The broad topic for this Extended definition essay is student success, and your narrowed task is to define the concept of “successful students” by way of the characteristics those students exhibit (and/or avoid). Your underlying purpose is to demonstrate the complexities of student success, highlighting the unknown, inaccurate, misunderstood, or underappreciated values, behaviors, and/or choices that lead students to or detract from their eventual success. To fulfill this objective, your essay must provide specific, definitional criteria (the characteristics) that convey – with clarity and logic – the significance behind your unique perspective.
Skip Downing, author of On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life, argues that successful students exhibit eight essential characteristics that motivate their choices and lead to their success. His list of choices are listed below. For this assignment, you will explore those choices further to identify and determine which of those choices, characteristics, and/or behaviors ultimately define what it means to be a “successful student.”
Choices of Successful Students
1)…accept personal responsibility, seeing themselves as the primary cause of their outcomes and experiences
2)…discover self-motivation, finding purpose in their lives by discovering personally
3)…master self-management, consistently planning and taking purposeful actions in pursuit of their goals and dreams.
4)…employ interdependence, building mutually supportive relations that help them achieve their goals and dreams (while helping others do the same).
5)…gain self-awareness, consciously employing behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that keep them on course.
6)…adopt lifelong learning, finding valuable lessons and wisdom in nearly every experience they have.
7)…develop emotional intelligence, effectively managing their emotions in support of their goals and dreams.
8)…believe in themselves, seeing themselves as capable, lovable, and unconditionally worthy human beings.
Choices of Successful Students 1
Source: Downing, Skip. On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life. 2nd edition, Cengage Learning, 2017.
Your audience is collegiate -level. From the well-developed and successful definition essay, this audience should learn something significant about your unique perspective, while also gaining a broader understanding of and appreciation for the concept. There is no need to define or explain something that your audience readily accepts or understands to be true.
As you choose your definitional criteria and identify the specific details you will use to support and explain those criteria, keep your intended audience at the forefront of your mind.
• Compose a minimum of six paragraphs and no less than 3.5, double-spaced pages. This total does not include your Works Cited page.
• Identify, analyze, and evaluate appropriate experiences, beliefs, and/or observations to support your definitional thesis.
• Identify and include in your thesis three – four definitional criteria that are specific, unique, and significant in conveying your purpose.
• Develop your definitional criteria within the essay body by way of exemplification — concrete, detailed, and coherent examples that demonstrate the qualities and characteristics essential to your definition.
• Include as support for your definition at least one quote from:
1. Skip Downing, “Choices of Successful Students”
2. Fredrick Douglas, “Learning to Read and Write”
• Identify and apply the conventions of MLA format and accurate MLA documentation, including attribution, in-text citation, and a Works Cited page. I also require use of 12-point, Times New Roman font.
• Avoid use of 1st or 2nd person (“I,” “we,” “us,” and “you”). This assignment asks for a response based on your own experiences, beliefs, and observations, but you should strive to write in an academic voice that uses third person only.
• Avoid personal narrative and opinion-based development (i.e. “I believe,” “I think,” “In my opinion,” etc.). All ideas must be well-supported with logical explanation, details, connections, etc.
• Use all stages of the writing process to develop a final draft that demonstrates your ability to incorporate standard, academic, writing conventions.
Please ensure that the Introduction is compelling, well-developed, exceptionally composed, and original.
Conclusion is well-developed, and well-composed; it goes beyond the obvious, effectively pointing to greater significance.
Thesis is a compelling, original, exceptionally clear, and well-composed. Its roadmap lists main points that are distinct, significant, and parallel.
Body paragraphs begin with assertive topic sentences that reflect the thesis explicitly. They are exceptionally composed, appropriately transitional, and make clear their paragraphs’ unique rhetorical purpose. Paragraph ending syntheses are exceptionally composed. They connect clearly to the topic sentences and reveal significance.
Body paragraphs are skillfully developed and unified. They move with logic and purpose from significant, supporting points to well-qualified examples, explanations, and details that reinforce and validate those points.
Supporting sentences are coherent, varied, and vivid. They use sophisticated vocabulary, appropriate repetition of key words, and smooth transitioning throughout.