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Writing Assignments

Back Back to Unit 1: Personal and Academic Writing

The unit begins with a brief reflective essay about a significant experience the student has had, related to the class topic. This first assignment (Personal Essay) is designed to get the writer thinking about his or her own authority on the class topic and provide a "warm-up" assignment in a form that will be immediately accessible to many students. This essay is followed by a number of reading/writing assignments in which the student practices critical reading and examines context by summarizing several professional writers' essays on the class topic, many of which--like the student's own personal essay--draw on personal experience. The formal summary (essay 2) is placed within the context of developing a "class text" of common articles with which everyone in the class is familiar. In the final essay of this unit, the student will summarize and respond to one author's essay, using his/her experience to interpret, reflect upon, or agree/disagree with the author's main point. In other words, once the class has developed a class text, each student situates him- or herself within that text by establishing an individual position.