essay english


On page 17 of Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell debates whether or not some kinds of success are actually based on individual merit.  He argues that “these kinds of personal explanations of success don’t work.  People don’t rise from nothing.  We do owe something to parentage and patronage” (19).  

For this paper, address the following question:

Do our families and the people outside our families who choose to mentor or help us mean more or less than the work we put into our developing our own success?


Your paper should be at least TWO complete pages in length (even one line less than two pages is too short), double-spaced, with one-inch margins top, bottom and both sides.

For more information about how to write this paper well, see the additional guidelines for writing essay 1.

A successful paper will…

  1. Be an obvious attempt to follow the assignment
  2. Have a thesis statement
  3. Have an organization that is logical and easy to follow, making serious use of the “they say, I say” design and relevant templates
  4. Have a well-developed (as in detailed and specific) discussion, including thorough descriptions and explanations of Gladwell’s ideas in all the body paragraphs
  5. Have paragraphs with organizations that are logical and easy to follow (including topic and concluding sentences and transitions within and between paragraphs that indicate logical relations between your ideas)
  6. Have sentences that are grammatically complete, logical and easy to follow
  7. Have a minimum number of surface feature errors—correct use of periods and question marks, correct spelling, absence of typographical errors, etc., including no use of any form of the pronoun “you.”