RequirementsFor Touchstone 1, you will be writing two separate, distinct paragraphs. You will write one paragraph in the informative mode and one paragraph in the descriiptive mode.
Each paragraph should be 200 to 300 words (approximately 1/2 page) in lengthDouble-space the paragraphs and use 1-inch marginsUse a readable 12-point fontAll writing must be appropriate for an academic contextAll writing must be original and written for this assignmentPlagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibitedSubmission must include your name, the name of the course, the date, and the title of your compositionSubmission must include both your descriiptive and informative paragraphs and your answers to the reflection questions following eachSubmit a single file only, including all assignment componentsAcceptable file formats include .doc, and .docx.
DescriiptionGetting StartedFor Touchstone 1, you will be writing two separate, distinct paragraphs. You will write one paragraph in the informative mode and one paragraph in the descriiptive mode.
The informative paragraph must be written in a non-biased tone and explain, teach, or inform. The descriiptive paragraph must use sensory details to describe a person, place or object.
In order to foster learning and growth, all essays you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any recycled work will be sent back with a 0, and you will be given one attempt to redo the touchstone.
Choosing a TopicFor the informative paragraph, be creative and choose a topic that you already know something about. (You do not need to conduct any research for this paragraph.) Be sure to write in an objective and non-biased manner with your intended audience and purpose in mind. You may write about any topic you wish that you know something about, however; below are some sample topics that may help you get started.
The background, history, or rules of a particular game or sportThe materials, tools, background or approach for a hobby you enjoyThe action/process for an activity such as driving, planting a garden, grilling a steak, etc.The history of a place that you know a lot about (a city, state, natural attraction, etc.)A scientific process or concept that you are very familiar withFor the descriiptive paragraph, use sensory language and vivid details to describe a person, a place or a thing. Sensory details describe how something looks, sounds, feels, smells or tastes. You should use precise language to “show” rather than “tell” about what you are describing. Be sure to write with your intended audience and purpose in mind. What you write about is entirely up to you as long as you use vivid details and sensory language to bring the descriiption to life. However, below are some sample topics that may help you get started.
Describe a room in your houseDescribe your favorite spot to spend timeDescribe a person who is special to youDescribe a meal that you enjoy eating or cookingDescribe a unique family traditionParagraph GuidelinesRefer to the checklist below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until your paragraphs meet all guidelines.
Paragraph StructureDoes each paragraph include a topic sentence that depicts the controlling idea of the paragraph?Does each paragraph include supporting sentences that effectively support your topic sentence?Are all sentences or details in the paragraph relevant to the topic sentence?Does each paragraph include a concluding sentence that gives closure to the paragraph?Paragraph CohesionIs the sequence of all sentences within each paragraph logical (topic sentence first, logical sequence of supporting sentences, concluding sentence last)?Are transitions used effectively to connect ideas within the paragraph?Is the paragraph easy to read?Sentence StructureAre all sentences complete and correct?Are there any run-on sentences? Have you used conjunctions and correct punctuation between independent clauses?Are there any sentence fragments? Does each sentence have a subject and verb and express a complete thought?Descriiptive ParagraphDoes the writing “show” the reader details rather than “telling” about them?Does the paragraph describe a person, place or object?Have you touched on at least three of the senses in your use of sensory language?Informative ParagraphDoes the paragraph clearly inform the reader about a topic?Is the paragraph based on information or facts rather than opinion?Is the tone of the paragraph neutral and objective?ConventionsHave you checked your paragraph for grammatical errors?Have you used Spell-Check or another method to check spelling?Have you used punctuation correctly?Before you SubmitHave you underlined your topic sentence, one supporting sentence and your concluding sentence in each paragraph?Have you clearly labeled each paragraph as either “Descriiptive” or “Informative”?Have you clearly identified the intended audience and purpose above each paragraph?Have you included your name, date and course at the top left of the page?Is each paragraph between 200-300 words?ReflectionHave you answered all of the reflection questions thoughtfully and thoroughly?Are your answers to the reflection questions included on a separate page below your paragraphs?Have you met or exceeded the required length for each reflection response?Reflection QuestionsWhat do you think your strengths and weaknesses are in terms of sentence construction and paragraph development? (1-2 sentences)Explain how writing for a particular purpose and audience shaped each of your paragraphs. (3-5 sentences)Discuss your feelings about writing in different modes. Is there a particular mode you enjoy writing in more than another? (3-5 sentences)Explain how different writing modes that you have learned about might be applied to scenarios in your real life. (3-5 sentences)ScoringYour composition and reflection will be scored according to the Touchstone 1 Rubric, which considers your reflection, your descriiptive and informative paragraph elements, structure and organization as well as your use of conventions.
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