Critical Thinking & Information Literacy
Across the Curriculum
Essay #1 Instructions
English 201: Spring 2005
Your assignment (2 full pages+bibliography) must be emailed by the deadline in your syllabus.
Now that youíve picked topics and developed working theses, itís time to begin exploring them. This weekís visit to
the library will include an introduction to the general reference area and catalog system. I want you to use print
sources (i.e. books) for the first essay, which will be exploratory and informative in nature. Your first essay
should provide some historical overview of your nation of choice. What are some contemporary issues in your nation
and how are they related to local history? Itís time for you to learn about the country youíve chosen and to
articulate what you discover.
If your thesis changes somewhat over the course of writing this paper, thatís fine. Just please remember that
the final draft of your essay needs to have a coherent thesis statement and some kind of logical organization.
I want you to cite at least three sources, but please donít use the first three that you come across. Try to
find several texts and then pick out three or more of the most informative texts. At least two of the sources should
be in direct contrast to each other. The nature of that contrast is up to you. However, it should be appropriate to
your topic, and it should be reflected in your thesis.
Since youíll be using other texts as sources, there are two other things you need to do.
First, you need to have an alphabetized MLA bibliography (see Hacker, pp. 348-370). When you put
the bibliography down on paper, please model it after the sample bibliography (see Hacker, p. 377).
Second, you need to use proper MLA in-text citation (see Hacker, pp. 341-348). Cite everything
that is not common knowledge or your own idea.
Finally, in terms of grading, please take another look at the paper format and grading criteria portions of your syllabus.
This essay is worth 10% of your grade for this course.