Then I got rough drafts from MANY students AND JOE, most with NO story of any kind, just things like: "Abortion is a big problem in the world today," and "Weed is a big problem in the world today."
I wrote back to these people something like: "I think your issue can work, but in your first paragraph, if you're writing about legalizing marijuana, make sure you start with a "story," maybe found in research, about an individual in that world, a grower, a user, a doctor, etc. It needs to get the interest of readers. Don't worry about giving all the facts; put a human face on the issue. Tell a story first!"
Then the next day I got a lot of emails that said this:
"So, do you want me to start my essay with a story about the issue?"
Joe actually wrote: "I don't get it. It's almost like you want me to start my essay with a story or something, about someone who is in the issue. Is that what you want?"
So I'm planning now to go and drown all the bunnies.