Essay #2’s Overall Project:
Write an essay in which you value your primary text against the standards it sets for itself,
against the persuasiveness of related texts, against logical standards—and against your own
experience. Do not, however, make this assessment the subject of your essay. Use that
assessment to turn your reader’s attention to your own related idea. Your task here is to explore
the implications and consequences of your primary text’s idea as a way of measuring its
reliability and its worth, while developing an idea of your own concerned with related matters.
You must cite the language of all your written texts; in addition to your primary and secondary
texts, you must work with two others that will aid you in your investigative labors.
Thus, your essay as a whole must contend with a total of 4 texts. Your third and fourth texts
should not be anything issuing from our first progression, and: try to show some initiative here,
and find your 3rd and 4th
texts via your own research. Let me help you, when you need that help.
Be sure to represent all your texts as adequately, precisely, and persuasively as possible—so that
your reader can achieve a sense of the text and comprehend your labors with it.
You are free to select your final two texts from among the following list, though please discuss
with me any other ideas you might have: any written text that you’ve not used before; a painting;
a film; a scientific or mathematical theory; or any other visual text—anything that must be cited
on your Works Cited page. You may also use images of experience (scenic work treated as
visually as you can) as a means of aiding you in pushing your thinking harder; you may not,
however, include them in the four-text requirement for Essay #2, nor should you begin your
essay with them. 5-7 pages, with a “Works Cited” page, correctly negotiated.
This progression is designed to help you to hone the following skills:
:Developing a conversation among a group of ideologically related texts.
:Using that body of texts to generate ideas and to explore their far-reaching implications.
:Practicing the art of reflection both to generate and to strengthen ideas.
:Writing a clearly organized persuasive essay that both assesses the value of a complex primary
text and moves beyond that assessment to develop a compelling idea in a form that
accommodates the needs of an intelligent, skeptical reader.
Progression 2 Essay Rubric
Deadline: Due by email midnight on Fri, Apr 15
Length: Min. 1500 words; Max. 2100 words (~5-7 pages, double-spaced)
Sources: Min. 4 sources, your primary and secondary texts plus 2 more
Citations: Include in-text citations and full Works Cited entries in MLA style
Submission: Email your essay as a .docx or .pdf file to firstname.lastname@example.org
Grading: Your final essay is worth 35% of your final course grade
Logistics: Fulfills requirements in terms of length and source use
Structure: Has a beginning, middle, and ending
Idea: Develops an idea in a compelling way
Voice/Style: Has a tone appropriate for its intended audience and purpose
Accuracy: Is grammatically correct, with accurate citations and Works Cited entries
Assesses the value and reliability of the leading idea of a complex primary text (for
example, “testing” an idea from the primary text against the same idea in another
text; judging internal consistency or looking for contradictions; identify limitations
of the idea)
Explores how a secondary text overlaps, in terms of ideas, with the primary text
Draws attention to implications and consequences beyond the scope of the primary
and secondary texts (for example, by testing the ideas in a new context; by using your
3rd or 4th source to redefine a key term/concept; by checking whether the ideas have
evolved with time)
Articulates a new, distinct idea through analysis of four texts in total
Accommodates the needs of an intelligent, skeptical reader who has not read any of
the texts under consideration