Assignment 1: Proposing Alternative Solutions

Proposing a Solution – An Alternative

Write an essay proposing a solution to some problem suffered by a known, already-in-existence (in other words, a character someone else created, not one you create) fictional character such as Eeyore, Garfield, Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Bennet, Lorelai Gilmore, or Wile E. Coyote. Choose a problem faced by that character which has several possible solutions, and reason your way through the essay, to the best possible solution. Library research and citations using MLA format should be used. Your essay should be at least five pages and have at least the same number of sources.

This is our second essay that is considered argumentative, therefore it will have an argumentative thesis—that is, a main point that other people might disagree with. Some of the causes of your selected problem may need to be addressed within this paper as well, especially if your solution involves eliminating the causes or breaking the causal connections to affect a solution. For example, if Bart Simpson’s best friend, Milhouse wants to break out of his nerd image and be cool, the reasons for his innate nerdiness (the glasses? the whining?) will have to be discussed before ways to overcome them can be determined.
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First you will need to isolate a problem, then you will need to devise a number of solutions to that problem, arguing in favor of the best solution. You might decide to propose a detailed solution for one of the following (remember, your thesis is the answer to a question such as these, stating the best possible solution of several choices):

How can Garfield overcome his lasagna addiction?
Pooh has a perennial inventory control problem with his honey cupboard. What should he do to make sure he never runs out of honey again?
Elmer Fudd just can’t catch that skwewy wabbit. What should he do?
Eeyore can’t get away from neither the physical nor the metaphorical rain cloud (depression). What can his friends do to help?
It’s football season, and this year, Charlie Brown really wants to kick that football. How can he outwit Lucy?
How can Wile E. Coyote finally catch that road runner?

Tip: Explore several potential solutions (i.e. “the other side of the argument”), explaining their strengths and fallacies, and show how one is clearly the best. Do real research on similar real-life problems, their solutions, and apply them to the fictional world. Also remember that you are not summarizing how the problem is solved in the plotline. You are coming up with your own solution to an underlying problem.

Tip: Try to determine the root of the problem. This will help you find the most effective solution. You’ve got to convince your audience and me that this is the best way to help this poor soul!

Tip: Think personal flaws rather than one-occasion mistakes. Does this character show a pattern of making the wrong choice in this way? What can be done to help this character overcome this personal failing so as not to continue falling into the same trap. It’s not about changing the plot, but rather helping the character learn to live a healthy, well-adjusted life from here on out.

The same MLA formatting issues apply here as on previous papers, and let me remind you to cite ALL your references. Make good use of your Prentice Hall Reference Guide. It really is a great resource. Get to know it. Research will be a big help with this essay.

One last hint: Most of your characters’ problems will end up dealing with psychology and therefore psychological solutions, so go ahead and anticipate that. And if your character has an entire library of issues, try to see if they all have a common cause, and try to treat that, instead of tackling each and every individual issue. If you do the latter, you may be spreading yourself too thin to make a good argument for the best solution among several possibilities.
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Rough Draft Due Date:

            Topic proposal to BB Dropbox submission link: Friday, March 21, 2014 by 10 p.m.

            Peer revision copies: Friday, April 4, 2014

                            Bring two copies of your most recent draft to class to trade.

Rough Draft to Niki: Friday, April 4, by 10 p.m., to BB Dropbox submission link

Save your file in either Microsoft Word format (.doc or docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or PDF, including in the file name: your name, the assignment and draft, and your class

Example: NCox_SP_roughdraft_Eng101_108.docx NikiC_SolRough_Eng101_105.rtf

Please note: the rough draft in class and to Blackboard is not optional. If you do not bring peer review copies to trade, you’ll lose 10 in-class points. If you do not submit a rough draft, you will lose 10% of your final essay’s grade, because it is imperative that you go through the process of revision.

Each final draft will be turned in as part of a portfolio at the end of the semester

Reminder: emailing me (no replies from me for submission) or yourself your rough draft and major progressions is highly recommended, to prevent calamity. Lost files and computer crashes can happen to anyone. Period. Yes, that includes you.

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