Choose a person to describe.  The subject must be someone you know, such as a friend, a relative, a teacher, a mentor, etc.  This is because this essay does not use documentation; you are only writing from first-

Essay #3 Assignment: The Descriptive and Narrative Profile


Write a 2-4 page essay in which you tell a story or stories about someone you know in order to create a dominant impression. (The minimum length is two FULL pages.) 

Choose a person to describe.  The subject must be someone you know, such as a friend, a relative, a teacher, a mentor, etc.  This is because this essay does not use documentation; you are only writing from first-hand knowledge.  (If you were writing a profile of Mariah Carey, for example, you would need to provide documentation for any biographical information you mention because you do not know Mariah Carey personally.  Therefore, no celebrities are allowed as subjects.) 

Other restrictions: 

You cannot not choose your mother, father, or a child.  The essay will receive a zero if it is on one of these. 

The biggest mistake students make with this assignment is that they do not tell a story. The assignment is not to explain or only describe your subject; the goal is to tell a story about someone you know while using descriptive language. 

The story should be told in first-person point of view, and while you may be a character in the story, make sure that you are not the focal point of the story.

Other requirements: 

Remember that your essay will need a point:  Why are you telling a story about this person?  What is your thesis? Name your specific subject in the thesis statement. 

Do not write in 2nd person.  Essays that use second person will be docked one letter grade. 

In addition to using sensory details, use at least one example of each of the 4 types of figurative language discussed in the notes:  simile, metaphor, personification, and allusion.  Both the rough draft and final draft must be typed and in MLA format.  

This is not a biography of your subject.  Instead, you will use narrative to create a dominant impression.  In other words, tell a story or a series of short incidents that capture who the person is. Do not start with “John was born in…,” and the goal is not to write the subject’s life story.  Instead, tell a story about your subject or a few short episodes in their life, using narrative. 

The most difficult part of this assignment is often choosing the right subject.  This can be a person you know well, a person you love, or a person you despise. (Remember, a dominant impression can be either positive or negative!) It can be someone you remember fondly from childhood, someone who made you afraid, someone you had a crush on, or someone who hurt you. It can be your best friend, your roommate, your next-door neighbor, an interesting person you met recently, or anyone else you can think of.  


Here are just a few examples of successful subjects students have chosen in the past:

·        an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend (A dominant impression does not have to be positive!) 

·        a best friend with a quirky personality (We all have that one friend we talk about…)

·        a coach with a tough persona

·        a friend who works with the homeless (Someone who has a remarkable character will make a great subject.) 

·        a friend who always got into trouble

·        a cousin or other relative who is often the subject of gossip or funny stories at family get-togethers 

Think about someone you know well.  This should be someone you already tell stories about.  If you’re having trouble figuring out what to say about your subject, just pick someone else!  


The writing process 

When choosing a subject, ask yourself how you will make this person interesting to an audience.  Begin by brainstorming specific details and stories about this person; this will help you craft a dominant impression.

Step 1: Choose a subject and brainstorm

Step 2: Complete a sketch outline:  introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion

Step 3: Write your thesis statement

Step 4: Flesh out the outline with specific details

Step 5: Write the essay

Step 6: Revise and edit (at least twice)

This may help you get started:  

My Subject:___________________________________


1.     What is my purpose for writing this essay? Why is this person interesting?




2.     Which pre-writing technique(s) will I use to generate ideas?

listing / brainstorming          freewriting                 questioning               clustering


3.     What are some of my favorite memories of my subject? When did they make me happy? Sad? Angry?  What story do I tell most often about my subject?

Essay #3: One-paragraph topic proposal

For this assignment, write a fully-developed paragraph about the person you will profile for Essay #3. The paragraph should tell a brief version of the story you will tell in your essay. 

Be sure to include: 

·        A topic sentence that names your subject (not just “my brother” or “my girlfriend”)

·        At least three supporting points, or three major points in the story 

·        Lots of interesting, specific detail

This is not a description of the person; it is a STORY about a specific person, and it’s a story that shows one of their biggest personality traits. 



Essay #3 Final Draft (SUBMIT HERE)

Please submit your final draft here. Please remember to check your MLA format and save as a Word file. Also, remember to check for run-ons and comma splices! 


Descriptive Essay (1)



TOPI FOR ESSAY 4: Should e-cigarettes be banned in the United States?

