Personal Finance in College
This assignment will build on our class discussions of Angela Duckworth’s book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance and Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Using Dweck and/or Duckworth along with other sources, you’ll explain to readers how to succeed in particular field, area, or activity. Your topic might be college-related, career-related, or personal interest-related. Be sure your topic is appropriate for gaining additional credible sources, as your audience is other CMU students.
The title and focus of your essay should be very specific in order to fit the brief scope of this assignment. Examples titles might include the following:
• How to Make the Most of Internships and Field Experiences as an Undergraduate Student at CMU
• How to Use Growth-Mindset to Increase Academic Achievement as a College Student
• How to Succeed in Choosing a Meaningful College Major in the Business Field
• How to Balance Your Academic Life and Social Life as a College Student at CMU
• How to Succeed as a New College Graduate in the Field of Advertising
• How to Succeed in Building Endurance as a Recreational Runner
• How to Succeed in Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet
In this assignment, you will combine information from several sources and clearly and coherently explain how to succeed in some field, area, or activity to readers who are not already familiar with the information. It builds on what you learned in ENG 101 about writing from multiple sources (e.g., summary, paraphrase, and quotation), but it also reinforces the critical thinking skills of analysis and synthesis as well as source citation. Assignments 2 – 4 will require you to go beyond simply reporting information—which, by itself, is a crucial skill—to persuading readers to believe or do something.
1. Write a 3-5 page informative report. Your report should emerge from a synthesis of information from at least six recent and authoritative sources (Duckworth and Dweck can count toward your six sources), perhaps also combined with your own personal knowledge about the topic. Part of the challenge of synthesizing information from multiple sources is making strategic decisions about what information to include and what not to include; often, the latter decision is more difficult than the former. For example, if you were to explain how to succeed in the college application process to students in a high school science class, consider why these readers might need or want this information.
2. In addition to including information based on your own knowledge and experience, use a combination of quotation and paraphrase from your sources; however, no more than about 10% (75 –100 words) of your report should consist of quoted material. Instead, rely on summary and paraphrase. And as you should have learned in ENG 101, all information from sources—whether quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, whether words or images—must be cited. Keep in mind, though, that your voice, not your sources’, should be most prominent in your report.
3. Format your report in a way that is appropriate for your intended audience and purpose. This assignment could take a form different from a traditional school “paper,” e.g., it might take the form of a web page, a brochure, an article in a newsletter or magazine, etc. Whatever final format it takes, develop the text for the peer draft as a print document.
Your peers and instructor will help you decide on an appropriate format for your report, depending on what you see as its specific purpose and intended audience.
4. Include any appropriate visuals that will enhance the effectiveness of your report. Use of visuals in this assignment is optional, and visuals might not count toward the total word count for the assignment; it will depend on what kind of visuals you use and whether you created them yourself or borrowed them from a source. All borrowed visuals must be cited. Do not include gratuitous visuals, such as clip art; include only visuals that convey relevant meaning and help readers understand the information.
5. Cite sources using MLA, APA, or Chicago format. Your paper must include in-text citations and a works cited page.
6. Give your report a title that will be effective and appropriate for the intended audience and purpose. Select a specific audience and purpose for your report, and write this at the top of your paper so your peer reviewers and instructor will know.
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