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Purdue University essay Writing

Description and Instructions

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogroves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

—Lewis Carroll (1946)

Reading this passage passively, with the intention to learn what is written, would allow you to answer some types of questions about it. For example, if I asked you what the slithy toves did when it was brillig, you would be able to tell me that they gyred and gimbled. Where did they gyre and gimble? In the wabe. Note that it is possible to memorize this whole passage without understanding it; that is, without gaining the ability to answer questions such as: Why did the slithy toves gyre and gimble? What is the difference between gyring and a gimbling? What does mimsy mean?

Unfortunately, the same is true of reading your textbook, and the essay questions below do not ask questions of the type just noted in the previous paragraph. This is because I want you to think about the ideas in the text and read with the intention of understanding, evaluating, and using the ideas presented. To think is to question. Thus, you should generate many questions about the text while reading it thoughtfully. For example, you might ask questions like:

  • What _____ is more convincing to me?
  • Do I agree/disagree with ____?
  • How is _____ related to my experiences/beliefs?
  • How could ____ be applied or useful in the “real world”?
  • What is the relationship between ____ and ____?
  • Does _____ predict how I would behave/feel/think?

Jot down your questions as you read. After completing each chapter, read over your questions. When it comes time to write your essay, select 3 questions that seem most interesting to you (and which you will be able to answer according to the questions below). You will elaborate on your questions in the form of an essay. Following APA style and formatting, please use headers to clearly distinguish between each question.

  1. Questioning the material—disagreement or generalizability. Ask a question concerning whether you agree or disagree with a point the text authors have made or a question concerning how a specific finding discussed in the text might generalize to other people/situations/cultures, etc.
    • Askyour question
    • Succinctly describe the idea/evidence you are questioning
    • Indicate why you disagree with it
    • Indicate whether or not you think the idea/evidence would generalize to different situations, people, cultures, etc. If you are challenging a point,be sure to indicate why you disagree. What kinds of evidence, experiences, or thoughts lead you to disagree? If you are questioning the generalizability of the idea/evidence, be sure to indicate why you think it would or would not generalize.
  2. Questioning the relationship between the material and your life. Ask a question concerning how an idea discussed in the text is related to your own experiences, feelings, thoughts, and/or behaviours.
    • Ask your question
    • Succinctly describe the idea/evidence relevant to your question
    • Discuss how you think the idea/evidence would be related to you. Be sure to be as specific as possible when relating the text to your life, i.e., specifyhow the text idea is related to particular instances in your life; the more concrete the better.
  3. Questioning how the material could be applied to your everyday life. Ask a question concerning how you could use an idea discussed in the text to enhance/improve your everyday life.
    • Ask your question
    • Succinctly describe the idea/evidence relevant to your question
    • Discuss how you could use the idea/evidence in your own life,for example, you might ask, “How could I use this idea in order to study more efficiently? How could I use this idea in order to feel more optimistic about my future?” Be sure to be as specific as possible when discussing how you could apply an idea to your life.

Submission Requirements:Follow the APA style and formatting document submission guidelines.

Format:Title Page/Body/Reference List

Introduction and Conclusion tying three questions together

Font:Times New Roman, 12-point, double-spaced

Headings:Appropriate use of levels of headings and page numbers

Length:2500 words (plus or minus 100 words)

Resources:In addition to the text, you must also use a minimum of six (6) peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals (i.e., two articles per essay question)

The essay will be properly edited and proofread

For a full APA reference guide please click HERE:Owl Purdue


Essay will be marked in its entirety out of 100. The following rubric indicates the criteria students are to adhere to, and their relative weights to the assignment overall.

Activities/Competencies Demonstrated

30% of Final Grade



  1. Clarity andfocus of questions
  2. Adequately narrowed topics-unique perspective clearly expressed in a well-controlledquestion
  3. Focus and topic selection suited tocourse material
  4. Internal and external control of development and content
  5. Coherent and logical coverage of topic
  6. Appropriate paragraph structure and control with topic sentences and logical support




  1. Well organized (as demonstrated through appropriate use of headings to show coordination and subordination of points)
  2. Includes well-presented sections for
  3. Introduction
  4. Body paragraphs
  5. Conclusion- thought provoking
  6. References




  1. Includes appropriate EVIDENCE(examplesandfactsarecredible and formally researched)
  2. Relevant and well-supported logic
  3. Meets length requirements
  4. Demonstrates understanding and mastery of topics




  1. Effective use of secondary research
  2. Reliable and credible sources (meets requirements of6academic sources from journals on the library (or other academic) databases
  3. Accurately documented using APA style
  4. All in-text citations are accurate (employs summary, paraphrase, and quoting)
  5. Accurate use of APA referencing




  1. Professional document submission
  2. APA style title page, headers, page numbers, and reference page
  3. Document is double spaced, 12-point,Times New Romanfont,meets specifications
  4. Attention to grammar and punctuation
  5. Formal style (avoids slang, clichés,andinformal language)




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