Purpose and Goals of the Assignment: Throughout the semester to this point, we have been reading and discussing essays written by authors who are interested in the issues involved in learning academic language. We call this next assignment an Inquiry Essay because your goal in writing it is to inquire into a variety of perspectives on a single issue. The Inquiry Essay assignment is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of one of the issues we will have discussed in class, some of the scholarly conversation surrounding it (represented by the essays you've read), and the ways in which your personal story is involved in it. (Thus the focus is in the issue rather than on the readings themselves.) This assignment is aimed toward developing your ability to use the following strategies in writing academic papers:
Essay Topic: By now, we have begun to discuss a variety of particular issues/questions in class, issues which arise from several broad questions: How does the public language of school (particularly higher education) intersect with private language? How, in certain cases, are these two types of language similar to one another? How, in other cases, are they different? What challenges do these differences present when they occur? In cases where people are presented with no particular challenges, how can we explain this? To come up with a thesis statement for this essay, you will need to shape and refine a specific idea related this group of questions, based on your own ideas and/or issues/questions we raised in class:
BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THIS ASSIGNMENT SHEET AND INSERT YOUR CLASS'S LIST IN THIS SPACE.
If none of these topics strike you, you are welcome to devise your own issue/question related to learning academic language. Write this up and give it to me for approval as soon as possible.
Audience: Your classmates and instructor as an academic audience. You can therefore assume that your audience is familiar with the ideas and texts you are discussing but also that your readers will expect you to explain thoroughly your assertions and demonstrate how you have come to your understanding of the ideas and texts. In addition, it is likely that your audience will expect you to use a reasonable tone, to respect your readers and sources, and to avoid slang.
Focus on the issue/question you have chosen to address. (Your thesis statement should articulate your answer to the question or your position on the issue.)
Develop this thesis statement by using one of two approaches:
NO MATTER WHICH OF THESE TWO OPTIONS YOU CHOOSE, YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO USE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FROM ANY TEXTS (ESSAYS OR PEER-AUTHORED WORK) OR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES THAT YOU BRING TO THE PAPER.
Organize the paper around the main points you are making in support of your thesis. Introduce the common issue/question, connect ideas, and clearly identify whose ideas are referred to. (Organization structures will differ depending on which essay option you choose--See above.)
Write in a clear, readable style in language and tone appropriate to your subject and audience.
Readings: Anything we've read so far is fair game, but you will probably want to concentrate primarily on essays which deal directly with this matter of learning academic language. Following are the essays we've read so far in class, and the assignments for which we read them:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Use (that is, quote, summarize, or paraphrase SIGNIFICANTLY from) at least three course readings in your essay. You may use one or more of your peers' Web Forum postings in the place of ONE of these required readings. (And you may make use of as many of your peers writings as you want to in addition to the three required readings.)
Important Due Dates: [INSERT DATES]
First Peer Review Workshop:
Final Draft Due (Editing Workshop in Class):