people on a benchWeek 2: Writing a Personal Essay


Now that you have had a bit of practice writing strong paragraphs (remember, every paragraph must be unified, coherent, and well-developed!), we will start thinking about how to put together a short essay. Specifically, we will focus on techniques for developing ideas, creating a plan for writing, and drafting and assembling an essay. We will also continue to work on grammar skills by completing activities at InQuizitive (with the goal of transferring skills to actual writing!)


  • develop critical reading skills
  • improve grammar skills: sentence fragments
  • write focused, coherent, and well-developed paragraphs
  • write an outline and a personal essay of 1000-1200 words which include a strong introduction and conclusion and well-developed paragraphs
  • write a strong introduction and conclusion
  • proofread an essay to improve grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Assignments & Instructions

  1. Complete the InQuizitive activity on fragments (50 points total for all IQ activities in "assignments" category)

  2. Watch the TedTalks video "Food is not only culture; it's diplomacy" by Leah Selim then post your response to the discussion forum (Don't forget that for all discussion assignments, you need to post your response to the essay by Wednesday and your replies to classmates by Sunday). (5 points, discussion category)

  3. Review the essay 1 assignment, then read the lectures on "Planning an essay" and  "Outlining and drafting an essay" and section W-3 "Planning an Essay" in the Little Seagull Handbook.

  4. Read the lectures on writing introductions and writing conclusions

  5. Contribute to the discussion forum: introductions and conclusions treasure hunt. (5 points)

  6. Read the Essay 1 assignment description, then write your essay following the instructions provided. Visit the Library of Student Writing to see models of great student essays submitted for this assignment.

  7. OPTIONAL: Submit your draft to the NeTutor Tutorial Center for feedback from an experienced writing tutor. The link is on your Canvas class homepage in the left-side menu. You can also access NeTutor through your student cubby.

  8. Submit your completed essay to the Canvas/ drop box by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (100 points)