Case Study 7-24 A public place you know personally has been changed by time or by human beings. Has the change been for the better or for the worse?

Case Study 7-24

A public place you know personally has been changed by time or by human beings. Has the change been for the better or for the worse?

Order Description

The final essay is worth 200 points and is 950-1,000 words.

Please time yourself and write the essay in a span of 4 hours. If you took more than four hours to write the essay, please indicate at the end the essay the time it

took from beginning to end. The essay will not be downgraded in anyway for taking more time. This is only for my own information and research statitistics.

Usually, no feedback is provided on the Final essay. It is graded holistically. Samples of the graded essays and borderline essays are sometimes reviewed by a


Grade Breakdown

Introduction presents issue clearly with acceptable and reasonable positive or negative words that pave the way for the thesis statement and does not exceed 15% of the

number of words in the essay. (10%)

The thesis statement states a clear and unequivocal opinion on the issue and is the last sentence in the introduction. (10% pts)

Each body paragraph has a clear topic sentence which supports the thesis statement. 15%

Each body paragraph is well supported with facts and free of logical fallacies and of clutter (25%)

Conclusion is meaningful summarizes the essay as well as looks beyond it to the future or offers a result/solution. It does not exceed 15% of the number of words in

the essay (10%).

Language is Standard English and is free of spoken expressions and the word “you” and uses “they” carefully (15 %)

Paper is correctly formatted and is free from grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. (15%)

However, no matter how good an essay is, it will not receive a grade of A if it

1. Uses the pronoun “you”

2. Uses the pronoun “they” to refer to a singular noun

However, no matter how good an essay is, it will not receive a grade of A if it

1. Uses the pronoun “you”

2. Uses the pronoun “they” to refer to a singular noun

Please note that an essay that does not answer the question, does not get credit.

To get credit, the essay should

1. Clearly answer the question.

2. Have 950-1,000 words.

3. Be written in acceptable Standard Language

Read the topic carefully

The topic will unveil its secrets to you only if you read it more than once. It will tell you what to write about, but most importantly, it will also tell you what NOT

to write about. It will tell you the limitations and the specifications of the discussion.

Just summarize the story in the introduction and proceed to discuss it (in answer to the topic) in the rest of the paragraphs.

The Introduction:

Do not philosophize or generalize

If the introduction starts with word(s) such as : People, some people, all people, often, always, etc…. You may want to cross that sentence out because it takes your

introduction on the wrong path .

Examples: Many people like horror films. Others may like romantic films. I like…..

Sentences like these add nothing to the essay. You may safely cross them out.

The Introduction: Hit the nail on the head

Start immediately with the topic. If the topic is about a film, a show, a book, a person, a place, an issue, etc…, etc… Start immediately with the name of the

topic and proceed from there. This will save the reader’s time and your effort and will help maintain the focus of the essay on the main idea.

The Introduction: Define, define, define.

Avoid a sense of mystery and suspense, which are perfect for creative writing. Academic writing is clear and well defined. So, define the person, the situation, the

show, the river, the place, the issue, that the essay will discuss in the introduction.

The Introduction: Avoid announcing what you or the essay will do.

Academic language does not accept announcing what the essay or the paragraph will do.

Examples: In this essay, I am going to discuss the reasons for…. and then the effects that … has on children and adults. Then I will proceed to discuss some

preventive measures.

Or This essay will discuss/explain/argue/compare, etc…

The Introduction: Answer the question

Write the introduction as a direct answer to the topic. If the topic asks about a situation, define the situation. If the topic asks about a person explain how you

came to know this person. If the topic is about a problem you faced, explain where and how you faced this problem (do not start discussing the problem without first

introducing how you faced it).

Thesis Statement: A clear opinion

The thesis statement is a clear opinion about a situation, an issue, a person, etc… The thesis statement cannot be something like: this is good for some and not good

for some. Such an essay is about the advantages and disadvantages. Your thesis statement has to express what you believe, even if you do not believe it.

For example, in an essay on abortion, the thesis statement cannot be: abortion is good in some situations.

This is not argument. This is advantages and disadvantages.

Even if you have reservations, for the sake of the essay, you will express one side only.

Thesis Statement: Not a question

Never end the introduction with a question. The thesis statement is just that! A statement! It is never a question.

Thesis Statement: Not what people think

Do not state what ‘many people think.’ State your opinion.

Thesis statement: Not an announcement of what you or the paper will do.

Never write a thesis statement such as: This paper will…, or: In this paper I will…. This is good for speeches, but not for writing academic papers. Academic

writing does not announcing the topic

Think of the best way to organize your essay.

As a rule of thumb remember the following elements:

1. Avoid chronological order, because, before you realize it, the essay will turn into a story.

2. Use emphatic order, which is the order of importance.

3. Start with the least important and proceed to the most important so that the reader will always remember the most important point.

Use transition words and expressions between paragraphs

Begin each paragraph with words such as: in addition, fortunately, unfortunately, one important… another important… not only… but also…..

Those words are like traffic signs. They direct the reader throughout the essay.

Never announce what the paragraph will discuss

Announcing the topic can take many forms. Here are some examples:

Addiction. Pollution.etc.. (one word, instead of a topic sentence)

First, let’s discuss addiction.

This paragraph will discuss addiction.

Those topic sentences are not acceptable. The topic sentence has a set formula: transition word, topic, statement about the topic.

Language No No’s

Never use the word ‘you’ except in quotations, and those should be between quotation marks.

Never use spoken language, such as ok, when it comes to, well (at the beginning of a sentence), let’s, …..

Do not ask questions

Avoid asking questions. A paragraph that starts with question reads like FAQ. State a topic sentence that is clear and that is a statement, not a question. And avoid

asking questions in the essay.

Later on, when you become more experienced, you may use questions. (after you graduate from this class).

Do not address the reader

Verbs whose subject is ‘you’ are not allowed in academic writing because the word ‘you’ is not allowed. So do not use expressions such as

Imagine – make no mistake – think – take care of your children – etc…

Make sure you know the difference between

Their – there

its – it’s

where – were

are – our

to – too

effects – affects

sit – set

lie – lie – lay

hole – hall – whole

accept – except

then – than

weather – whether

Avoid redundancy

Often times (often means times)

To enjoy the enjoyment 🙂

in order to be able to (either in order to OR to be able to)

About the Title

Capitalize the first letter in the words of the title
1. Always capitalize the first and the last word.
2. Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions (“as”, “because”, “although”).
3. Lowercase all articles, coordinate conjunctions (“and”, “or”, “nor”), and prepositions regardless of length, when they are other than the first or last word. (Note:

Some writers capitalize prepositions of five characters or more (“after”, “among”, “between”)
4. Lowercase the “to” in an infinitive

The place has to be a personal limited place, not an entire city. It could be the shopping center that you used to go to with your family, or the restaurant where you

ate with your friends, the park where you played sports with the neighberhood kids. It has to be a personal place.

Examples: the park where you used to play has been replaced by a number of buildings; your old school has been renovated. Has the change been for the better or for the



In the introduction, introduce the place and mention briefly some memories of it.
In the thesis statement, state whether the change has been good or bad.
In each body paragraph compare one aspect of the change to what it was before and show how the change is good/bad.
Address the counter argument: what do those who disagree with you think?

Do not get too cozy with the essay. Some students spend many sentences expressing their nostalgia and their disappointment that a place they loved so much has changed.

This is too personal. Remember that the essay is about the place, not about you, and that whether it has changed for better or for worse is in the general meaning, not

in the personal meaning.


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