Freshman Composition

Essay #1 Prompt

Topic Background: In the first unit of our class, we have learned that cultural myths carry significant weight and may unknowingly affect our customs, values and beliefs. For this essay, I would like you to consider the cultural myth of the “model family.” Is there such a thing as a “model family”? May this ideal cloud one’s judgment or lead to a false sense of his/her own family’s worth? Finally, can a challenging of this particular cultural myth lend to becoming a more critical thinker?

Sources: Linda Brodkey, “Writing on the Bias,” Gary Soto “Looking for Work,” Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian, “The Color of Family Ties: Race, Class, Gender and Extended Family Involvement”

Writing Task: Using each source, respond to the following prompt with a well-developed, focused essay of 3-5 FULL pages

In these first unit readings, how is the cultural myth of the “model family” challenged?

Directions: A typed paper using 12pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1” margins is mandatory for the final draft. Completion of ALL drafts and other assignments is mandatory to complete this unit and receive a full grade for the final draft. Late papers will not be accepted.


Revisit Diana Hacker’s Rules For Writers. Particularly the “Exploring, Planning and Drafting” chapter.
Think subject, then purpose. What are you trying to teach your audience?
Who are you writing for (not just the professor!)? Think of audience before you write your first sentence.
Please use all resources available to you. My office hours and the Writing Center are great places to start.


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