Final Paper

EAT YOUR WORDS: The Final Project

Your final project for our Eat Your Words course will be a 4 to 6 page creative essay, double-spaced, in Calibri or TNR 12pt font and MLA format. You have three options:

1. An original creative essay with food as a central theme.

2. An essay based on a blog, but heavily revised and expanded.

3. A historical essay on one food or recipe that explores its origins. Must have a bibliography and use college research sources (i.e. Not Wikipedia).

Friday, January 27th: Turn in a 1 to 1.5 page abstract and proposed outline of your essay.

Your summary/outline should include:

  • A one-page summary of what your final draft is (Option 1, 2, 3)? What is your essay about? If you are revising a previous blog post, how will you revise it?)
  • An outline of your proposed essay
  • A one-paragraph self-evaluation of how you’re doing in the class and what you think your class-participation and writing grades should be (50% each) and why. Review the syllabus and consider the level of effort you have put into your blogs, student comments, the readings, and class discussion.

Sunday, February 5th: Upload your final essay/portfolio to Google Docs (I will send you a link).

What I am looking for in an essay and how it will be graded:

  1. An essay that has been edited and proofread. (10 pts.)
  2. Food as a central theme. (10 pts)
  3. A solid hook/introduction (15 pts)
  4. A distinct voice (hopefully yours!) (15 pts)
  5. At least two full paragraphs/sections with sensory, food-related detail (10 pts)
  6. Structure: The essay follows a solid narrative structure including background information, an emotional peak or climax, and reflection and resolution (15 pts.)
  7. A deeper meaning or layer to the story (i.e. it’s not just a story about your fun trip eating hot dogs in Paris…it’s about something deeper. Your reader should not finish the essay thinking: So what? They should be able to see that this was an important moment in your life for a reason. Think of “Beans and Me,” or “Salsa Rosa,” or “Eggs Over Uneasy,” or even Julia Child’s “Sole Meunier” moment, which is about the first time she fell in love with France and food. (25 pts.)

What you should avoid:

  1. Clichés like: “It tasted like heaven” or “It tasted divine” or “Words cannot describe how it tasted” (that’s your JOB!). Do the work and actually describe it. And if you can’t remember, fake it! No joke.
  2. Proofreading and editing errors. They are your worst enemy.
  3. Late work. I will not accept “my printer wasn’t working” excuses–especially since you’ll turn the final in digitally. A late paper is a failed paper. The Saint Mary’s printers nearly always work and are there for you to use. Don’t wait till the last minute.
  4. Waiting till the last minute. If you’re not sure what to write about or how to revise, make office hours–I will be more available the last week.
  5. Writing less than 4 pages. If your final paper count is less than 4 complete pages (3.5 is considered less than 4), your grade will automatically be lowered by one grade point for each page less than 4. Also, 4 pages are the MINIMUM (think C-level work). Shoot for the stars! (Not more than 7 full pages though…please!)
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