Essay #4: Argument and Persuasion Essay Assignment

Please read through the Essay #4 module notes for important information on argument and persuasion. 

Important Links: 

Library Databases: to an external site.

NPR: to an external site.

PBS Newshour: to an external site.



Essay #4: Argument and Persuasion 

Write a 4-6 page argumentative and persuasive essay on one of the following the topics.  You should include at least 5 scholarly sources and cite them within the essay and on a Works Cited page.  At least two of your sources should come from the library’s online databases:  (CQ Researcher is required for this essay, but you should also search Academic Search Complete.)  You should also include an article from either the PBS Newshour site or  Other sources are allowed, but you should evaluate those sources using the criteria that we have learned, including currency, relevance, accuracy, authority, and purpose. Refer to this link for additional information: Academic Research – English – LibGuides at Bossier Parish Community College ( to an external site.

As part of this assignment, you will also write an annotated bibliography.  The assignment for the annotated bibliography, along with a sample and a video lecture, are located in this module. The annotated bibliography must be submitted through Canvas, and the final draft of the essay will not be accepted if the annotated bibliography is not turned in completed and on time

Remember that an argumentative essay must take a strong stand on one side of controversial topic; this is not the time to straddle the fence.  Also, the goal is not merely to provide information, as with the definition essay; instead, the goal is to persuade the audience to believe something or to take some kind of action.  You want your argument to be plausible, meaning your audience will see your logic and believe that you are sincere. 

Your thesis statement must be a clear, direct assertion of your position on your topic. This is called the claim. Links to an external site.

Choose one of the following topics:


1.     Should community college tuition be free? Be sure to look at specific programs in New York and Tennessee.  (Try search all PBS Newshour and NPR for “Tennesee Promise.”) Also reference the CQ Researcher article on this topic.  (Do not focus only on the benefits; for example, it’s obvious that more students could afford college if it were free.  In fact, a passing mention in your introduction is plenty.  Instead, focus on whether such a program would work.)    

2.     Should e-cigarettes be banned in the United States? In making your argument, it is important to examine how vaping is being regulated, what the medical experts say, and popular opinion. CQ Researcher has an excellent article to get you started.  NPR and PBS Newshour will have the most up-to-date articles about the health risks and public opinion. 

3.     For the past several decades, colleges and universities which have admissions requirements have asked students to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of their application. Recently, there has been a movement away from this requirement. Should higher education drop admission exams permanently?

4.     Experts say the growing amount of false information being spread by some politicians, social media and cable news is undermining trust in the mainstream media and damaging the nation’s physical and political health. With Americans deeply divided over politics, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice, trust in mass media fell to new lows in the last five years. Argue for a solution that would prevent the increasing spread of misinformation in America. 

5.     Choose one of the differences between American schools and schools in Finland seen in the video we watched in class.Links to an external site. Argue that American public schools should adopt that change and explain why. Rely heavily on your research, but you may briefly quote the video in the introduction paragraph of your essay. 

Important Things to Keep in Mind: 


o   Any information that is not common knowledge but lacks a citation in your essay is considered plagiarism and will result in a grade of zero F.  Anything taken word-for-word from a source without quotation marks, even with a citation, will also be considered plagiarism.  Use your quotation marks, signal phrases, and parenthetical citations to properly credit your sources.  Even one instance of plagiarism will result in a zero F. 

o   On essay #2, citation errors resulted in points taken off. However, now that you have experience with citation rules, instances of plagiarized information will result in an F on the assignment. 

o   Neither first person nor second person pronouns are allowed (10-point penalty).

o   A Works Cited page that has a list of links, rather than MLA-formatted citations, will result in an F on the entire assignment. 

o   I will be paying particular attention to both grammar and formatting when grading this final essay.  Check your MLA heading, do not skip lines, and make sure your citations are all correct.  Little details matter!  Revise and edit your essay very carefully. 

The final draft will not be graded if the annotated bibliography is not submitted.


You must work in at least 4 out of the 5 types of specific evidence we discussed:


1.     Facts

2.     Statistics

3.     Examples

4.     Expert testimony

5.     Personal experience (someone else’s, discovered through research, not your own)


The thesis statement must be a strong statement and pick a side:

Bad thesis statement:  There would be both good and bad consequences if community college were tuition-free.

