Exemplification (Illustration Essay)
Assignment: Write a 500 to 700-word exemplification (illustration) essay on one of the topics listed below.
Guidelines: Keep the following in mind when writing this essay
The essay must be 500 to 700 words in length.
The essay must be typed and double-spaced. This is to allow the instructor space to type comments on your paper. If the essay is not double-spaced, the instructor will not put comments on your paper.
The following file formats are the only formats accepted. If you submit a file in a format not listed below, your paper will not be graded and will result in a zero for that paper.
Your paper should have an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, three to four body paragraphs (depending on how many extended examples your use), and a concluding paragraph.
The following elements are required for this essay:
one source (the source will be one of the essays in the text depending on topic choice)
three (or more) in-text citations, and a
Works Cited Page
You must use MLA documentation (see Chapter 18 of Patterns.).
Essays not written on one of the topic choices listed below will not be accepted.
Steps: The following steps will help steer you through the writing process for the Exemplification essay.
Make sure that you have read through all of the material in Module 3. This is extremely important for your understanding and the success of this essay.
If you do not understand what sources, quotes, paraphrase, summary, works cited, in-text citations, and MLA documentation are, please see your textbook and the link in Launchpad for Patterns.
Choose a topic from the topic choices below. Papers submitted on other topics will not be accepted.
Familiarize yourself with the essay you will cite in your essay.
Complete a pre-writing activity to help you gather and organize your ideas.
Write a working Thesis Statement. Navigate to the discussion board and post your thesis to the Thesis Statement for Exemplification discussion. Make sure that you give at least two of your fellow classmates feedback on their thesis statements.
Organize your essay, focusing on one example in each body paragraph. If you are using three examples, you will have three body paragraphs. If you are using four examples, you will have four body paragraphs.
Use the Exemplification Outline attachment in this assignment folder to write a sentence outline of your essay. Save the outline and upload to this assignment folder.
Navigate to the Discussion board – Exemplification – The Writing Process. Post your sentence outline to the discussion board. Respond to at least two classmates’ outlines, giving them feedback.
Write your first draft.
Revise and Edit your paper. Fill out the Revision Form for Exemplification (Word attachment in this assignment folder), save, and upload to this assignment folder.
Write a final draft and type your paper. When typing your final draft, make sure that it is double-spaced. I do not put comments on papers that are not double-spaced. (This means between lines, not between words.)
Submit as separate, labeled files the outline, first draft, editing form and final paper through PAWS. Make sure that the Works Cited page is in the SAME document as the final paper. It should be the last page of your final paper.
Instructions for accessing feedback once your essay has been graded may be found in the Getting Started Module under Content. Feedback takes time and is not instantaneous. Please be patient.
Submit through PAWS Assignment (Exemplification) folder: (Each must be separate files and labeled with the names below.)
For this topic choice, re- read Alexie’s essay “Indian Education,” paying close attention to the ending sentence of each extended example. Choose three of the ending sentences to use as quotations to exemplify a similar experience in your own educational journey. Each body paragraph should be developed around this quotation and should focus on a particular incident. Make sure to correctly punctuate and cite the quotation. You should also have a Works Cited page at the end of the paper that cites the Alexie short story. See chapter 18, “Documenting Sources: MLA” in Patterns, specifically “Guidelines for Formatting Quotations” for in-text citations and “Essay in an Anthology” for writing the Works Cited page.
For this topic choice, re-read the Tufekci essay, “Why the Post Office Makes America Great.” This topic choice comes from “Writing Workshop, ” question 2 following the Tufekci essay, page 223, which reads as follows: Assume you are writing to a Facebook friend in another country who is not familiar with American Culture. Explain some things you take for granted that would be alien to this person – for example, all-you-can-eat buffets, drive-thru pharmacies, and Uber. Make sure you include specific examples to illustrate your points. Be sure to reference the essay “Why the Post Office Makes America Great,” and acknowledge Tufekci as your source. Include parenthetical documentation for references to her essay and a works cited page. (See chapter 18 for information on MLA Documentation.) Remember that when summarizing and paraphrasing, you still must cite the source even though paraphrases and summaries are not placed in quotation marks. (See chapter 17, “Integrating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism.”)
