(Sample Forum Analysis and Discourse Convention Essays) Paper 1: Defining Your Discourse
Paper 1: Defining Your Discourse
Given our recent readings from Chapters 1 & 12 in Critical Strategies, it should be obvious to you that within each academic field can be found specialized discourses, vocabularies, methods of study, areas of research, etc. Even students with the same major may have specific areas of interest that carry with them a different set of writing and work expectations. What I want you to do for the first English 145 paper is to define your area of study. Since the papers in this course will involve issues within your field, you and I both need a clear idea of where your interests rest. Those of you who do not yet have a declared major should use this paper as a way to pin down one possibility and explore it. (Don't worry if you want to change your focus later in the semester--your future is never written in blood while you're still in school). Kiniry and Rose suggest that it is useful to "define your major from the perspective of an interested outsider," and that is essentially the basic starting point for this assignment (777). Where you go from there will depend on how long you have studied this major, how much you know about it, whether you know what you want to do with this major, etc.
Because I know such open-ended assignments as the one you have just been given often overwhelm students, here are several key points that may help you to focus and define this paper. Be careful not to use these suggestions simply as a means to an end; in no way should they be interpreted as a set of questions to simply answer and turn in. Use them to get you thinking and go from there on your own. It's up to you to focus, define, and explain your work in this paper.
Points to Consider
- What is you major? Why did you select this major? Or why are you thinking about selecting this major?
- What are your initial impression of the major? What are these founded on ? (i.e. family members, course work, work experience)
- Do you still need to find out what your future will really (and not ideally) be like? Or have you already had your eyes opened?
- What do majors in your field go on to do? How is writing & what kind of writing is associated with this area?
- Any larger cultural myths or misconceptions that the general public holds regarding your field? Did you once share these assumptions? Why are such opinions inaccurate?
- Do you have a specialized interest within a larger discipline? Why does a specific area or field of study appeal to you? Given the nature of this interest, what might you have to do differently both in and outside of college that others associated with the field might not do?
- 3 to 5 pages
- Your papers must be properly formatted according to the documentation style referred to by professionals in your field. MLA style will be the default style if you have no particular format in mind. If you use something other than MLA or APA, please tell me when you turn in your first draft.
- You are not required to have any outside research for this paper. In fact the two writings you have given me so far and our class discussions should give you a lot of information to work from. If you do refer to articles or books, you must use proper documentation. Failure to do so could be interpreted as plagiarism.
- Hard copy of First Draft due Feb. 8. Final Copy due Feb. 15.
- If at any time you have any questions or would like some further clarification on the assignment, please do not hesitate to stop by during my office hours or to set up an appointment.
Good luck and have fun !! ?? !!
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