Informative (and Surprising) Essay Materials
Purpose of the Informative and Surprising Essay
Rhetorical Aim = To explore or explain
Focus of writing = Subject matter on which you present new or needed information based on your own experience or research
What writers do = You provide information your readers need or want, or you arouse curiosity and then present new, surprising information
Relationship to audience = You, as a knowledgeable teacher, surprise your readers by enlarging their view of a subject; you expect readers to trust your authority and information
Form = Usually has a closed-form structure
Pattern, Purpose, and Goal of the Informative and Surprising Essay
You present the problem, the common answer for your imagined audience, and a surprising reversal.
Your purpose is to enlarge your readers’ views on a topic by providing new information or to teach them something they didn’t know about the topic.
The surprising-reversal pattern occurs when you contrast your readers’ original view of a topic with your own new or surprising view.
Your goal is two-fold:
1. to discover unique knowledge or experience that will give your audience an uncommon perspective on a topic; and
2. to consider both your topic and your audience (persons who have a mistaken or narrow view of your topic).
Informative and Surprising Essay Assignment
For this assignment, you will write an informative (and surprising) essay. In your paper, you will be required to use 3 outside sources from which you either quote or paraphrase, using the correct parenthetical citation techniques when needed. You will also need to attach a Works Cited at the end of the essay.
The essay must be at least 2 ½ pages in length (double-spaced, typed, with 1-inch margins) and use MLA format throughout.
The essay will be graded for the following:
- Correct grammar/punctuation/spelling
- Correct quote introduction, paraphrasing, parenthetical citation, and works cited
- Appropriate sources acquired through research
- Correct focus (informative and surprising) and structure (closed-form)
Please follow the steps listed below when writing:
- Read and review notes on Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Points and Particulars.
- Brainstorm for topics and do exploratory writing.
- Write a rough draft.
- OPTIONAL (but strongly encouraged): Ask one of your classmates to review your draft (and review one for a classmate).
- Proofread and edit the final draft
Getting Started on the Informative and Surprising Essay
Consider the following:
· Based on my personal experience, reading, research, or observation, what information or knowledge do I have about X that is different from the common view of X held by an imagined audience?
· Although people within my imagined audience commonly regard X this way, my personal experience, observations, or research show X to be this way.
You don’t have to surprise everyone in the world, just those who hold a mistaken view.
Your surprising view doesn’t necessarily have to be diametrically opposed to the common view.
Your surprising view also doesn’t have to be shocking or earth-shattering! It just needs to be different from the common view
Structure for Informative Essay
Intro – Catch the reader’s attention, establish common knowledge or attitudes, state the reader’s current level of understanding. End with the thesis—surprises, gives new perspective, leads the reader in a new direction with new knowledgeFirst point – tell what the point is (topic sentence). Support it with particulars from research or my own knowledge. Include citations.Etc. – for as many points as you haveConclusion – review points or give advice to the reader (what to do with new knowledge) or suggest actions for the reader to take or ….