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First Year Seminar Companion: Guided Self Placement

This guide provides an online version of much of the material contained in Dr. Todd Gernes's "A First-Year Seminar Companion," created in September 2015. Faculty will find information on First-Year Seminar (FYS) guidelines, sample syllabi, learning style

2015 Essay Prompt

These were the instructions provided to incoming first-year students in the Class of 2019. Students also provided a self-placement ranking, identifying that they felt prepared for either a Standard, Centric, Basic, or ELL writing course. Their submissions were then used to evaluate students' preparation for college writing and determine whether faculty placements matched students' self-placements. Where discrepancies exist, students meet with the Writing Program Director for additional advice on writing course selection.

Guided Self-Placement Essay Question
Stonehill College, Summer 2015

Technology in the Classroom: Distraction or Opportunity?

In the 21st century, mobile technology (smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) are turning up in college classrooms, and this has sparked a heated controversy that is far from settled. Some professors, at Stonehill and other institutions, forbid students from using mobile technology in class while others embrace the idea, incorporating iPads or smart phones into their lesson plans. Is there a place for mobile technology in the college classroom, or is it simply a distraction that impedes learning?   In a persuasive essay of 750 - 1,000 words, explain this controversy and formulate your own position while considering other points of view (which you can discover in the Resource Folder).

To learn more about this issue, peruse the articles and video clip provided in the Resource Folder.  This collection is designed to be suggestive rather than comprehensive.

Your essay should include a title, a focusing thesis, well-organized paragraphs, transitions between paragraphs (when appropriate), and a conclusion.  Support any claims you make with clear reasoning and specific evidence where needed.   A bibliography is not necessary, but acknowledge direct quotations with references in parentheses.  For example: (Smith 5). Be sure to revise and proofread your essay before submitting it. Generally, your essay will be assessed on the following abilities: creating and supporting a thesis, organizing ideas, expressing ideas and arguments clearly, integrating ideas and information from external sources gracefully and ethically, and editing for style, grammar, and mechanics.

Compose  and save your essay using Microsoft Word (you have access to Word, along with your Stonehill email, on our Office 365 Online Platform).

The audience for your essay will be professors in your first-year courses.  This essay will be used to help determine  which first-year seminar is most appropriate for you, so it is very important that it represents your own, unassisted work.  All first-year students are required to take a first-year seminar, regardless of the outcome of this assessment.

Your completed essay and exit survey must be submitted by Monday, June 1st, 2015.  Submitting after June 1st could impact your placement into a first-year seminar.

Note:  Be sure to attach your essay as a Microsoft Word (docx) file to the assignment before clicking Submit.  Your writing assessment will not be complete until your essay and self-assessment (Step 3) have been submitted.  If you submit the wrong file or forget to attach a file you can simply resubmit.  If you have any other problems contact Ms. Patty Mead []: tel: 508-565-1799. 

After submitting your essay as an attached Word file (.docx file), move on to Step 3, below, the Writing Self-Assessment.

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