Texts “Devil’s Bait” by Leslie Jamison Elm City Echo One outside, scholarly source of your choosing

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Emma Burris-Janssen

English 1011.006

Essay 3 Prompt

Spring 2015


  • “Devil’s Bait” by Leslie Jamison

  • Elm City Echo

  • One outside, scholarly source of your choosing (I would prefer that you use a book or a peer-reviewed journal article.)

  • One essay written by a peer in the class (You may draw from the final drafts of Essay 1 or Essay 2, or you may draw from the first drafts of Essay 3.)

Intellectual Task

In Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times, Jasbir K. Puar poses an important question: “If we feel things are calm, what must we forget in order to inhabit such a restful feeling?” Our last two readings of the course – “Devil’s Bait” and the Elm City Echo – are both invested in making sure that we cannot forget the pain of others, whether that be the pain of those suffering from Morgellons Disease or of those who must find a way to live without a home.

For your third – and final – essay of the term, I would like you to use the assigned readings, the essays of your peers, and an outside, scholarly source to help you answer the following questions:
(1) Whose pain tends to be ignored in our society? For instance, why are we content to pass homeless individuals on the street without helping them? Why does the suffering of those with Morgellons Disease go unrecognized by the medical establishment?
(2) Why is it that people might blind themselves to the pain of these members of our society? And, what are the implications of this? In other words, what does it say about our society that we try not to recognize the suffering of some groups?
(3) What can be done to make things better? How can we encourage empathy with those whose pain is too often dismissed, ignored, or forgotten? What sacrifices must we make in order to allow for this change to occur in our society?
Reflecting on Your Writing Process

Taking a step back and thinking about your authorial decisions is one of the most crucial aspects of learning to write well. So, each essay draft you write for this class will include a reflective component: For your first draft, I’d like you to include at least three questions you’re currently having on your essay (and they should be as specific as possible); these questions will be very important, as they will be the first thing the class responds to in our discussion of your essay. Then, for your final draft, I’d like you to compose a letter to me where you talk to me about the following things: (1) What specific changes did you make between your first and your final drafts? (2) Why did you make these choices? What do you think they added to the essay? How do you think these decisions made your essay more effective? (3) What aspects of your writing do you want to continue working on in your next essay? In other words, what goals do you have for your next essay?


In evaluating your essays, I’ll be asking myself the following questions about your work: Does this piece provide a significant and unique contribution to our ongoing discussion of the issues under consideration? Does this project use the genre of academic writing as a means of “coming to terms” with the texts under consideration? Does the author demonstrate a thorough understanding of and engagement with these texts in their writing? Is this piece written in such a way that it is compelling and persuasive? Does it adhere to the guidelines for academic discourse that you’ve been reading about in They Say / I Say and that we’ve been discussing in class? (For instance, are all the sources cited appropriately according to MLA guidelines? Is the paper clearly written? Does it make sense to the reader?)

As mentioned in our syllabus, a “C” grade on this paper indicates that your work met the minimum requirements of the assignment – that the work could be described as “fine” or “adequate.” A “B” grade means that you provided strong, quality work that did more than just meet the minimum requirements of the assignment. And, finally, an “A” registers that your work on this paper was exceptional – that it had a significant impact on our ongoing inquiry into this topic.
Minimum Requirements

  • You must submit your first draft and your first draft questions to our discussion board by 11:59 pm on Friday, April 17.

  • You must submit your final draft and reflective letter to our discussion board by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 6.

  • You must be an active participant during our in-class workshopping sessions.

  • Your first draft should be a substantial draft where you sketch out the main features of your project. In other words, this draft should give us a good sense of where you’re thinking of going with the assignment.

  • Your final draft must be 9 pages in length, and it should be typed in 12-point, Times New Roman font. And, it should have standard margins.

  • All drafts must use MLA in-text citation and have a works cited page.

  • Each draft should have an MLA header that provides the following information:

Your Name

My Name

Our Course and Section [English 1011.006]

Assignment and Draft Number [Essay 3, Draft 1 or Essay 3, Final Draft]

Due Dates

  • Friday, April 17: Post Essay 3, Draft 1 to our discussion board by 11:59 pm. Through the drafting and revision process, this essay will eventually become an 9-page essay. So, I’d like you to compose an initial draft of about 5-6 pages (at least) so that we have a good sense for the core of your project and what line of inquiry you’re planning to pursue through your writing.

  • Wednesday, May 6: Post Essay 3, Final Draft to our discussion board by 11:59 pm.

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