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Assignment: In Praise Of…

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Required length: 500 words. (Yes, 495 is fine. No, 435 is not.)

Your first assignment for our class will be a persuasive essay written in praise of someone or something. What should you praise? It can be any subject: a meaningful person, a place you love, a significant object, a piece of art — anything!

Your task here is not to simply tell us about what you’re praising, but to convince us that this person or thing is worth of praise. While you’ll need some narrative to describe this person or thing, you’ll want to remember your purpose. So, you’ll need to create an argument, using details and evidence organized around your central thesis that this person or thing is praiseworthy. You’ll want to convince your reader that this person or thing is truly exceptional.

One thing to consider, however, is that lofty praise that is not grounded in reality can seem insincere. Nothing is perfect, not even the most praiseworthy of subjects, and you’ll want to acknowledge that. What might your audience object to in your argument, and how can you address that?

You will earn an A and all 100 points for this assignment if you: • Have a clear thesis statement or controlling idea for your essay. (Your thesis will almost definitely be that your subject is worthy of praise.) • Organize your thoughts well. • Are able to leave your reader convinced that your subject is deserving of your praise. • Use proper grammar, mechanics, and word choice. • Follow MLA formatting. No citations are required for this paper, though if you do refer to any sources, you will need to cite them appropriately.