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GWRIT. 103 Fall 2007 Formal Writing Assignment #2:  A Walk with Love and Death

(First Draft of Invention and Exploration and Discovery)  Due October 7th.
Requirements:  Length:  4-5+ pages, typed or word-processed
Sources:  You must find and use a minimum of 4 sources, only ONE of which may be an Internet (”.com”) source. 
Further, one of your cited sources MUST come from the Reading Schedule of your syllabus
(that is, you must quote from, paraphrase, or briefly summarize/analyze: Francine cu Plessix Gray’s “The Work of Mourning”; Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s, “On the Fear of Death”; Sharon Wahl’s, “Zeno. . .”; Monica Moore’s, “Nonverbal Courtship Patterns”;  or Stephen Jay Gould’s, “Women’s Brains.”

These researched materials are to be used in the context of an argument; that is, in an essay which makes inquiries into a subject about which you have some interest, reasons its way to a conclusion, and which then presents an opinion in which you most fervently come to believe as a result of your investigations, one which you want to convince your readers to share.  An effective argument develops from a desire to inquire and understand, is a product of your ability to present logical and cogent reasons for your belief, arises from your own experiences and knowledge as well as from your thoughtful and considerate handling of supporting evidence.  Clearly, a strong and powerful emotional commitment and intellectual investment in the idea you would communicate is essential.

In this second essay I would like you to:
Choose one of the topics listed below to help you think about how people’s lives are affected by the knowledge of mortality; by love as it relates to this knowledge; by the people who belong to us, who have gone before us; by our urge to defy death through love, through procreation, by a belief in the future.
Next, formulate your own pointed and limited question at issue, a question that will be of significance to you, and to your audience.
Then, after choosing a topic and composing a question to be answered, after doing some preliminary research, construct a working thesis statement, one which is a complete sentence, containing both an assertion and a reason for that assertion. ______________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Topics:
*What a Woman Wants—spacewise, brainwise, and elsewhere
*Courting rituals—from a male or female perspective
*The American Way of Death—and Hospice Care
*The American Way of  Life and Health Care—new advances in medicine, in the treatment of cancer, or Alzheimer’s Disease, or other life-threatening illnesses; and including the current debate over stem-cell research; Can We Cure Death?
*Men Are Smarter Than. . .,/Women Are Smarter Than. . .:  Why There Should Be No Glass Ceiling
*”So go for it! I say to my students when they inform me that they want to tape the recollections of a grandmother, a great-granduncle, their own guardians of tribal memory.  Go for it now, or you may get there too late, as I did.  Do it. . . . “  (Gray 110).
*Tee Shirts and Blue Jeans:  Dressing for love in America
                                           Dress and the Ageless American


Be Aware:  your task is not to write a research paper, but to construct an Argument which uses research as backup and in support of a stand that you take, an opinion you hold, one which you may discover only through the act of writing.  As William Carlos Williams said:  “When we name it life exists” and not before--. Therefore, I want to remind you to choose a topic about which you feel strongly, since all writing is personal; and since, as Joan Didion says, STYLE IS CHARACTER.  So: hold onto your voices and your hats, present your opinion to those who will hear and read your words.
 Format:  Type it and:  Leave at least 1" margins on all sides of an 8 1/2 x 11" page and always double-space.
Your paper must this time include a Works Cited page (see the Sample Works Cited Page in The Everyday Writer), and follow the Correct MLA-form of in-text citation.

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