In the first two weeks and in the Essay 1 assignment, we are working toward two goals of the unit especially: introducing students to the significance of purpose, audience and context as part of the rhetorical situation, and developing skills in reading nonfiction texts critically. Completing the cultural identity response in the first week also encourages students to develop a stronger sense of the way cultural factors influence their reading, thinking and writing in response to a text. The ideas they generate in writing about their own cultural identity may also help develop their reaction to the text they choose for Essay 1. Through reading, writing and group activities involving locating main ideas in a text, placing those ideas in context with the writer’s purpose/audience, and focusing and supporting their reactions to texts, students gain practice in reading critically and seeing how rhetorical concerns such as purpose and focus are interrelated. Students also gain a sense of the knowledge and expectations of the class community they will be writing to in this first assignment.