This first essay must be a minimum of 500 words to count toward Gordon Rule credit.
Choose one of the articles we have read (Hall, Anderson, Althusser, OR Lull) and explain the most
important features of the argument in your own words. You must use at least one quote, but no more
than three quotes, with each quote comprising no more than three lines.
Do not write a full introduction. Your first paragraph should consist of what you take to be the thesis
of the article (in your own words!) and nothing else. You should be able to do this in three sentences
or fewer, and the body of your essay should be an elaboration of the argument(s) you address in the
The main purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate comprehension of the article and the ability to
articulate its main points in a clear manner. If you think part of the argument is problematic, you are
welcome to note this and to explain your reasons for thinking so, but do not insert your own opinion at
the expense of describing the author’s key points. You are not required to assess the strength or validity
of the arguments in the article, though again, you are welcome to comment on them once you have
adequately described them.
Do not write in the second person (“you”). You may use the first person (“I”) if it helps the flow of your
paper, but excessive use of “I” will result in deductions. Do not make yourself the subject of the essay.
Be sure to write exclusively in complete sentences. Read your essay over before submitting, keeping an
eye out for sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and missing words. Remember that spell-check is not
foolproof; if you write “form” instead of “from,” spell-check will not adjust the sentence for you so that
it makes sense.
There is no need for any kind of “Works Cited” page. The only work you should be citing is the article
you are addressing. When you quote from the article, you need only to include a parenthetical citation
that includes the author’s last name and the page from which the quotation is taken. For example:
“Hegemony is the power or dominance that one social group holds over others” (Lull, 25). Note that the
punctuation follows the closing of the parentheses.