Please be sure to follow the Guidelines and Format that are printed in the Detailed Syllabus. I will deduct five points for each one that you did not follow,
This is the Essay (Topic) I choose to go off of…Sherman Alexie: Indian Education (Fiction)
Sherman Alexie, the son of a Coeur d’Alene Indian father and a Spokane Indian mother, was born in 1966 and grew up on the Spokane Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, home to some eleven hundred Spokane tribal members. Realizing as a teenager that his educational opportunities there were extremely limited, Alexie made the unusual decision to attend high school off the reservation in nearby Reardan. Later a scholarship student at Gonzaga University, he received a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Washington State University at Pullman. While in college, he began publishing poetry; within a year of graduation, his first collection, The Business of Fancydancing (1992), appeared. It was followed by The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993), a short-story collection, and the novels Reservation Blues (1995) and Indian Killer (1996), all of which garnered numerous awards and honors. Alexie also wrote the screenplay for the film Smoke Signals (1998) and wrote and directed The Business of Fancydancing (2002). His young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. War Dances, a collection of his stories and poems, was published in 2009 and received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 2010.
Background on the U.S. government’s “Indian schools” By the mid-1800s, most Native American tribes had been overwhelmed by the superior weapons of the U.S. military and confined to reservations. Beginning in the late 1800s and continuing into the 1950s, government policymakers established boarding schools for Native American youth to help them assimilate into the dominant culture and thus become “civilized.” To this end, children were forcibly removed from their homes for long periods to separate them from native traditions. At the boarding schools, they were given a cursory academic education and spent most of their time studying Christian teachings and working to offset the cost of their schooling. Students were punished for speaking their own language or practicing their own religion. Responding to protests from the American Indian movement in the 1970s, the U.S. government began to send fewer Native Americans to boarding schools and retreated from its goal of assimilation at boarding schools and at newly established reservation schools. Such schools still exist, however. Today, government funding for Native American schools remains considerably lower than for other public schools, and students often make do with inadequate and antiquated facilities, equipment, and textbooks. In part because of such educational failures, few Native American students go on to college, and the incidence of alcohol and drug abuse among Native Americans is higher than in any other U.S. population.
My hair was too short and my U.S. Government glasses were horn-rimmed, ugly, and all that first winter in school, the other Indian boys chased me from one corner of the playground to the other. They pushed me down, buried me in the snow until I couldn’t breathe, thought I’d never breathe again.
They stole my glasses and threw them over my head, around my outstretched hands, just beyond my reach, until someone tripped me and sent me falling again, facedown in the snow.
I was always falling down; my Indian name was Junior Falls Down. Sometimes it was Bloody Nose or Steal-His-Lunch. Once, it was Cries-Like-a-White-Boy, even though none of us had seen a white boy cry.
Then it was a Friday morning recess and Frenchy SiJohn threw snowballs at me while the rest of the Indian boys tortured some other top-yogh-yaught kid, another weakling. But Frenchy was confident enough to torment me all by himself, and most days I would have let him.
But the little warrior in me roared to life that day and knocked Frenchy to the ground, held his head against the snow, and punched him so hard that my knuckles and the snow made symmetrical bruises on his face. He almost looked like he was wearing war paint.
But he wasn’t the warrior. I was. And I chanted It’s a good day to die, it’s a good day to die, all the way down to the principal’s office.
Betty Towle, missionary teacher, redheaded and so ugly that no one ever had a puppy crush on her, made me stay in for recess fourteen days straight.
“Tell me you’re sorry,” she said.
“Sorry for what?” I asked.
“Everything,” she said and made me stand straight for fifteen minutes, eagle-armed with books in each hand. One was a math book; the other was English. But all I learned was that gravity can be painful.
