Major Writing Assignment 1

Moment of Consciousness- My Force Awakens


The first major writing assignment (MWA 1) is all about you, so in some ways it is an autobiography. However, I want to go deeper than some chronological list of events in your life. I want you to focus on a time when you became conscious about who you are as person or student. Think about a time in your life that you realized something really big about what kind of person you really are and how you fit into this world. This could be something that happened as a child or last week.

What is a Moment of Consciousness?

These moments are not scheduled like a Bar Mitzvah or a Quinceañera. They happen waiting at a traffic light, standing in the line at the grocery, or sitting in a classroom. The point is they cause you to re-evaluate who you are and you change because of them. The change is deep and lasting, not necessarily a New Year’s Resolution.

How do I write an excellent essay?

If you want to make an A on this assignment (and I know you all do), then you have dig deep and be honest with your thoughts. An excellent Moment of Consciousness will be about you and not about an important person in your life who has helped or hurt you. So no stories about ex-girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses, teachers, preachers, moms, dads, grandparents unless the focus is on you. There may be other people involved, but the primary emphasis is on you and your epiphany. Feel very free to be personal.

If you want an average grade, write an average essay about the time your hamster died and how sad you were, or how you didn’t make the sports team you wanted to make but then trained really hard and made it the next year, or someone close to you died and you became determined to live your life to the fullest every single day- yeah- most people don't really do that. Those types of moments may have been important, but they can become traps. You become trapped into writing something we have all experienced like loss, rejection, etc. and your writing becomes predictable. Those topics can be done. Don’t get me wrong. But, they will take more effort than you may realize. I want your writing to make me feel something- anything other than meh.

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Paper Specifications

Page length for the out-of-class revision

  • The draft must be a minimum of 3 full pages typed.
  • Drafts that do not meet the minimum will not be evaluated and will be given an automatic grade of F (50). Do not try to get around this requirement by making the margins, spacing and font larger. Please also note that this is a minimum length requirement.

Format: Margins, Spacing and indentation, Font, Pagination, Heading, Title

  • 1” all around
  • Double space throughout
  • ½ inch indentation of the first line of a paragraph
  • Times New Roman 12 pt font
  • Identification of your last name and page number in

    top right margin, ½ inch from the top margin.

  • See your Little DK Handbook for instructions on how the heading should be formatted.

You will need to include your name, my name, the course name, and the date. This is

a MLA header, not to be confused with Word header. A sample essay in MLA format is in the Little DK on pages 126-135.

The title of the essay must not be:

  • Underlined
  • In quotes
  • Boldface
  • In a larger font
  • Surrounded by extra space

Late penalties

  • Please see the syllabus for late penalties.

Use of 1st and 2nd person pronouns

  • Never use “you” or “your” unless in a direct quotation. Its use is informal and indefinite.
  • Avoid using “I” as well. There is usually a better way to write the sentence.

Works Cited

Works Cited is not required.

Grade and revision

  • If the first draft is late, plagiarized, or does not meet the page minimum page requirements, it is not available for revision. I consider these responsibility issues and not writing issues.
  • Papers that have not been proofread and edited carefully before submission will be returned with a "Try Again" grade. Students will have up to 48 hours to resubmit with a 30% penalty.
  • Please review the "What is an A?" document in the Helpful Writing Tips and Hacks module
  • See syllabus about any additional penalties for late work and plagiarism.