Essay #3: The Concept Essay (three to five pages) 125 points
To Lean to Write a Clear and Cohesive Paper
To Learn Rhetorical Strategies: Definition, Division and Classification, Process Analysis, Cause and Effect
To Learn to do Basic Research
To Learn MLA Documentation Style
Concepts have been described as building blocks of knowledge. This is so in as much as we must first
understand the concepts embedded in larger ideas (facts and generalizations) if we are to comprehend the
larger ideas. A concept is an idea or mental schema that we form to represent items (objects, events, ideas)
that have common attributes. We cluster items with such commonalities into a group or class of things and
give or find for each group a name. For instance, we might find that the name that we have given to
responses such as fear, hate, anger, and love is emotion. Each of these examples of emotion represents how
we might feel in particular situations. The concepts that we have may be more or less adequate, and our
understandings evolve with experience, hopefully becoming more refined as we learn what does and what
does not count as an example of a concept. For example, babies may over-generalize by calling all men
“daddy' until they learn how daddy differs from other men.”
A concept essay focuses on in-depth analysis of an idea, thought, conception, model, or theory. The goal of
a concept essay is to objectively explain the chosen concept to an audience. If the audience has no
knowledge of the issue, the writer's job is to inform them. If the audience does have some knowledge, then
the writer's task is to add new dimensions, perspectives, or applications of the concept to the discussion.
Oftentimes, a concept is controversial and can be interpreted in a variety of different ways.
Write an essay about a concept from The Hunger Games that interests you and that you want to study
further. When you have a good understanding of the concept you have chosen, explain it to your readers,
considering carefully what they might already know about it and how your essay might add to what they
Note: You are free to choose the concept about which you want to write, but choose carefully, as you are
required to explain the concept in an interesting and compelling way.
Submission Requirements: Please submit a hard copy with supporting documents.
Format Requirement: MLA-style formatting and citations
Length: Your finished text should be between three and five pages, excluding the Works Cited page.
Topics to Consider: Hunger, Cold, Friendship, Family, Safety, Survival, Freedom, Oppression, Justice,
Fair play, Class, Game, Play, Power, Identity, Strength, Competition, Sacrifice, Spectacle, Schadenfreude
(happiness derived from others’ misfortunes), Fear, Privilege, Equality, Legal, Skill.
Works Cited Page
A Works Cited page names all of the sources that were used in an essay or research paper; it credits the
source or sources for the information you present, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize to support your thesis.
A Works Cited page also serves as a reference to the sources that were used so that a reader or writer can
quickly refer to the original text.
The Works Cited page for this research project must contain at least three entries. One of these will likely
be The Hunger Games. The second will be from a dictionary or other source that helps you define your
concept. The other can be from a book, an article from a scholarly journal, a credible website, or an article
from a popular magazine, such as Time, National Geographic, or the LA Times. Remember, you can also
draw on your own experiences and knowledge to discuss, explain, and analyze your topic.
Expected Student Learning Outcomes
§ Demonstrate outlining and brainstorming abilities
§ Demonstrate an awareness of the time needed to plan, search, and write an essay
§ Demonstrate increased awareness of strategies for organizing ideas and structuring essays
§ Demonstrate an awareness of sentence structures
§ Demonstrate an understanding of multiple rhetorical strategies: Process Analysis, Cause and Effect,
Compare and Contrast, and Classification and Division
§ Learn to apply active reading strategies in order to identify main ideas
§ Learn to integrate quotations effectively and correctly
§ Demonstrate an awareness of the value of self-assessment
Previously Learned Skills Required to Complete this Assignment
ü The ability to summarize sources
ü The ability to use multiple rhetorical strategies: Narration, Description, Exemplification, Persuasive
ü An awareness of plagiarism issues
ü The ability to write grammatically correct, clear sentences.
ü The ability to write a clear and concise thesis.
ü The ability to brainstorm material for an essay.
ü The ability to organize an essay
Ø Write a thesis that helps readers understand the point of the essay as well as the reasoning behind
your classifications or divisions.
Ø Reveal uncommon details about the concept.
Ø Avoid telling the reader that something is “interesting,” or “exciting”; instead create images or use
examples that show it.
Ø Use metaphors to make the reader see the intensity or scope or depth of the concept.
Ø Come to my office if you are unsure, confused, or behind.
Traps to Avoid:
Ø Choosing a topic that is not appropriate—one that requires no research, too much research, has no
source to document, or one that is too broad.
Ø Failing to assert a clear and strong argument.
Ø Failing to sufficiently describe the concept for readers who may be unfamiliar with it.
Ø Seeking to present the subject from memory or hearsay.
Ø Failing to support the argument with evidence from appropriate sources.
Ø Citing Wikipedia as a source for your research paper.