Essay One: Rhetorical Personal Essay



1. I need a writing sample early on to see what types of grammar errors exist in this class's writing.  Then I will tailor the course accordingly.  For example, if none of you have fragment or subject-verb issues, then I will not spend much time on those problems.  This particular prompt will tease out those two errors, so be keenly aware to stay in control of grammar conventions, even in this out of the box prompt.  After this essay is completed and graded, I will post needed revisions to the weekly schedule.

2. Secondly, this essay will also show me if you understand audience awareness, or the rhetorical situation.  As you write, you must continually think about who is writing (author), to whom you are writing (audience), and what you need to convey (purpose).  In order to be successful with this first essay, you will have to maintain mastery of those three elements!

WRITING PROMPT:  The year is 2069, and you have just been given the incredible opportunity to write a letter to yourself 50 years in the past (in 2019). Answer the following questions and write an essay of a minimum of 600-800 words. Be as descriptive and as detailed as possible, and feel free to write your essay in first person.  DOUBLE-SPACE your essay. Keep in mind that both grammar and content count.

Remember that although this assignment calls for some time-bending writing, you still need to follow the conventions of all essays—the first paragraph should act as an introduction to what your essay will be about (even if it is in letter form) and the last sentence of that introduction should have a thesis statement. Then you will have body paragraphs that expand upon and prove your thesis statement. Last, compose a conclusion paragraph that sums up the overall message and leaves the reader thinking about what was written in the essay.

You should use the first few days to draft your essay. Then make sure you revise it carefully by taking it to the Writing Center or going to (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to submit a copy for feedback.  

Use the following MLA heading on the first page of your paper, and please number each page of your essay after page 1.

Your Name

Teacher Name

English 102: Your Section

Date written military style (26 August 2019)

Title of Your Essay


Here are some questions to get you thinking about what you might say in your essay to yourself. 

1. What personal goals (marriage, family, home, lifestyle, etc.) have you achieved that you had set 50 years ago?
2. What professional goals (career, work, community service, etc.) have you achieved that you had set 50 years ago?
3. What person(s) have you met in your lifetime that have/has changed your life in a positive or negative way?
4. What choices have you made which have either made your life better or made your life worse?
5. If you could change one thing about your life in 2069 by altering something in 2019, what would it be?
6. Are you satisfied with the past 50 years of your life?
7. If you could give your “2019 self” one piece of advice, what would it be?

The hardest part of this essay is creating plausibility. In other words, you will need to begin this essay by thinking about your audience—yourself. You are currently writing from 2069, but you are writing to your 2019 self. This takes some thought and a keen handle on audience awareness. If you received the letter—how did you get it? What has allowed you to get the letter back in time? What could your 2069 self say that would put your 2019 self into a sense of belief about the possibility of this letter and who it is coming from? How would you know it was from you and not a hoax? All of these thoughts need to be addressed in the opening lines and paragraph of your letter.

You can be as realistic or creative as you want to be, but before you turn in your essay/letter, make sure you have considered these pointers:

a. How did you prove the letter was real and not a hoax?
b. What advice has your future self given? You will need an overall point to the letter—like a thesis statement—in your introduction that will guide your letter.
c. What life events have occurred?
d. Did you use the correct point of view in this composition?
e. Did you match your composition’s format to the assignment?
f. Did you maintain proper verb-tense consistency?
g. Recheck your composition for any errors that you can find.

When you are finished, save your essay in Microsoft WORD. Make sure your name and the words Rhetorical Essay are in the title of the document. Then you will submit your completed essay on Canvas to this link.

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