Tag Archives: essay

Problem-Solution Paper Guidelines

You will be writing a short problem-solution essay of your own which incorporates research material to define a problem of your choice, explore potential solutions, and lead to a conclusion in which you promote one selected solution as the most efficient choice.

First, you must define, or draw a boundary around, the problem you will be exploring. “Environmental change” is too big, but “negative effects of overdevelopment” is more manageable. “Politics” is too broad, but “increasing voter participation” is clearer and easier to discuss. You may use some research material here to help define your problem, like statistics that reveal the decline in voter participation rates or quotations from policy experts on overbuilding in sensitive environmental areas. This section provides a frame of reference for the paper as a whole and should inform the reader about the aspect of the problem you wish to address.

In this section of the paper, you will explain two or three potential solutions that should lessen the overall effects of the problem you identified. None of the problems you selected  can be solved by one simple solution (if they could be, we’d have fixed them already!). Instead, you will talk about some potential solutions that should mitigate, or lessen, the problem as a whole. For the voting problem, this might include a “motor voter” law that makes it easy for people to register to vote while they are renewing a driver’s license, making Election Day a national holiday so people are free to go to the polls, or changing our voting method to mail ballots or secure electronic voting. All of the solutions you suggest should include research information that explains why the solution is viable and what effect the selected solution can have or will have on the problem you have defined.

Out of the solutions you have discussed, you need to choose one as the best solution to your problem. Note that this is not the only solution, but the one you think will have the strongest or most positive impact on your original problem. In this section of the paper, you will use your research to back up your conclusion. Explain why this choice is the best one. What effects has this solution had in other circumstances? Is this solution being implemented somewhere else in a positive way? What results have occurred?

Your finished paper should meet the following guidelines:

  • Typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. standard font
  • 2-3 pages of text
  • Research information should be cited internally using MLA format (quick guidelines here)
  • Works Cited page at the end in proper format listing the sources you have used in the paper

Your final paper should be uploaded to Google Classroom no later than Friday, December 16. Remember to revise and proofread before submitting!

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Filed under College Basics

Lord of the Flies Final Writing


Now that we have completed our reading of Lord of the Flies, you will be submitting an analytical essay as your final assessment in lieu of an AP-style prompt. The objective is to reveal your knowledge of how Golding uses archetypes within Lord of the Flies to support the larger theme of the work.

In your essay, you will select a focus character from the following and identify his primary archetypal role in the work:


A good explanation of archetypal roles may be found here or in this Archetypes and Symbols handout. You may also refer to the Archetype_PowerPoint we referenced in class or consult the handouts on archetypes available on the AP Resources page to provide additional background and clarification.

Your essay should show, using appropriate directly quoted or paraphrased support from the novel, how your selected character develops to fulfill his designated archetypal role within the novel and how that role contributes to the work’s overall theme. You may also include references to other archetypal or symbolic information, such as the use of color, shape, etc. as you build your argument. Direct quotations from Golding should be cited according to MLA guidelines.

Archetypal themes to consider—remember that themes must be stated in a phrase, not as a single word!

Hero (good overcoming evil)
Obstacle (struggle with self, struggle with nature)
Death and Rebirth
Initiation (coming of age, loss of innocence)
Outcast (alienation, isolation, acceptance of atypical)
Your essay of no more than 750 words (three double-spaced pages) should be submitted to Edmodo by the end of the day Thursday, October 22. You will upload your essay to the posted assignment in .pdf format. Other formats do not permit me to make annotations for your review. See me if you have submission issues. Do this ahead of time so you don’t run into problems on the due date.


Good luck, and happy writing!

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Filed under AP Literature

Submitting Papers to Edmodo

This year, all of your formal papers will be submitted and marked through Edmodo. Follow all the steps of the process to ensure that your work is submitted on time.


Edmodo’s internal software allows me to mark your papers electronically. However, it works best with papers formatted as .pdf. If you are using Word Pad, Works, Pages, Open Office, Google Docs, or another text editor to create your papers, you must first convert the file format before it can be uploaded. If you cannot save your file as a .pdf using your software, use Zamzar. Follow these steps to convert your file:

1. Save your file and close the file window (very important!).

2. Go to the Zamzar website, which is listed in the links menu under Simplify Your Life

3. Click “Choose Files” and select your document.

4. Pull down “Convert files to:” and choose .pdf

5. Enter your email address and click “Convert.”

6. Zamzar will email a converted copy of your file. Save it to your computer.


1. Open Edmodo and find the assignment post. You may click on your class to bring up our group’s posts and search for it there, or you can click on Assignment under the right hand “Filter posts by…”menu.