Good thesis statement:  Community college should be free for three specific reasons.  or

Free community college tuition may sound good at first, but it is ultimately a bad idea.    


Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The annotated bibliography demonstrates that you have completed your research. It also allows you to complete your Works Cited citations before you begin writing your paper, which in turn makes your in-text citations easier.  

The final draft of Essay #4 will not be accepted if the annotated bibliography is not submitted on time. 

Important Links: 

Library Databases: to an external site.

NPR: to an external site.

PBS Newshour: to an external site.



What is an annotated bibliography? 

Before your essay is due, you must also complete an annotated bibliography of your topic.  

This annotated bibliography is essentially a Works Cited page, with a short paragraph for each citation in which you summarize the article and explain whether it is useful for your essay. Your annotated bibliography must include at least five citations, with a paragraph-long summary of each source. 

The annotated bibliography must be submitted through Canvas, and neither the rough draft nor the final draft will not be accepted if the annotated bibliography is not turned in completed and on time.  The annotated bibliography is worth 50 points.


An annotated bibliography accomplishes two things: 

(a) It allows you to complete your research, pick out quotes, and write Works Cited entries before you begin writing your paper. This allows you to focus on writing when you are working on your rough draft. 

(b) Whenever you are asked to research a topic, whether in this class, another class, or even in the workplace, an annotated bibliography is a way to demonstrate that you have completed the research.  It’s hard evidence that you looked up your topic, read some articles, and understood what they were saying. 


Getting started: 

Start by looking at the list of topics for the essay.  Next, log into the library’s online databases.  Search for your topic using both Academic Search Complete and CQ Researcher.  Be sure to try using different search terms to get different results.  Also search and You may search the web, too, but be sure to evaluate your sources. Inappropriate sources will result in points deducted. 

Once you have read a few articles, it is time to complete your annotated bibliography.  Use the citation features in both Academic Search Complete and CQ Researcher to copy and paste a MLA citation into a Word document.  (Make sure that you are grabbing a MLA citation and not some other format!)  Then add the hanging indent and correct any formatting errors in the citation, using the examples in the MLA module as a guide. Next, use the MLA worksheet in Canvas to write out the citations for your web articles from NPR, PBS Newshour, and other web sources.  Pay particular attention to small details like punctuation and italics.

Once you have formatted your citations, write a short paragraph (6-7 sentences) about each article.  Your paragraph should include:

·        A summary (4-6 sentences) of either the entire article or the parts that are relevant to your thesis.  

·        At least two direct quotes with correctly formatted in-text citations.

·        A sentence or two about whether the article will be useful in your essay.  

You need five (5) citations for your annotated bibliography.  A bibliography with fewer than five citations will receive a zero.  You will not receive partial credit for submitting fewer than five sources. 

Use a correctly formatted MLA heading, and title your work “Annotated Bibliography,” centered beneath the heading, just as you would with an essay. Indent your paragraphs the same way you would in an essay. 







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 Step 1: Research Your Topic

For each source that you evaluate for Essay #4, answer the following questions. The last question asks that you write a paragraph or two summarizing your article and picking out direct quotes. If you make a real effort to write a quality summary, complete with in-text citations, then writing your rough draft will be MUCH easier! 

You may make multiple posts to this discussion board. To get full credit for this assignment, you will need to make five posts total. 

1. Where is this source from? CQ Researcher, Academic Search Complete, NPR, or PBS Newshour? Another website? 

2. What term did you use in the search bar? Did you use Google to find this source? 

3. Why did you choose this article to summarize? 

4. If from a database, copy and paste the MLA citation here. If from NPR, PBS Newshour, or another website, copy and paste the URL: 

5. (a) Is this article recent, within the past five years?  (b) Is it still relevant? (For example, an article about issues in the 2020 election may still be within the past five years, but the issues may have changed since the election.) 

6. What is the intended purpose of this article? Is it presenting information to inform the audience, is it arguing for the audience to believe something, is it persuading the audience to do something, or is it to entertain? Explain how you know. 

7. Is the source reputable? Is it trustworthy? Explain your answer. 

8. Finally, write a 1-2 paragraph summary of the article. Focus on interesting information that you learned about your topic. Include specific details in your summary; if I cannot tell that you read the article based on your summary, you will not receive points for this assignment. Include 1-3 direct quotes. Each direct quote should only be 1-2 sentences long and end with an in-text citation.