Unit One: Identity-Critical Reading and Inquiry into Personal and Cultural Discourse previous

The purpose of Unit I is to introduce you to the key connections between culture, identity, and communication, and to give you the reading and analytical skills you need to explore those connections for yourself. You will have the chance to develop your own ideas about identity and discourse, and to learn some writing tools to help you express those ideas to an audience.

Assigned Informal Response Papers: 5% (50 pts.)

  • For the many essays you will be assigned to read in Unit I, you will be expected to write informal responses. You should feel free to explore the essays in ways that you might not be able to in more formal assignments. Sometimes you will be given a prompt to respond to, and other times you may respond in any way you wish. The more effort put into these responses, the more they will help you when you start your Inquiry paper. Some prompts may be posted on our class page Web forum.

    Formal Summary/Response: 10% (100 pts.)

  • You will get to choose which of the assigned readings you will use for this more formal assignment. You will need to write an "objective" summary of the main points of the essay, then write an analysis of the text using the strategies we discuss in class and that you practiced with the informal responses. You will find that your ability to write an effective summary and analytic response are vital in any writing situation.

    Inquiry into Discourse and Identity: 20% (200 pts.)

  • In this essay, you will learn to take several sets of ideas from yourself, your classmates, and the class readings, and synthesize them (that is, use them all to create a discussion about your identity and how it is shaped by different discourses). You will also learn better ways to understand a written argument and some strategies for sharing your understanding of that argument with an audience.