For Halloween I drew a picture of her riding a broom with a scrawny cat on the back. She said that her God would never forgive me for that.
Once, she gave the class a spelling test but set me aside and gave me a test designed for junior high students. When I spelled all the words right, she crumpled up the paper and made me eat it.
“You’ll learn respect,” she said.
She sent a letter home with me that told my parents to either cut my braids or keep me home from class. My parents came in the next day and dragged their braids across Betty Towle’s desk.
“Indians, indians, indians.” She said it without capitalization. She called me “indian, indian, indian.”
And I said, Yes, I am. I am Indian. Indian, I am.
My traditional Native American art career began and ended with my very first portrait: Stick Indian Taking a Piss in My Backyard.
As I circulated the original print around the classroom, Mrs. Schluter intercepted and confiscated my art.
Censorship, I might cry now. Freedom of expression, I would write in editorials to the tribal newspaper.
In third grade, though, I stood alone in the corner, faced the wall, and waited for the punishment to end.
I’m still waiting.
“You should be a doctor when you grow up,” Mr. Schluter told me, even though his wife, the third grade teacher, thought I was crazy beyond my years. My eyes always looked like I had just hit-and-run someone.
“Guilty,” she said. “You always look guilty.”
“Why should I be a doctor?” I asked Mr. Schluter.
“So you can come back and help the tribe. So you can heal people.”
That was the year my father drank a gallon of vodka a day and the same year that my mother started two hundred different quilts but never finished any. They sat in separate, dark places in our HUD house and wept savagely.
I ran home after school, heard their Indian tears, and looked in the mirror. Doctor Victor, I called myself, invented an education, talked to my reflection. Doctor Victor to the emergency room.
I picked up a basketball for the first time and made my first shot. No. I missed my first shot, missed the basket completely, and the ball landed in the dirt and sawdust, sat there just like I had sat there only minutes before.
But it felt good, that ball in my hands, all those possibilities and angles. It was mathematics, geometry. It was beautiful.
At that same moment, my cousin Steven Ford sniffed rubber cement from a paper bag and leaned back on the merry-go-round. His ears rang, his mouth was dry, and everyone seemed so far away.
But it felt good, that buzz in his head, all those colors and noises. It was chemistry, biology. It was beautiful.
Oh, do you remember those sweet, almost innocent choices that the Indian boys were forced to make?
Randy, the new Indian kid from the white town of Springdale, got into a fight an hour after he first walked into the reservation school.
Stevie Flett called him out, called him a squawman, called him a pussy, and called him a punk.
Randy and Stevie, and the rest of the Indian boys, walked out into the playground.
“Throw the first punch,” Stevie said as they squared off.
“No,” Randy said.
“Throw the first punch,” Stevie said again.
“No,” Randy said again.
“Throw the first punch!” Stevie said for the third time, and Randy reared back and pitched a knuckle fastball that broke Stevie’s nose.
We all stood there in silence, in awe.
That was Randy, my soon-to-be first and best friend, who taught me the most valuable lesson about living in the white world: Always throw the first punch.
I leaned through the basement window of the HUD house and kissed the white girl who would later be raped by her foster-parent father, who was also white. They both lived on the reservation, though, and when the headlines and stories filled the papers later, not one word was made of their color.
Just Indians being Indians, someone must have said somewhere and they were wrong.
But on the day I leaned through the basement window of the HUD house and kissed the white girl, I felt the good-byes I was saying to my entire tribe. I held my lips tight against her lips, a dry, clumsy, and ultimately stupid kiss.
But I was saying good-bye to my tribe, to all the Indian girls and women I might have loved, to all the Indian men who might have called me cousin, even brother.
I kissed that white girl and when I opened my eyes, she was gone from the reservation, and when I opened my eyes, I was gone from the reservation, living in a farm town where a beautiful white girl asked my name.
“Junior Polatkin,” I said, and she laughed.
