Explain why people drop out of college.

Write a 5-7 page research essay based on a multiple sources as described in Chapters 6, 8, 9, and 10. Your essay should be written in MLA format (double-spaced, Times New Roman, etc.). Choosing Your Topic For this essay, everyone in the class will have the same topic, but what aspect of the topic you focus on and which sources you find and then choose to use will be up to you and will make your essay unique. Your essay should answer the following question: Why do people drop out of college? Though your essay must address the topic, you should focus on an aspect of the topic that interests you. For example, you might focus on a particular population (immigrants, minorities, men, etc.), a particular type of college or post-secondary educational institution, a particular geographic area, students of a particular discipline, and so on. Review pages 16-19 in A Writer’s Reference and pages 289-298 in Writing from Sources for examples of narrowing a topic to a thesis statement. Your own ideas are your most important source for this essay. Your essay can include anecdotes (or short, often entertaining stories that illustrate a point) from your own experience in education. Regardless of whether you decide to include such stories, however, your essay will be comprised mainly of your own ideas through your analysis, comparison, and evalution of your other sources and through the framework you create with your introduction, conclusion, and topic sentences. In addition to your own ideas, you must use at least FOUR credible sources suitable for use in academic writing. No more than two of these sources may be Web sites, though all of them may be accessed electronically. (Meaning that sources like articles accessed through library databases and eBooks do not count against this limit.) Keep in mind that most of the work of your essay should happen before you ever begin writing it–once you’ve chosen a focus, you will want to research it by finding sources, creating a list of which relevant ideas they present, and starting to organize those ideas into topics for your essay. Developing Your Essay You should develop your essay as described in the reading in Chapter 6 of Writing from Sources and section C2 of A Writer’s Reference. Your essay should smoothly synthesize your chosen sources with your own ideas in order to create a new, insightful description of your topic. As you organize your materials and decide where each of your chosen sources will fit into your essay, you will also have to make decisions about whether to use summary, paraphrase, or direct quotation. Use the guidelines discussed in each of the respective chapters in Writing from Sources to help you decide which is most appropriate. In particular, be wary of using too much direct quotation–ask yourself whether what you are quoting is really worthy of preserving word-for-word, or whether paraphrase would work just as well. Whichever you choose, make sure your summaries and paraphrases contain no unmarked borrowed language from the source, your direct quotations are accurate and punctuated correctly, and that all three have the author’s name and a parenthetical citation. Since this is a full essay, you also need a works cited page. For this essay, you will have to write your own correct, MLA-style works cited page by following the guidelines in A Writer’s Reference. Evaluation An essay that meets all the above criteria (including academically appropriate sources), makes sense, and has very few (if any) grammatical or spelling errors is a “C.” Because this is not a timed assignment, you are expected to spend as long editing and proofreading your work as it takes for it to meet adult literacy standards. The highest grade an essay with multiple sentence-level errors can earn on this assignment is 50%. Essays that earn higher grades will not only meet the above criteria but also be well written and insightful. Titles that are both descriptive and creative, hooks to get the audience’s attention, transitions at the beginning of and within paragraphs, strong thesis statements and topic sentences, and conclusions that give the reader something to think about are all good ways of improving your essay. Another good way is by making sure that your ideas are original, insightful, make logical sense, and directly address issues discussed by the authors of the sources you’ve chosen. An essay that meets all the criteria and is also well written through the use of these strategies is a “B.” An essay that meets all the criteria and is also insightful is also a “B.” An essay that meets all the criteria, is well written, and is insightful is an “A.”

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