Purposes of Unit 1 Writing ProjectIntroduction to Entering the Conversation Intr

Purposes of Unit 1 Writing ProjectIntroduction to Entering the Conversation
Introduction to Rhetorical Situations: Audience, Purpose, and Context
Revision (and how that differs from Proofreading and Editing)
Assignment DescriptionWelcome to your first essay of RHET101. Up to this point, we have developed a plan for organizing time, familiarization with RU Resources, and practiced different critical reading and note-taking strategies. Through this process, we’ve also read and discussed an example of narrative writing using the lens of the ‘rhetorical situation’: in particular, emphasizing how writer’s compose with in particular context, with a particular purpose in mind, given a particular audience. For this first essay, you will write an essay (1,000-1,500 words) that tells a literacy narrative—that is, an essay that focuses on how you learned or didn’t learn a particular style of communication in a particular context. As we have been discussing throughout this first unit, your narrative should have a purpose (or take-away) that intentionally engages with an issue that matters to an audience (which you can imagine as people both in- and outside of a university context). The traditional literacy narrative essay is an account of a situation that helped you develop as a writer or a reader. (For example, how the actions of a parent or teacher; a particular location or object; or a formative experience had a significant effect on how you feel about reading and/or writing today.) However, there are actually multiple forms of literacy (multi-literacies), not just reading and writing alphabetic texts. So, depending on your situation, this assignment might broaden the definition of literacy to consider experiences that somehow play a role in defining your identity (or membership) within a discourse community (loosely defined as a group of people with shared goals who use communication to achieve those goals). Depending on the literacy you choose to discuss, you might find yourself writing positive stories that end well, or you might want to express emotions and actions that are embarrassing or impolite — or maybe a mix of both!. It all depends on what story you want to tell. Often students choose experiences that helped them develop or discover a literacy, had some positive or negative impact on their learning process, and/or gave them a greater understanding of themself as an individual. Additionally, as you choose your subject, keep in mind what Novelist Chimamanda Adichie describes in “The Danger of a Single Story”: if we only hear a single story about another person (or country or identity), we risk a critical misunderstanding of one another—of seeing each as stereotypes instead of as three-dimensional people.How may your narrative enter into already existing conversations or judgements about you, your identity, your culture (or put another way, the context you are writing in)? How may you trouble others’ expectations of who you are and how you came to be through your narrative? Or alternatively, how may you work with those stereotypes to frame your story?You are invited in this writing project, to creatively experiment with choices around voice, style, and organization—just consider how such choices will impact your readers. For instance, some students have chosen to include visuals, audio, and other design choices into their narrative. See what works best for the story you want to tell. Learning Outcomes (What you should aim to learn/accomplish with this essay)The personal narrative will: Maintain a purpose for writing by…Moving beyond the obvious to show self-awareness about a literacy practice.
Engaging ethically and intentionally with what matters and is at stake for others addressed or affected by the writing.
Creating coherence throughout.
Identify appropriate evidence* by…Incorporating experiences from the writer’s life that help lead to broader conclusions about a literacy practice.
Including description that makes the narrative compelling (Such as rising and falling action, compelling characters, sensory details, and an element of surprise/unfamiliarity/discovery.)
Demonstrates control of style by…Intentionally structuring/organizing the narrative: for instance, using logical transitions between sentences/paragraphs; beginning with an engaging introduction/ending with a compelling conclusion; ordering evidence purposely (as opposed to randomly).
Conveying a consistent and appropriate** ethos through language, design, and formatting choices.
Making purposely grammar and mechanics choices that enhance the reader’s understanding of the purpose.
* Evidence from outside sources is not required for this narrative: instead pull evidence from lived experiences, conversations, and other details.**Appropriateness here is understood to be nuanced: narrative does not need to represent a white academic audience (often referred to as Standard American English).Important Note: Students come in with various writing experiences as they enter RHET101: some students may have only completed ‘one-and-done’ essays, or essays written in one take or a single writing session. Others may have the experience of getting feedback on an essay and then revising it before turning it in for a final grade. Others may have just proofread essays for grammar or punctuation but never revised. In our class, we are going to move through writing as a process instead of something you do all at once, which means we will take everything in steps from brainstorming, to drafting, to peer review and feedback, to revising, etc. While we have a more restrictive process to move through this first unit, throughout the semester and into RHET102, you will have more flexibility and ability to develop your own writing processes. For now, the best approach is to be patient with your process and don’t expect perfection on your first draft and see what new approaches to writing you can gain through this experience. And just a reminder, getting something written and then revising later is far better than not writing at all.
Requirements: 1,000-1,500 words

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