Essay Assignment 1: Character Evolution
Welcome to the first essay assignment in the course!
Most of the essay assignments in this course are centered around a thesis statement, which you may remember from the lesson is a personal, debatable claim that should appear in a single statement at the end of your introduction paragraph (please underline them). Then, each of your body paragraphs is constructed to serve as support in proving your thesis. Let’s get started!
Topic and Structure:
Character Evolution – Explain how a character from a novel, film, television show, or another medium of your choice evolves—either good or bad—from the beginning to the end of the story.
Your introduction will provide a brief synopsis of the story and then smoothly transition into the last sentence of your introduction—the thesis statement. Next, you will develop at least three body paragraphs, each dedicated to one example (such as a scene) in your chosen medium that serves as support for your thesis claim. Finally, you will compile a conclusion paragraph that synthesizes your findings.
Creating the thesis statement:
Is your argument focused and meaningful in a way that it also offers a clear-cut, but debatable point of view, which a reader might either agree or disagree with? Avoid claims that are too obvious to the readers—offer them a new idea! Remember, a thesis also serves as a map for your essay, providing a promise of subtopics you will discuss in your body paragraphs in the order in which they appear in your essay.
Sample thesis statement: In The Midnight’s Shadow, Charles Bellingham begins as a lonely, self-loathing candle maker, but after he meets Miss Charmaine, begins working for the king, and takes an understudy, he transforms into a confident man who sees the townspeople and the kingdom as a friendly and prosperous community.
Developing the body paragraphs:
The way you present your supporting evidence is just as important as the evidence itself. When you create a body paragraph with the goal of supporting a claim in your thesis, you want to include a balance of research and/or examples with original material. In other words, original material refers to discussions you develop that help explain the connection between your research and/or examples and your thesis claim. You don’t want to assume that your research and/or examples are enough to prove your thesis—you want to inform your reader how and why cited material serves the purpose you intend.
Therefore, begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence that affirms your opinion. A topic sentence for the first body paragraph in a paper with the thesis from above might say, “Miss Charmaine, ever so charming in her ways, bumps into a scowling Mr. Bellingham, only to annoy him further, but as he slowly raises his gaze to evaluate the source of this unpleasantry, he is rather surprised to see a such a lovely creature affectionately maintaining his stare, eliciting an intrigue that serves as the first defining moment in Charles’ positive transformation.” Next, follow up the topic sentence with more about this scene that serves as the defining moment. Then, spend significant time explaining how the events you just discussed prove your thesis. Finally, end the paragraph with a concluding sentence that synthesizes your efforts.
Compiling the conclusion:
Lastly, compile a conclusion paragraph that summarizes your findings in a new manner, using fresh language and perspective. Make sure to work in a restatement of your thesis statement (but not a repetitive version) as well as any other relevant ideas you present in the essay. You want your conclusion to read like new information but without actually presenting new arguments. In sum, synthesize instead of summarize.
- When you refer to events in your chosen medium, use literary present.
- Review the course sample essay for this assignment via the link on this page, but be sure not to copy the sample ideas.
Header: Include a header in the upper left-hand corner of your writing assignment with the following information:
- Your first and last name
- Course Title (Composition I)
- Assignment name (Character Evolution)
- Current Date
- MLA style documentation (please see the tutorial in the course topic)
- Last name and page number in upper-right corner of each page
- Double-spacing throughout
- Title, centered after heading
- Standard font (Times New Roman or Calibri)
- 1″ margins on all sides
- Save the file as .docx or .doc format
Length: This assignment should be at least 500 words. You must meet word minimums for all essays in this course in order to have your submissions graded.
Underline your thesis statement.