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In response to a text assigned by your instructor, write a summary/strong response essay that
incorporates a summary of the article. Your essay should be 5 paragraphs in length, about two to
three pages: Introduction, Summary of the article, 1 body paragraph in response, 2 body paragraph
in response, and conclusion. It should also include a Works Cited page with the article. In your strong
response to that reading, speak back to its author from your own critical thinking, personal
experience, and values. As you work with ideas from the text, remember to use attributive tags,
quotation marks for any quoted passages, and MLA documentation to distinguish your own points
about the text from the author’s ideas and language.
TOPIC: 1. Personal Connections. Have you ever experienced a severe weather event: a tropical
storm, hurricane, torrential rainstorm with flooding, an out-of-control wildfire, or even a severe
drought? What happened? How did it make you feel? If you haven’t, what is one you’ve heard about
that stuck in your mind?
Based on what you have read, heard, and learned, do you think these events are related to global
warming and climate change? Why or why not? What is the evidence for your opinion?
If you believe climate change is affecting the weather and could lead to more frequent and
dangerous storms, what do you think governments at all levels (municipal, state, federal, and
national) should do to combat it? What is your personal responsibility, if any, for effecting that
change?
2. Writing Strategies. Smith states her thesis at the very beginning of her article. Why do you think
she did this? Is it an effective way to highlight her argument? If not, where might she have placed it
to have more impact?
Why do you think Smith chose to write about Copenhagen before and after it took steps towards
carbon neutrality at the beginning of her article? How does this discussion illustrate her main idea?
How strong is the evidence she uses to make her points? Is it sufficient, reliable, and relevant?
What is the tone of the article? What words and phrases support your answer? What effect do you
think Smith wants it to have on her readers?
3. Researched Writing. In an urban planning class, you have been learning about the impact of
Hurricane Sandy on New York City. Some of your classmates were in the city when it struck, and
their stories are vivid and scary. Your professor has asked you to research how coastal cities in other
parts of the U.S. or the world are addressing rising sea levels and more frequent and severe storms.
In addition, you have been asked to find out what other strategies they are implementing to mitigate
climate change besides protecting their buildings and residents, for example, by decreasing their
carbon footprint.
Would this article be useful to your research? What information does it contain that you could either
use in your paper or follow up on to learn new information? Was there information in it that gives
you ideas for ways cities could seek to protect themselves from the impacts of climate change
beyond developing physical infrastructure? Did you learn anything new in this article? What was it?
Where could you look for more sources on the topics you found the most interesting and/or useful
for your paper?
When you are given a writing assignment, it can be foreboding because you might not know how to
start. This is something I put together for my ENGLISH1301 students, and I wanted to share this with
you:
Step1: Brainstorm. Think about what you want to write. What kind of essay does the prompt
require: expository, persuasive, argumentative, etc.? This will help you develop flow and organize
your thoughts.
Step2: Identify your audience and set a purpose. What is the end goal? Do you want readers to learn
something? Do you want readers to change their minds at the end? What do you want readers to
“take-away” at the end of the essay? Knowing your audience will help you identify the diction
necessary. In addition, knowing your purpose will help you shape the essay.
Step3: Research. To come up with ideas, you might need to research your topic. Your assignment
might not require you to research, but you knowing a little more won’t hurt.
Step4: Develop a thesis statement. A thesis statement is something that is debatable. For example, if
you say United States has 50 states, then it is hard to argue against that because it is a factual
statement. However, if you say United States is the best country in the world, then it opens room for
debate. You will learn how to craft a thesis statement in this class, but you can also do outside
research to learn more.
Step5: Create an outline. If you are comfortable with creating an outline, then do so. If you are not
accustomed with creating an outline, then learn how to. This step will be a time-saver.
Step6: Prewrite. Think of an academic essay as a well-written story. If you want to tell a good story,
then it must have a beginning, middle, and an end; in other words, you must have an introductory
paragraph, body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph for a well-written academic essay. Write a
rough draft of what your essay will look like from beginning to end. However, when writing an
academic essay, you should not be storytelling. Meaning? Academic essays require writers to prove
a point with supporting details; whereas, storytelling is telling events and concluding with a
moral/ending.
Step7: Write. Just write. Try not to fix the errors as you write. You can edit your paper later. This is
hard for many students, but just WRITE. When you edit later, you might expand on an existing idea
or delete an incomplete thought altogether, but the point is to write all the ideas (good and bad)
down first.
Step8. Edit. Fix the big problems first (organization, lack of clarity, off-topic, etc.). Revise your work
and check for grammatical and spelling errors.
Step9. Read it out loud and have a fresh pair of eyes to read your paper.
Example paragraph:
TOPIC SENTENCE: Hai is talented in creating in-depth lesson plans. SD1: He posted all the required
information on eCampus; thus, he did not require his students to purchase the textbook required for
class. His resourcefulness translates to the students learning more for less. For instance, all the key
grammar exercises are posted on Unit I and most of the common errors students make include a
video link for students to relearn the concept, and Hai will periodically review lessons for students.
SD2 However, his true talent lies in connecting the lesson plans through anecdotes in essays. For
example, this essay is a narration of events leading to this writing sample, and it’s ingenious. SD3
Furthermore, the lessons he creates are enjoyable and helpful. When students read this essay, they
will understand what to include or exclude in their essays. CONCLUDING STATEMENT As a result,
Hai’s lessons are plentiful and chaotic at times, but they are connected and foster learning because
Hai has a knack for interconnecting lessons.
NOTE: In essay writing, you will write three paragraphs similar to this style (called the body
paragraphs)

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