Student- turn in Assignment

2. Click the grey “Turn In” button.

3. In the Assignment window, click the page (file) icon. Navigate to your saved file and click to upload. NOTE: If your document is open when you try this, it will not upload! Your document must be saved and closed before you upload.

4. Once your document title appears on the page as an active link, click the blue button to submit the assignment for grading. You may resubmit the assignment as many times as you wish before the assignment deadline; only the newest version will be saved in the system.

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Filed under AP Literature

College Essay

In preparation for the college admissions process, each of you will be completing a college application essay for the school of your choice.

The college essay is a vital component of your application packet. Your essay works, essentially, as an interview on paper. It is the only part of your application that can provide the admissions committee with insight into you as a person, so it is key to polish this to the best of your ability.

You may select from the topics listed below or, if you plan to attend an out-of-state university that does not accept the Common Application, you may substitute the essay topic required by your chosen school.

You will bring a completed draft of your essay to class on Monday, November 3 for peer review. Your revised essay (or two personal statements)–which should be of submission-ready quality–should be uploaded to Edmodo by the end of the day Friday, November 7. Good luck, and happy writing!


Florida State University (500 words)

Florida State University is more than just a world-class academic institution preparing you for a future career. We are a caring community of well-rounded individuals who embrace leadership, learning, service, and global awareness. With this in mind, which of these characteristics appeals most to you, and why?


University of Florida (For online submission; character limit approx. 450 words)

We often hear the phrase “the good life.” In fact, the University of Florida’s common course required of all undergraduate students is titled “What is the Good Life?”. The concept of “the good life” can be interpreted in many different ways depending upon the experiences, values and aspirations of each individual.

In a concise narrative, describe your notion of “the good life.” How will your undergraduate experience at the University of Florida prepare you to live “the good life”?


Florida State University System (choose 2, 250 words each)

  • If there has been some obstacle or bump in the road in your academic or personal life, please explain the circumstances.
  • How has your family history, culture, or environment influenced who you are?
  • What qualities or unique characteristics do you possess that would allow you to contribute to the university community?


Common Application (choose 1, 650 words)

  • Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
  • Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  • Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

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Filed under Honors IV

Macbeth Final Writing

chasseriau_macbethNow that we have completed our reading of Macbeth, you will be submitting an analytical essay of the play as your final assessment. The objective is to reveal your knowledge of how evidence presented in Macbeth supports a major theme of the work.

In your essay, you will select a theme from the ones introduced in the Macbeth Anticipation Guide. Your task is to show, through specific evidence from the text, how Shakespeare presents the theme and the conclusion Shakespeare draws about it. For example, if you pick the statement Patriotism requires obedience to the government authority, you would need to consider Macbeth’s actions (he knowingly kills the king and usurps the throne), Malcolm and Donalbain’s position (although Malcolm is named Duncan’s heir, the nobles follow Macbeth as the new king), and Macduff’s decision to distance himself from Macbeth’s court.

As evidence, you need to consider character actions, speeches, and even scenes. When you record information to use as your support, remember to include the Act and Scene numbers. For example, if you are discussing Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, you would need to reference V.1 (Act V, Scene 1). If you quote a particular line, then you would use the line numbers as well:

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” (V.1, 31)

You may also include your Act and Scene reference within the paragraph itself. If you do that, then any direct quotation you include would only need to list the line numbers after the quote:

The price of ambition is the main topic of conversation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Act I, Scene 7. At this point in the play, Macbeth is having second thoughts about killing King Duncan. Lady Macbeth chides Macbeth to stick with his original decision, telling him, “But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.” (60-61).

If you are including multiple lines of dialogue, then you need to indent and single-space the quotation:

Banquo, impressed with the witches’ prophecies to Macbeth, asks for a prophecy of his own. The witches’ reply is less specific:

First Witch: Lesser than Macbeth, but greater.
Second Witch: Not so happy, but happier.
Third Witch: Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none. So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
First Witch: Banquo and Macbeth, all hail! (I.3, 65-69)

You will use the version of Macbeth printed in the textbook for your Act, Scene, and line references.

A printed draft of the essay is due in class Monday, February 25 for peer review and commenting. You will receive a grade for your participation in the peer review session, so be sure you have a draft ready to go! Your final essay of no more than 750 words (three double-spaced pages) should be submitted to Edmodo by the end of the day Wednesday, February 27. You will upload your essay to the posted assignment in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. Other formats do not permit me to make annotations for your review. See me if you have submission issues.

Good luck, and happy writing!

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Filed under Honors IV