"Musician"/"Speedy Thieves" Essay Assignment
DUE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17 (new date)
Picking EITHER the “Musician” case or the “Speedy Thieves” case, write a complete argumentative essay proving your opinion about what really happened.
  • Your essay must be typed. [12 pt. Times or Arial font, double-spaced, 1” margins] You can do this at home or at school. The College & Career Center is available to you during your lunch hour (and you can bring a disk), or you can use the library (but no disks allowed in there). Another option is to schedule a time to use the computer in the classroom before or after school. Whatever you decide to do, you must have a hard copy of your essay printed out and turned in by the end of the day on Tuesday (and/or see Extra Credit #2 below). Plan ahead. No showing up with a disk at 4 pm on Tuesday asking me to print.
  • Your essay must be an essay. This means using the essay structure of having an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Your essay must be free of the deadly sins and as many other errors as possible. Proofread your work. Have a friend proofread you work. Have your dog proofread your work. Read your work aloud slowly to catch errors. Then fix them. Whatever you do, don’t turn in sloppy work.
How will I be graded?
This assignment is worth a total of 125 points. You can earn them by:
  • Writing an engaging introduction with a relevant attention getter, appropriate context, and your thesis. You may include your reasons in your introduction too. (15 points)
  • Making sure you’ve clearly established motive, opportunity, method, and hard evidence (preferably more than one piece) for any person you have accused. (15 points)
  • Writing each body paragraph clearly with all the necessary elements of a logical argument. This means you’ve used appropriate transitions, written a topic sentence, established facts as evidence, explained your facts (with a warrant as necessary), and tied your point back to your thesis. Your body paragraphs should also include appropriate context where necessary. (50 points)
  • Ordering your argument logically (which points you bring up first, second, third, etc.). For example, it doesn’t make much sense to open with a point that proves someone is a murderer and end with a point that only suggests that person is lying. (10 points)
  • Writing a convincing conclusion that doesn’t summarize your entire argument. (15 points)
  • Eliminating errors and confusing language. Write your essay clearly and take pride in the finished product. (20 points)
  • Typing your essay. If it’s not typed, it won’t get graded.
Extra Credit
There are two ways to earn extra credit; however, both require use of the Internet. If you don’t have this at home, make arrangements to use computers at school. (Click here to see full instructions.)

E.C. #1: Using the username and password given to you by Ms. Spachman, log on to http://collaboratory.nunet.net before 10 pm on Friday, March 12 and change your password. (8 pts.)
E.C. #2: Publish your essay on The Collaboratory Project website. This must be done by 7 pm on Tuesday, March 16. (Do not attempt at the last minute.) (20 pts.) You will need your username and password for this. Even if you don’t do them by Friday, follow attached directions for E.C. #1 first before you publish.