The following are examples of past Essay Topics that may make it easier for coaches to prepare for this year's State Literary event:
• Relate the sacrifices your parents have made to help you succeed in life.
• What is a major achievement in your life? Who and what assisted you in reaching your goal?
• Should betting on Fantasy Football and other “Fantasy Sports” be banned?
• Could a four-day school week improve L-12 education?
Rhetorical Essay Sample Topic:
Read the following passages from Oleanna, a play by David Mamet. In the first passage, Carol an undergraduate student, is accusing her male college professor of being sexist and elitist. The second passage is John’s response to Carol. After reading both passages, write a well developed essay in which you compare and contrast the attitudes expressed by both student and teacher. In your essay, analyze how Mamet uses such literary techniques as diction, selection of detail, structure, syntax, point of view, and tone.
“How can you deny it. You did it to me. “I say something conventional, you
Here. You did . . . You confess. You love respond, and the information we
the Power. To deviate. To invent, to exchange is not about the
transgress . . . to transgress whatever “weather,” but that we both agree
norms have been established for us. to converse. In effect, we agree
And you think it’s charming to “question” that we are both human . . . “I’m
in yourself this taste to mock and not a . . . “exploiter,” and you’re
destroy. But you should question it. not a . . . “deranged,” what?
Professor. And you pick those things revolutionary . . . that we may,
which you feel advance you: publication, that we may have . . . positions,
tenure, and the steps to get them you call and that we may have desires,
“harmless rituals.” And you perform those which are in conflict, but that we
steps. Although you say it is hypocrisy. are just human. (Pause) That
But to the aspirations of your students. means that sometime we’re
Of hardworking students who come here, imperfect. (Pause) Often we’re
who slave to come here—you have no idea in conflict. (Pause) Much of what
what it cost me to come to this school—you we do, you’re right, in the name of
mock us. You call education “hazing” and “principles” is self-serving . . .much
from your so-protected, so-elitist seat you of what we do is conventional.
you hold our confusion as a joke, and our (Pause) You’re right. (Pause) You
hopes and efforts with it. Then you sit there said you came in the class because
and say “what have I done?” And ask me to you wanted to learn about educa-
understand that you have aspirations too. tion. I don’t know that I can teach
But I tell you. I tell you. That you are vile. you about education. But I know
And that you are exploitative. And if you that I can tell you what I think
possess one ounce of that inner honesty about education, and then you
you describe in your book, you can look decide. And you don’t have to fight
in yourself and see those things that I see. with me. I’m not the subject.
And you can find revulsion equal to my own. (Pause) And where I’m wrong . . .
Good day.” perhaps it’s not your job to “fix”
me. I don’t want to fix you. I
would like to tell you what I think,
Because that is my job . . .