Essay 3 Conclusion: So What?

Many writers find conclusions to be challenging.  Often, a writer simply restates the introduction, leaving the reader with little to think about after the essay.  Or, sometimes a writer continues to introduce new ideas in the conclusion, thereby leaving the reader–and the essay–hanging.

For this week’s blog activity, record your working conclusion to Essay 3.  In a separate paragraph, explain what conclusion strategy you are using and why.  For more on strategies, see the handbook (p. 47), and The UNC’s Writing Center Handout on conclusions:

Please post conclusions by Wednesday, October 10, at 10 PM, CST.  Provide feedback to 2 of your peers by Friday, October 12, 10 PM, CST.  Check back over the weekend to see what your peers and I have written about your conclusions.  Remember: writing “this looks good” neither helps the writer nor earns you full points for this activity.


What Would Be Your Last Meal?

Considering The Meaning of Food segment on Brian Price, the former prisoner who cooked last meals for those on death row, explain what your last meal would be.  In one paragraph, describe your meal, using descriptive language (try to hit most of the 5 senses).  Use this paragraph to practice describing food, a task that can be difficult since we tend to fall back on clichés when we talk about food.  Practicing food descriptions here will help prepare you for Essay 3’s evaluative purpose.

In another paragraph, explain why you chose this meal–what special significance does the food have in your life?  How does your choice reveal your food culture?

Posts should be made by Thursday, October 4, at 10 PM, CST.  Please respond to 3 of your peers’ posts by 10 PM, CST, on Sunday, October 7.  For this activity, your responses do not have to be geared toward critiquing your peers’ writing; rather, you can focus on the posts’ content.

Thesis Statements

Post your Essay 2 thesis statement by 10 PM, CST, on Wednesday, September 26.

Provide feedback to three of your peers by Friday, September 28 (10 PM, CST).  While a good place to begin is with what works well, also try to offer some constructive feedback so the writer can continue to improve the thesis.

I will also be providing individual feedback, so make sure that you return to see what your peers and I have written.

Dierbergs Market at Des Peres

Open for just under two months,”The Market” has already made one significant change: traffic flow in the parking lot has become more logical thanks to new arrows painted on the lot.  That kind of attention to detail remains noticeable throughout the store, as one moves down the wide aisles.  Smooth floors–one wonders if they’re made from a sound-absorbing material–and brand new carts eliminate the usual cacophony of wonky cart tires rattling across uneven, dirty floors found in many groceries.  The cinnamon brooms positioned in the front vestibule, where those quiet, clean carts lie in wait, greet the shopper with an olfactory reminder that fall is on its way.

With so many stations and services, it’s difficult to focus on only a few.  Repeated trips to the store and copious note taking are required to grasp all “The Market” has to offer.  Interestingly, the store’s orientation points left: upon entering, one moves to the left to begin the shopping excursion.  While that alone might not seem unusual, one can only go left and therefore has to begin with produce.  Heading right will take one to the courtesy center and upstairs to the bathrooms and eating areas.  Why would a store want you to begin with produce?

Grocery Store Visit

Between tonight’s class (Monday, September 17), and Friday, September 21, visit your regular grocery store.  As you shop, take notes on at least 5 of the elements included on the Essay 2 Assignment Sheet.  By Sunday, September 23, at 10 PM, CST, post about your shopping experience.

In a couple of paragraphs, post your findings regarding your elements of choice.  What did you notice that you had never thought about before?  What food culture does the store represent, based on your observations?

Before Monday’s class, please read all of your peers’ posts; you don’t have to comment but can should you have something to say.  We will discuss your findings and paragraphs in class.

Keep in mind that in addition to recording ideas here as potential research for Essay 2, you should also take advantage of the activity to practice your writing skills.  Proof and edit your posts as you would a draft for a workshop.

Blog Assignment #1: Essay 1 Introductory Paragraph Feedback

Copy and paste your opening paragraph from your Essay 1 drafts to receive additional feedback from your peers and me.  Please follow these directions:

(1)  Copy and paste your paragraph by Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 10 PM, CST.

(2)  Within the next two days, read everyone’s paragraphs.  Comment on 3 of your peers’ paragraphs, providing constructive feedback (like you did in the peer-review workshop).  Feedback should be written in complete sentences and move beyond simple comments like “I liked it.”  Comments should be made by 10 PM, CST, on Friday, Sept. 14.

(3)  Over the weekend, make sure that you read what others have written for you.  You’ll have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning/afternoon to revise your paragraphs (and papers) before submitting your final copies by the start of class on Monday, September 17.

A few considerations:

  • Remember that this is a public blog, so put your best self forward
  • Everyone is responsible for spacing out the comments; in other words, please don’t all comment on the same 3 paragraphs; makes sure that everyone gets several comments
  • The introductory paragraphs from the assigned readings for Unit 1 are models for your own paragraphs
  • The following resource provides more specific help should you need it: UNC’s Writing Center Handout on Introductions