Essay 1

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Essay #1: Facing the Machine

Man vs. Computer

“With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.”

—Elon Musk,


For this essay, you will write a 3-4pg narrative essay about a defining moment in your technological life where technology either saved or hurt you.

  • Please pick an interesting story e.g. I do not want to hear about you writing a paper or something else super boring
  • I want to see a story where your life was shaped in a specific way with tech.
    • Please be creative, dialogue focused, and above all entertaining within the constraints of the essay format


  • People that do not know you and have not experienced the same thing, but these people love an interesting & entertaining story, so do not disappoint them.

Narrative Questions to Liven Up You Essay:

  1. Act: What happened? What is the action? What is going on? What action; what thoughts?
  2. Scene: Where is the action happening? What is the background situation?
  3. Agent: Who is involved in the action? What are their roles?
  4. Agency: How do the agents act? By what means do they act?
  5. Purpose: Why do the agents act? What do they want?


  1. 750-1000 (about 3-4 pages).
  2. All drafts must be typed and double-spaced.
  3. Size 12 Times New Roman Font
  4. Have Name, Class, Date, Assignment, and Topic in the upper left-hand corner.
  5. A title that is not GENERIC
  6. All drafts, pre-writing, and outline must be turned in with the final copy of the essay


  • Your Thesis Statement and Outline for Essay #1 is due on______________
  • Your First Draft is due on______________
  • Take Rough Draft and meet with a Writing Center tutor for Tutoring is due on______________
  • Final Draft due on Canvas ______________

Essay Requirements:

  • An introduction that pulls in readers to the story in an innovative and interesting way, provides context on the topic, eases the reader into your essay, and ends with a thesis.
  • A thesis statement or controlling idea that takes a strong stand with a Topic + Comment Structure, but make it interesting not formulaic.
  • Transitional topic sentences that are clear, provocative, develop your thesis and provide unity in your essay.
  • The story should have a clear organizational idea. If you throw random stuff at your reader without a clear thought about how you want to develop a coherent story/narrative, you will write a sucky and bad essay.
  • The essay should include anecdotes & dialogue. The author should describe the person, the scene, or the event in some detail. It’s okay to include dialogue as long as you know how to punctuate it correctly and as long as you avoid using too much.
  • The occasion or person described must be suggestive in that your description and thoughts lead the reader to reflect on the human experience. For instance, I read an excellent student essay that told the story of a young woman forced to shoot several wolves that were attacking her cattle. She told her story and included the inner struggle she faced as she made the choice of saving the cattle or saving the wolves. She shot the wolves but learned that whatever her choice had been, she would not have been comfortable with it. One of life’s lessons is that sometimes there is no right choice, and that was the point of the essay.
  • The point of view in narrative essays is usually the first person. The use of “I” invites your readers into an intimate discussion.
  • The writing in your essay should be lively and show some style. Try to describe ideas and events in new and different ways. Avoid using clichés (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Again, get the basic story down, get it organized, and in your final editing process, work on word choice.
  • A conclusion that offers some ideas about what can be done about the situation
  • Strong sentences that are both grammatically correct and sophisticated
  • Use proper MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries for any dialogue.

Big picture:

  • This type of essay helps you write engaging and interesting personal statements for transfer & professional essays for publication in popular magazines and blogging.
  • Writing this type of essay impresses people, but it takes work and effort to be good. If your essay sounds like something anyone could write, you basically failed the assignment.
  • Be brave, interesting, and give it everything you have.

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