Welcome to this unit’s discussion! In this discussion, you will analyze and discuss your readings, and prepare for success in this unit’s major writing assignment.
LEARNING GOALS: By participating in this unit’s discussion, you will:
- Identify common genres of writing
- Explore rhetorical connections between language, community, and identity
- Practice using explicit analysis to support a claim
TASK: To participate in this unit’s discussion, please choose TWO of the prompts below, and craft a ONE – TWO paragraph response to each prompt. Remember that your instructor and your classmates are interested in your ideas, interpretation, and analysis — so take your time to craft a thoughtful response! There are many possible “good answers” to each of these prompts. Choose the prompts that interest you. Don’t forget: you must respond to each of the prompts in order to have the possibility of full credit.
- Two of this unit’s mini-lectures address the subject of genre. Now that you have read several different explanations of genre, how would you define genre? What aspects of “genre” are you useful to you as a college reader? What genres do you most often identify in your readings for your college courses? Besides written articles, what other sorts of things can be categorized into genres? Select at least one quotation from one of your readings to include in your response, and use MLA guidelines to quote and cite it.
- Find an article on the web that you have recently encountered via social media or browsing. Provide a link to the article, a short summary, and then categorize the article into one of the three genres you read about in the mini-lectures. Explain your categorization in detail. Quote at least one sentence from the article that illustrates your categorization, and use MLA guidelines to quote and cite it.
- Most readers would categorize Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” and Leslie Jamison’s “The Immortal Horizon” as narratives. Review this unit’s mini-lecture on Critical Reading Strategies, and use the “Critical & Analytical Questions To Ask” for the “Narrative” genre to analyze either Tan’s or Jamison’s essay. Write 1-2 paragraphs in which you answer all of the analysis questions, and provide rationale or explanation for your analysis. In your response, use at least one quotation to support your analysis, and use MLA guidelines to quote and cite it.
- In “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan describes several different “Englishes” that she speaks. What are these different “Englishes”? Why are these divisions important to Tan? How have the various “Englishes” affected Tan’s identity as a writer? In your response, use at least one quotation from Tan to support your analysis, and use MLA guidelines to quote and cite it.
- The community that Jamison observes in “The Immortal Horizon” is the ultramarathon community. What stood out in Jamison’s descriptions of the members of this community? What details are memorable to you? What do you think Jamison’s observation process consisted of? In other words, how did she go about “researching” her essay, specifically? What can you emulate from Jamison’s research or writing process for the essay you will compose this unit?
- Most of the readings this unit can be thought of as observations of people, places, or communities. What were some of the strategies that the writers of these essays used to report their observations? What details or descriptions stand out to you in the essays? How can you emulate these writers’ strategies in your own writing assignment this unit?
When you respond to your classmates’ posts, consider highlighting which aspect of their posts interested you most, and why. Or, describe your own perspective on the subject. You might also consider asking a clarifying question. Or, offer a further insight by connecting your classmates’ ideas to your own, to another classmates’ post, or another subject you have learned about in this class or another. Remember that you must reply to at least two classmates’ initial posts for the possibility of full credit for discussion.
GRADING: Please see the rubric for this assignment to see how your participation in discussion will be graded. Please note that the rubric places more importance on thoughtfulness, insight, and creativity than on grammar, punctuation, or even citation style. So, make it your goal to create posts that fully explore the prompts.