english 7

Assignment 1: Diagnostic Essay


Your first essay contributes 5% toward your final grade.

Mail or e-mail your completed Assignment 1 directly to your tutor as soon as you’re finished. Submit your assignment in the first week of the course or as soon as you have completed Module 1.

Essay Topic

Write a brief essay of no more than 500 words on the central characteristics that, in your view, contribute to a successful or satisfying story. Use any or all of the Module 1 stories as examples to illustrate your ideas. You may, if you wish, refer to other short stories you’re familiar with, but be sure to use at least one story from the Required readings. You’re free to borrow or adapt any of the ideas introduced in Module 1. Or you may introduce your own ideas. You’re entirely free in the selection of story features to write about.


Your essay should have three parts: an introductory paragraph, a body containing fully developed paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Below is a general guide for what to include in each section of your essay.

  • Your introductory paragraph should:

    • Clearly identify a minimum of two, but not more than four, story features that you believe are essential to an enjoyable story.
    • Provide the main reasons why the features you’ve chosen are indispensable to a good story.
  • The body of your essay should:

    • Discuss the features you’ve chosen, one by one, in separate paragraphs.
    • Support your comments with evidence (either paraphrase or direct quotations) from one or more stories.
  • Your concluding paragraph should:


    • Summarize the significance of the story features you’ve selected as essential to a story’s success.

Please note that quotations count toward the word length; Works Cited items listed at the end do not count toward the word length.

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