What issue is the essay or article primarily concerned with?

Essay Writing

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/05/15/mandatory-minimum-sentences-are-cruel-and-ineffective-sessions-wants-them-back/

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Consider the essays assigned in this lesson, and the reading questions from this lesson’s notes.

Choose a single essay to focus on (one assigned during this lesson) and write a 1500-3000 word response, using one of the prompts below. Your written response should an MLA-formatted Word document. Do not type into the text box for this assignment. Your assignment will be evaluated based on how well you address the question selected, your use of a clear claim or main point, your use of examples or evidence to support your claim, organization and clarity.

 

 

Be sure you know whether the essay you’ve chosen is a personal essay (first person, true story about the author’s life) or an expository essay (an informative or persuasive essay on a topic, which using evidence to support arguable claims). Choose a writing prompt that aligns with the type of essay you have selected.

 

Questions for either type of essay:

  • What issue is the essay or article primarily concerned with?
  • What problems or concerns is the essay trying to address?
  • Is there a cause and effect relationship explored in the article? What is it?
  • How do issues relating to justice impact individuals and families?
  • How does the essay define “justice”?
  • What connections can you make between the essays, articles, and other materials in this unit?
  • Is our criminal justice system biased, racist or flawed in other ways?
  • What kinds of reform are most necessary?

Questions for personal essays:

  • What tone is the author expressing? Does his or her tone change? What causes the change and how is it signaled to the reader?
  • What literary devices (metaphor, symbol, description, dialogue) are used? What effect do these devices have?
  • What is the author’s overall main idea? What lesson or argument does the essay seem to convey?
  • Why is this event important to the author? Why should it be important to us as readers?
  • What scenes or vivid images stand out after you’ve finished reading the piece? Why are they memorable?
  • What cultural beliefs or customs are revealed in this essay? Considering its time and place of composition, how do today’s American beliefs or customs compare?

Questions for Expository essays or news articles:

  • What kinds of data or evidence are used to support the author’s points?
  • Is the main point stated or implied? What is it? Is it clear?
  • What was the most compelling or most effective piece of evidence?
  • Does the author make it a point to define or classify topics relating to criminal justice?

 

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