About Wikipedia, SparkNotes, Cliffs Notes, Gradesaver, etc.

Avoid citing Wikipedia, SparkNotes, Cliffs Notes, Gradesaver, and other such sites in academic essays. Since Wikipedia is not edited by reputable experts, it often has errors and isn't reliable. It's okay to use it as a starting point for your own research, but go on and find other sources to verify the information, and cite those in your essay.

The other sites, SparkNotes, etc., are elementary sites with simple information that doesn't dig too deep. Professors think of them as "cheat" sites: people who are too lazy to read the book look at the plot summaries on SparkNotes. People who are too lazy to think and do their own analysis get all their ideas from Cliffs Notes and Gradesaver.

Like Wikipedia, these sites have their uses; they can be a good place to get started if you are totally lost. But please don't stop there: go find more academic and challenging sources. And for Heaven's sake, DO NOT cite them in your Works Cited list if you want your professors to take you seriously.

How to submit your work

Your essays will be submitted to me via e-mail. Write your assignments in your word processing program. PLEASE SAVE YOUR FILE AS EITHER A WORD FILE OR AN RTF FILE. Then attach that file to your e-mail message. When sending assignments, your e-mail message should include your name, the class number (English 102), and the name of the assignment which is attached.

Use correct MLA format for the appearance of your essay and your documentation.

Eliminate spelling, grammar, and other mechanical errors from your writing.

Send your e-mail to me at annw708@earthlink.net.

NOTE: always keep copies of all of your assignments. If there is a problem with e-mail, you will need that copy to re-send for credit.

Writing Assignment 1--The Short Story

Choose one of the following topics and write a complete, considered answer. Your thesis statement must be clear, precise and explicit. Support your thesis with specific details, examples, and direct quotes from the stories. An essay which does not include direct quotes from the story cannot receive a grade higher than a C. Required length: 2-5 pages (500-1250 words). Be sure to include a Works Cited list. Use correct MLA format and citation techniques in your essay and your Works Cited list. Maximum points possible: 100.

This assignment is due Thursday, June 29.

1. Choose one of the following stories. What is it saying about the difference between reality and perception?