word or a similar program and copy and paste into Blackboard (using ctrl+c to copy and ctrl+v to paste).


Please select ONE topic and write a multi-paragraph essay in response:


Choice 1:

“The word ‘relatable’ has become as vexed as it is common. Its critics sometimes

argue that to seek ‘relatable’ art is to take the easy way out, to refuse to venture outside one’s own sphere of experience.” (Anna North, “Should Literature Be ‘Relatable’?”) Do you think literature should be relatable to be considered good or worthwhile? Or, as some critics suggest, should good literature expand our understanding of the world and other people, rather than reflecting what we already know? In your response you can make reference to creative works, such as stories, poems, music, movies, or television shows with which you are familiar.



Choice 2:

“I believe that the appearance of any permanent mark on the body is a sign to the mainstream culture of one’s separation, regardless of the chosen image. Tattoos are a sure way to dissociate oneself from the rest of society. Tattoos are seen as a physical, visual resistance to the conservative world that we are now living in. The tattooed lifestyle will always be resistance-oriented. The act of being tattooed is, in itself, confrontational to the status quo.” (Adapted from Shannon Bell, “Tattooed” in Body and Culture)


Respond to the above quote. What do you think are the reasons people get tattoos? You may agree, disagree, or partly agree with Shannon Bell’s assertions. Be sure to support your position with evidence.


Choice 3:

Are smartphones making us lose focus? According to a recent New York Times article, while nearly 90% of teachers claim that students cannot pay attention the way they could a few years ago, some researchers suggest there is little evidence that attention spans are shrinking. What do you think? Are some in-class uses of cellphones useful and others not? Should cellphones be banned from classrooms because they are a distraction? Or should they be used in the classroom as an educational tool? State your own view, giving some attention to each of these viewpoints. You may support either position, or a mix between the views, using evidence.



Choice 4:


Recently there has been a lot of debate about free speech and the willingness to discuss uncomfortable ideas on college campuses. Some argue in support of “trigger warnings”—when faculty alert students to potentially traumatic subject matter in their syllabi or before certain reading assignments. Others raise concerns that college students are unwilling to engage with challenging or opposing viewpoints. State your own view of this issue, giving some attention to each of these viewpoints. You may support either position, or a mix between the views, or you may state an entirely different view. Be sure to support your position with evidence.

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