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WR090 Hattman: Explore a Theme from Freedom and Responsibility

WR 090

Essay #2

Assignment Guidelines





The goal for this assignment is to effectively write an expository essay on the theme of freedom & responsibility by summarizing, analyzing, and synthesizing your ideas with the ideas of others.




  • In Barack Obama’s Commencement Speech given at Howard University, he offers specific strategies to initiate change. Summarize and analyze these strategies. Then, consider a strategy for a change you would like to see in the world. Be sure to provide enough background and evidence in order to persuade a reader of your strategy for change.    


  • In Jose Antonio Vargas’ essay, “Outlaw,” he writes about his experience living as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. Summarize and analyze an immigration policy and/or issue that undocumented immigrants face living in the United States today. Be sure to be specific about policies, legislation, and/or constitutional rights that apply.  


  • Propose your own expository paper on the theme of freedom & responsibility. For this option, you will need to email me a proposal for approval.



  • Have a thesis statement and a central focus that examines the theme of freedom & responsibility in the United States.

  • Include an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

  • Incorporate the elements of Academic Writing as discussed in class. Specifically, be sure to proofread for:

  • Fragments

  • Run-ons and Comma Splices

  • Correct use of commas

  • Appropriate Academic Word Choice

  • Incorporate MLA style formatting (see “Submission Guidelines”).

  • Include in-text citations and a Works Cited page



You will be composing this paper through a multi-level process of exercises, drafting, and feedback from your peers.

  1. PREWRITING: In class, we will begin by discussing questions on freedom & responsibility in small groups. Then, drawing on the discussion about equality generated in your groups, you will be asked to complete a pre-write brainstorming ideas for essay topics. You can choose any method of pre-writing you would like (such as freewriting, clustering, listing, etc.).

  2. OUTLINING & TENTATIVE THESIS: As homework, you will work to organize your pre-writing ideas into an outline. Try to map out a rough idea of what you’ll want to focus on. Then, once you’ve written your outline, work on writing a tentative thesis statement. The tentative thesis is one sentence that articulates the main point of your paper. It’s okay if you change it as you draft; what is important is that you have a place to start.

  3. DRAFTING AND PEER REVIEW: In class, you will exchange your paper with a partner for peer review. We will go over the requirements for peer review in class. You will need to be present in class for peer review. Peer review cannot be made up.

  4. REVISING: After completing the revision strategy in class, you will work on revising your paper. For this essay, you will also be required to go to the Writing Center to get feedback for revision (remember to keep the yellow Writing Center session sheet to turn in with your final paper). Be sure your essay has a clear, compelling introduction with a central topic, body paragraphs that support your central topic, and a conclusion that offers some reflection and/or explores the significance of what you have written. It may also help you to review the grading rubric for the assignment.

  5. EDITING FINAL DRAFT: Remember to allow time for editing your essay; the final draft should be polished, proofread, and free of grammatical errors.

  6. SUBMIT: In a folder, please submit prewrite, outline with tentative thesis, first draft with peer review, revision strategy, Writing Center session sheet, and final draft. I do not accept email submissions.




Length: 750-1000 words                    


Due Dates: Consult the Course Calendar in your syllabus


For all submissions, the following guidelines will apply:

  • Typed

  • Size 12 font

  • Times New Roman

  • Double spaced

  • 1” margins


Please include the following in the top corner of each submission:

  • Your name

  • Your instructor’s name

  • WR 090

  • Due Date


Grading: The expository essay is worth 10% of your overall grade (please see the “WR090 Grading Rubric” for more information).

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