All work counts toward your first term grade.
Overview: You are reading a brief article, five essays, and two books. You are writing five reflections, two essays, and keeping a reading journal.
The article and essays, or links to them, can be found at http://dkonkoly.blogspot.com
You also will find other helpful materials there. Plus, you can use the comment option to pose questions to each other and reply!
You will have to get the two books through the library, buy them, or share them.
Reading and Reflecting as a Writer
develop an understanding of rhetoric. Then use your understanding as you read each of the essays listed below. Have your marked up copy of that essay with you on the first day.
For any FIVE of the essays, write a typed 1-2 page, single-spaced (max. 500 words) reflection in which you articulate and explain your understanding of some of the “rhetorical decisions” the author makes. You are being asked to read the essay as a writer, to imagine the composition of the essay in light of the rhetorical dimensions of all compositions.
Bernard Cooper, “Burl’s”
Chang-Rae Lee, “Coming Home Again”
Scott Russell Sanders, “Under the Influence”
Judy Brady, “I Want a Wife”
Erin Aubrey Kaplan, “Black like me--but not too black”
George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”
Mark Twain, “Two Ways of Seeing a River”
Your Own Personal EssayWrite one personal essay inspired or prompted by one of the above essays. It can be inspired by the content or style or both. A personal essay is a form of writing in which an author explores and shares the meaning of a personal experience and relates this experience to ideas. Although personal, the essay need not focus on the author. The subject and purpose could be anything. The author’s presence is apparent through the reflection on the subject.
Your typed, double-spaced essay should be 750-1000 words. It should be a polished essay, not a first draft, but it is alright if you still have misgivings about some aspect of it. SAVE ALL PRELIMINARY WRITING, DRAFTS, PARTIAL DRAFTS AND FALSE STARTS, handwritten or typed.
The Art of Narrative Non-Fiction
Read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.
Write an essay in which you identify what you see as one or two of the purposes of the book (what it tries to get readers to think or feel or do) and explain how the structure of the story contributes to the development of that purpose. Your final product should be 750-1000 words.
Some questions to consider:
Why was this particular sequence of sections selected? Which time periods are given the most attention? Why did the author make these particular choices? How do these choices impact the book? Why has Eggers woven into the story accounts of Zeitoun’s past in Syria, his upbringing, his brother Mohammed, the champion swimmer, his brother Ahmad, and their close bond? What effect does this framework of family have on your perception of Zeitoun’s character, his ethics, his behavior?
Read The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway.
Complete a reading journal entry for each chapter. See the separate sheet for guidelines.
The reading journal will be checked and used for discussion early in the semester.
Feel free to email me with questions after you first have tried consulting a classmate (email@example.com). I will be checking email a couple of times a week, so you might not get an immediate reply. Don’t save your questions for the last minute!
Deadlines and Submission Guidelines
Always save copies of your work for yourself!
One essay reflection is due by noon on July 11. (This will allow me to get back to you if your work shows the need for corrective feedback or instruction. I might ask you to submit a second reflection if I think that will help.) Include your name in the subject line of the email. Put your name and a title on your work itself.
In addition to emailing it to me, please submit it to turnitin.com. The class ID is 5193336; the enrollment password is 2012AP3.
The personal essay is due by noon on August 11. You only need to submit it to turnitin.com.
The other 4 reflections and the essay about Zeitoun are due August 27 on turnitin.com.
Bring your reading journal for The Road from Coorain to the first day of class.
Assessment and Grading
The essay reflections should demonstrate an accurate understanding of the text, attention to details of the text, insights into rhetorical decisions, and an explanation of those insights using evidence. By meeting these criteria and completing all of the reflections, your work will be proficient or exemplary and will receive full credit for grading purposes. This grade is part of the homework/coursework category of your grade.
The personal essay should have a clear subject, use specific details, include moments of reflection, and have an engaging and engaged voice. You will receive full credit for an essay that meets these criteria and a final grade will be given after you complete more work on the essay in the fall. Essays that are sloppy in their writing or organization and not proofread are not acceptable and will not receive summer credit. The summer version counts as homework/coursework and the final version counts as an essay grade.
The Zeitoun essay will be evaluated as follows and the grade counts as an essay grade for the first term:
|Presents and develops a coherent and thoughtful perspective on how the organization and emphasis in the story contribute to its purpose.|
|Shows an accurate and insightful understanding of the book.|
|Provides relevant and sufficient details to support your claims.|
|Explains supporting details in relation to the overall development of your essay.|
|Use of language (sentence clarity and variety; precise and appropriate vocabulary)|
|Demonstrates mastery of Standard English conventions, including citations.|
|Typewritten, double-spaced and 750-1000 words; on time.|
The Reading Journal for The Road from Coorain is part of the homework/coursework category of your grade.