For your second and final writing assignment in this course, you’re being asked to construct a variation
of a personal essay, which can also be referred to as a research project. The essay that you produce
must be based on a combination of personal experience(s) and research, it must be told primarily from
the first-person point of view, and it must meet the given length requirement of 500 to 1,500 words.
The essay that you write should be a direct response to one of the two prompts offered down below. It
should offer your ideas and opinions and use research as support. This essay, much like the personal
narrative, will be directed toward a general and unfamiliar audience—people who don’t know you
Your finished product should be completely original and contain research only as support for your
established ideas. You should not rely on the results of your research to create your essay, but to
support ideas of your own. This will help to ensure that your finished project is unique, credible, and
There are two distinct topic options for this particular assignment. While each of these options has
specific requirements and expectations, there is also a great deal of freedom included with each.
Because your essay is being created based on your opinions/ideas and research, no two completed
essays will be exactly alike.
This work will be submitted through TURNITIN.COM, any portion of your writing uses uncited ideas,
phrases, or structure from another source, you could earn a failing grade of 1% for the exam. This will
be at the discretion of the Penn Foster instructional team.
Option 1: Personal Take on Current Issues
Choose a current issue in local, national, or international news. Write an editorial piece explaining the
issue and offering your opinions and any solutions you can think of that may apply.
You’ll need to thoroughly research the issue at hand in order to provide a solid explanation of the issue,
as well as informed opinions and solutions. You must be sure to provide an appropriate context for the
issue you choose; the audience needs to understand why this is a problem that deserves consideration
and why you feel your solutions can affect it.
Part of your purpose is to convince your audience that your solutions are viable.
Option 2: Planning a Career
Choose a career that you would like to pursue. You’ll need to thoroughly research your career choice.
You should explain the career to your audience. Although an explanation of the career is certainly
necessary, you must be sure to keep the focus of the essay on yourself and why you want to enter this
particular career field; the focus shouldn’t be solely on the career field itself.
Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about your career choice, including what type of
education, training, or certification is required; what a typical day or week would be like; what kind of
salary you can expect; what the future looks like for employees in this field; and whether or not
geography will affect job opportunities.
Part of your purpose is to convince your audience that you’re making an informed choice, allowing you a
chance at success in the job market.
WHY USE THE FIRST-PERSON POINT OF
When writing from the first-person point of view, you’re relaying your personal thoughts, feelings, and
experiences and speaking for yourself only. You can make observations regarding others, but you’re not
able to speak for them or truly know what they’re thinking. In the confines of your research project, you
must write from the first-person point of view because the fundamental ideas on which your essay is
based are your own.
ESSENTIALS: FORMATTING YOUR ESSAY
Please be sure to include a header at the top of each page that includes your last name and a page
number at the right margin.
The very first page of your essay shouldn’t contain a header, but it should include your name, your
student ID number, and the exam number.
Your paper should be typed and double-spaced using Microsoft Word It must be submitted in .doc,
.docx, or .rtf format for grading purposes.
Use double-spacing, standard one-inch margins, and a font no larger than the equivalent of Times
New Roman 12.
Your final draft should contain between 500 and 1,500 words.
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