After that, no one spoke to me for another five hundred years.
At the farm town junior high, in the boys’ bathroom, I could hear voices from the girls’ bathroom, nervous whispers of anorexia and bulimia. I could hear the white girls’ forced vomiting, a sound so familiar and natural to me after years of listening to my father’s hangovers.
“Give me your lunch if you’re just going to throw it up,” I said to one of those girls once.
I sat back and watched them grow skinny from self-pity.
• • •
Back on the reservation, my mother stood in line to get us commodities. We carried them home, happy to have food, and opened the canned beef that even the dogs wouldn’t eat.
But we ate it day after day and grew skinny from self-pity.
There is more than one way to starve.
At the farm town high school dance, after a basketball game in an overheated gym where I had scored twenty-seven points and pulled down thirteen rebounds, I passed out during a slow song.
As my white friends revived me and prepared to take me to the emergency room where doctors would later diagnose my diabetes, the Chicano teacher ran up to us.
“Hey,” he said. “What’s that boy been drinking? I know all about these Indian kids. They start drinking real young.”
Sharing dark skin doesn’t necessarily make two men brothers.
I passed the written test easily and nearly flunked the driving, but still received my Washington State driver’s license on the same day that Wally Jim killed himself by driving his car into a pine tree.
No traces of alcohol in his blood, good job, wife and two kids.
“Why’d he do it?” asked a white Washington State trooper.
All the Indians shrugged their shoulders, looked down at the ground.
“Don’t know,” we all said, but when we look in the mirror, see the history of our tribe in our eyes, taste failure in the tap water, and shake with old tears, we understand completely.
Believe me, everything looks like a noose if you stare at it long enough.
Last night I missed two free throws which would have won the game against the best team in the state. The farm town high school I play for is nicknamed the “Indians,” and I’m probably the only actual Indian ever to play for a team with such a mascot.
This morning I pick up the sports page and read the headline: INDIANS LOSE AGAIN.
“This morning I pick up the sports page and read the headline: INDIANS LOSE AGAIN.”
Go ahead and tell me none of this is supposed to hurt me very much.
I walk down the aisle, valedictorian of this farm town high school, and my cap doesn’t fit because I’ve grown my hair longer than it’s ever been. Later, I stand as the school-board chairman recites my awards, accomplishments, and scholarships.
I try to remain stoic for the photographers as I look toward the future.
Back home on the reservation, my former classmates graduate: a few can’t read, one or two are just given attendance diplomas, most look forward to the parties. The bright students are shaken, frightened, because they don’t know what comes next.
They smile for the photographer as they look back toward tradition.
The tribal newspaper runs my photograph and the photograph of my former classmates side by side.
Postscript: Class Reunion
Victor said, “Why should we organize a reservation high school reunion? My graduating class has a reunion every weekend at the Powwow Tavern.”
These were the 3 examples
“There is more than one way to starve” (55).
“Sharing dark skin doesn’t necessarily make two men brothers” (59).
“Believe me, everything looks like a noose if you stare at it long enough” (65).
This was the Thesis Statement I previously had to come up with- for this assignment- that was approved by my professor. However, it is obviously the last sentence, but I am using that entire semi-paragraph. Hey, I’m in Comp 1, I’m aware that I have a lot of learning to do.
Topic: Exemplification of “Indian Education”
Working Title: Education: Learning from textbooks, or the environment within our schools?
Thesis Statement: While there are many things that school can teach you, it might not all come from your textbooks. At various points in my life, school also proved challenging. I felt invisible to my teachers, strange and unaccepted; especially from a certain group of girls, and the schoolwork, mathematics in particular, seemed to be put on earth to kill me.
Make up whatever you have to make sense of what I wrote above. I have a family emergency and am unable to complete this assignment correctly, or in the allotted time frame.
Must not have a lot of fragmented sentences, I am sure you won’t have those but I am bad at that.
5 paragraphs. Intro paragraph, 3 bodys with examples, and closing paragraph only