Persuasive writing

Writing assignment #3:
Persuasive writing
700 – 750 words
Font: 12 Times New Roman; double spaced; approximately 3 pages
Due date: March 27th, 2015 – submit via safeassign before midnight
Learning goals:
•    To formulate a clear and specific argument in the introductory paragraph of the essay
•    To develop each body paragraph on the basis of one general idea that supports the thesis statement in the introductory essay paragraph; to support each body paragraph with evidence (quotes, facts, examples that demonstrate your research)
•     To build your essay on the basis of logical progression of ideas (from beginning to end)
•    To end the essay with a conclusion where you not only restate your thesis, but draw a logical conclusion on the basis of the information presented in the body of your essay
Instructions:
1.    Go to the website: http://kommunalka.colgate.edu/cfm/v_tours.cfm
2.    You will see the following page

3.    Go to “About” and read “Communal apartment and this website” section
4.    Browse the website. Carefully read the sections: “Documents”, “Essays”, “From Books”
5.    Watch the videos in “From Films” and “Your Tours”
6.    Once finished, proceed with formulating an argument (your future thesis statement) about the “Communal Living in the Soviet Union” phenomenon. The following questions will help you to build a clear and persuasive argument:
– What issues are raised by the documents you have studied on the website?
– What are the different standpoints one can occupy in regard to the communal living phenomenon? Approach the issue from as many different perspectives as you can.
– What will be YOUR standpoint on this phenomenon?
– How can you support your standpoint by the information studied in the points 3, 4, 5 above. In other words, what information from the above sources will you use to support your position?
7.    Now proceed with writing the first draft of your 3 – page essay. Go back to the e-mail I sent to class with feedback on the first assignment. Follow the suggestions listed in that e-mail while writing your first draft.
8.    Most writers suggest that you should proceed with introduction / conclusion only once you are finished writing the body. You should also be open to modifying / changing your argument as you progress in your writing.
9.     Remember to build each body paragraph on the basis of one general idea that supports the main thesis statement; remember to support each body paragraph with evidence (quotes, facts, examples that demonstrate your research and make your argument credible / convincing to the reader)
10.    Remember to start your paper with a “hook” – an original (unconventional) statement related to your main argument that will grab the reader’s attention / intrigue him (her). Remember to use your introduction to leader the reader to the main argument that will close your introductory paragraph.
11.    Once finished with the first draft of your essay, think whether a rebuttal (see the word in the dictionary) of the arguments opposing to the one you have made would make your essay more credible and convincing.
12.    Finally, read your paper with a friend / relative and pay attention to the parts of your draft that result unclear or confusing to your reader. Ask your reader whether he / she is convinced of your standpoint after reading your paper. Pay attention to your reader’s constructive criticism. Make all the necessary corrections to your paper.
13.    Remember, the main purpose of an argumentative text is to convince the reader in the credibility of your viewpoint on the issue through logically developed argumentation supported by evidence.
14.    Your research should be limited to the materials provided on the following website: http://kommunalka.colgate.edu/cfm/v_tours.cfm
15.    Use MLA citation style for this essay.

Final essay – first draft:
Persuasive writing
~ 1800 – 2000 words
Font: 12 Times New Roman; double spaced; approximately 8 pages
Due date: April 4th , 2015– submit via safeassign before midnight
Instructions:
1.    Brainstorming / choosing the topic
Find a quiet peaceful place. Take a blank sheet of paper and write down questions that you’ve always wanted to be answered. For example: “What makes people to be kind / mean to each other?  What makes people behave differently in the same situations? What is human culture? What is the difference between individual and collective culture?” Once finished with questions, proceed with answering them by writing down all the key words and phrases that come to mind. Once finished, try to remember the different themes / topics discussed in our course “Modern Russian Culture and Civilization” that could be related to the questions, key words and phrases you have put on your “blank sheet”. Remember that we used films, documentaries, video clips, songs, poetry, art, fiction, etc. to analyze Soviet / Russian culture. We talked about politics, religion, ideology, social phenomena, individual vs. collective perception of Soviet culture, youth culture, cult of personality (especially under Stalin), repressions, persecutions, mass executions, concentration camps, official vs. underground culture, etc. Think of connections between themes discussed in class and your own life and culture. Once finished, formulate an estimated topic of your paper. Remember that your topic has to be within the historical time range covered in the course – 1917 until today.
2.    Research
* You cannot use Wikipedia
The credibility of your paper is defined by the quality of your research. There are several easy ways to find scholarly sources.
–    Killiam library online catalogue:   http://libraries.dal.ca/ Type in key words related to the topic you’ve decided to investigate. You may find it better to start by searching for articles first. They are shorter, accessible online and easier to follow. You will also find that a great number of e-books. Good research, of course, encompasses the use of a variety of scholarly resources. Dalhousie has a great number of books on Modern Russian culture.
–    Google books: https://books.google.ca/ Type in key words related to the topic you’ve decided to investigate. You will find a great number of books available online through google books.

3.    Writing
Go back to the instructions to the writing assignment 3. Follow points 6 to 15 using the topic you have selected to write about. Take a very specific essay topic and investigate it in depth. Be flexible about modifying your main argument as you advance in your research.
4.    Essay structure
Use the following structure for your essay: http://studentsuccess.asu.edu/sites/default/files/Persuasive%20Essay%20Structure.pdf
5.    The difference between first and final draft
The first draft is your fully written essay which needs further revision. It can lack minor details and is not a “finished” product. The purpose of turning in your first draft is to get feedback and comments on what should be modified in your paper in order to make it a better piece of writing.
6.    Bibliography
Your submitted document should include a bibliography (works cited) page. Since your submitted first draft is subject to change, your bibliography for the final essay submission can also change.
7.    Additional resources
If you are not sure what topic to choose for your final paper, see the following websites: http://understandrussia.com/ http://russiapedia.rt.com/
8.    To access group PPT presentations (including bibliography) and key terms, enter our course page on BBlearn, go to Content > Group presentations_PPT_key_terms:

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