1. A value essay
We measure things by all kinds of value standards. A value essay explains the standard by which you are measuring something, as a foundation for saying that thing either has value (is ‘good’) or does not have value (not ‘good’). Take, for example, a movie review:
a. What are the features that make a movie good?
You might say: a good story (what’s a good story?), believable characters/ casting, a romance, or intense action
b. What are some examples of movies that meet these criteria?
c. Now that your ‘standard of measure’ is clear to your reader, show how x movie: 1) includes the features of a good movie, and 2) is similar (analogous) to your examples of a good movie
d. Invite people who do AND don’t like your movie into your conversation. Discuss.
e. The point sentence (and conclusion) of a value essay takes some form of these templates:
 “______ is good/ not good.” (“In spite of what the critics have said, _____ is an excellent mystery.”)
 “x has greater value than y.” (or “x is less valuable than y.”)
 “____ is an essential family/personal/ _____ value.”
You are beginning to see how these essays overlap, right? For example, in order to talk about value, you’ll have to define the words/ ideas you’re using.

I love this week’s essays: two of America’s most prolific and widely read personal essayists: Annie Dillard and Anne Lamott. Journalism essays differ from the academic variety in a couple of ways: they may or may not exhibit an explicit point sentence as the last sentence of the introduction, and though they do include the comparative aspect, that is, their writers do consider how others may define a term or similar experience, the allusion may be quite general rather than specific, and thus not source-cited.

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With those differences in mind, and given the interpretive nature of reading that we have shared amongst ourselves this semester so far, I am keen to see what you take away from these essays and/or what you read as the main idea. The next essay you will compose for this class is a “value” essay, and readers who’ve preceded you have considered ‘value’ as a useful lens through which to read Lamott and Dillard. One of these essayists may find her way into your essay in a couple of weeks!

To defend a value is to rebut the fallacy of relativism. A value essay claims and defends the notion that some thing is of value, that some things are better than other things, and why