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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Sample Student Papers

Page address: http://english.mnsu.edu/vwp/samplepapers/english/researched.htm

Sample English Papers

The Researched Argument Paper

I don't know about you, but one of the things that always frustrated me when I was an undergraduate and writing papers for my classes was an absence of real examples of good papers of the sort that I was being asked to write. Of course, when I was taking "Comp," I remember my instructor showing our class some "models" of excellent writing. However, since most of them were by renowned writers Maya Angelou or John Updike and Martin Luther King or Margaret Mead, and since all we got to see was the glistening, pristine, perfect final published draft without any sense of the intervening drafts that each of these writers may have struggled through in order to get it to its "perfect" state, I found it hard to relate to them.

For better or worse, I'm a visual learner. That's the way I've been able to move relatively uninjured through some of my carpentry projects. That's why I've found it helpful to share with students the really good writing of their peers so that they can see what good papers look like, and that, with a little care and advanced preparation, they are capable of writing good papers like them.

I'll be enclosing two drafts apiece of six papers. That is, a rough draft and a revised draft of each. Each paper is responding in one my Humanities classes (282W: "Latin American Traditions") to the same assignment, after reading and studying aspects of Mayan culture, El Salvador, liberation theology, and a little novel entitled One Day of Life about the struggles of Salvadoran campesinos against poverty and oppression just prior to the Salvadoran Civil War which began in 1980.