Using Joan Didion and Stephen King, are there concrete ways to become a better writer? How can these techniques provide writers with a path to grow?


The purpose of this essay is to provide you with a jumping off point. From there, you will show me that you’ve learned writing skills, reading fluency and critical thinking when it comes to assigned texts and what they say about the world around us.

1.)Using TaNeishi Coates and Malcolm Gladwell, can ordinary people make a change to the way BIPOC Americans are treated by Police? Has 2020 provided any examples of how ordinary people have built upon past action and made a change this year? (+538 article)

2.)Using Joan Didion and Stephen King, are there concrete ways to become a better writer? How can these techniques provide writers with a path to grow? (+Raymond Carver)

3.)Using Sedaris and Yanigahara, can adversity in life make us better people? Do we face too many obstacles and miscommunications that, when faced with a problem, we can become better than we were before? (+Nonfiction)

4.) Using Carl Sagan and two articles on COVID, do you think Truth matters to people? How has the Coronavirus Pandemic proved or disproved this? (+Gladwell)

5.)Using Danny Chau and Anthony Bourdain, does food have the power to unite people? Is it worth obsessing over the food we eat and cook, and if so, what can we discover about the United States and the communities that seem to be so divided? (+Gold)

First Steps of Assignment

Identify the problem/what is at stake. For example:

Many high schools are trying to find ways to incorporate the Black Lives Matter movement and discussions about race and racism into the classroom. Some people think these discussions are important to have; others are uncomfortable having these discussions.

Decide where you stand on the given issue and your potential solution. For example, research has shown that students are more engaged and feel included when they learn about current social justice movements. I’d like to propose that all high schools teach about these movements.

Strategize how you will present your argument in a way that will best convince your reader.

Writing Your Essay

Your project will culminate in an argument of no less than 4 double-spaced pages. In this, you will include the following information.

Title: Your title should clearly signal the topic. Your paper must have a title.

Introduction: Problem and broad overview of your argument.

Introduce the question

Briefly describe consequences and problems this raises.

State your thesis (solution)

Background: Details of question/argument and overview

Describe how the problem has been articulated and defined by others.

What do the authors of your texts argue?

Examples, make your argument.

Bring in concrete evidence from your sources. How does this prove your thesis?

Conclusion: Highlight implications of your argument.

How does what you argue extend beyond the text?

Works Cited page