Assignment # 2

Assignment # 2 — Research Essay Analyzing Anon(ymous)

We do research every day: when we hear a snippet of a new song by our favorite artist, we look it up; when we watch a TV show and recognize an actress but can’t tell from where, we google their character to figure out where we know them from; when we need to go somewhere we haven’t gone before, we google maps our way there (yeah, I used it as a verb).

Research — in its many forms — allows us to answer questions (and find new questions!) that itch, questions that ache, questions that we can’t quite get our minds around. As we read Anon(ymous), the play will surely inspire a lot of questions in us. Some of these questions are going to be ripe for research: together, we will generate our own research questions that will guide our investigations. You will use your research to help you write a deep analysis of Anon(ymous) and the exigent issues it evokes. You will need to cite (in MLA format, which we will discuss in class) at least three sources (aside from Anon(ymous)), one of which must be a scholarly article published in an academic journal. Your essay must be at least 750 words long (5 pages double spaced).

Due Dates:

Friday, October 20th — Comment on the google doc version of this assignment. What questions do you have about the assignment? What apprehensions do you have? Clarifications? Excitements?

Monday, October 23rd — Draft your expectations for Assignment 1 and email them to me before class. All you need to do here is to please answer the following questions: what grade you are aiming for; what specific things, according to the grading contract, you are going to do to earn that grade; how much time you are expecting to put in; what kind of effort you expect to put into your peer reviews; what kind of help you expect from me; what experiences have you had with research in the past; what makes you nervous about writing a research paper; what makes you excited about writing a research paper; what questions do you have about writing a research paper?

Friday, October 27th — Pre-draft for Assignment 2 posted to the blog before class. All you need to do here is to please answer the following questions: What kinds of research do you think Naomi Iizuka had to do in order to write Anon(ymous)? What kinds of preparation might actors have to do to perform this play? What three things grab your attention most in the play? Why? What kinds of research might you perform to help you understand those three parts of the play in a deeper, more meaningful way (beyond just saying what it’s about)? How can this kind of research help you understand and critique the rhetorical choices in Anon(ymous)? What point might you want to make with your research paper? How can you use your research to ask a question about Anon(ymous) that can contribute an important, unique insight to the conversations about the play?

Friday, November 3rd — Rough draft for Assignment 2 posted to the blog before class. Try to have as many of your thoughts/analysis expressed in your draft as possible. Include with your draft at least 5 specific questions that you would like your peer reviewer to answer, and cite at least 2 sources (aside from Anon(ymous)). Include your works cited list.

Monday, November 6th —  Post your peer review commentary and answers as a comment to two of your classmates’ Rough Draft posts before class.

Friday, November 10th — Post your most recent, edited and revised project to the blog before class. In addition, please include your 600 word reflective artist’s statement regarding what you learned, what you didn’t learn, how you can use what you learned in the future, the kind of research you did and how you think this helped you analyze the play, and how you think you could have pushed your analysis even further. What rhetorical choices did you make in your research paper and how did these choices advance your analysis? How did the process of peer review push your analysis forward? If it didn’t, why not? How can you and your partners conduct your peer reviews differently next time? What fresh rhetorical insights might you bring from this assignment into future assignments?

Assignment # 1

English 102: Writing Through Literature

J Polish

M/W/F 8:00am-9:00am, room E-260

Assignment # 1 — Analysis of a Spoken Word Piece

For this first assignment, you will conduct a deep analysis of one of the spoken word pieces we will be reading/viewing/interacting with in class. This analysis can be presented in any of the formats listed in the Announcements section of our course blog. An important part of this assignment — and we will work on it in class together — is coming up with a specific question to investigate about the poem. You can come up with this specific research question by asking yourself starter questions, such as: What are you burning to know more about in the poem? What did you not understand in the poem? What did you notice about the poem that you think others might not have? Are there different, maybe even contradictory, layers of meaning in the poem? How does the artist express them or deal with them?

Due Dates:

Tuesday, September 19 — Comment on the google doc version of this assignment. What questions do you have about the assignment? What apprehensions do you have? Clarifications? Excitements?

Monday, September 25 — Draft your expectations for Assignment 1 and email them to me before class. These expectations need to include: what grade you are aiming for; what specific things, according to the grading contract, you are going to do to earn that grade; how much time you are expecting to put in; what kind of effort you expect to put into your peer reviews; what kind of help you expect from me; what format you are thinking about creating your assignment in; which spoken word poem from our class you might want to analyze.

Wednesday, September 29 — Pre-draft for Assignment 1 posted to the blog before class. Answer each of the following: How can the format you’ve chosen for your assignment best be used to demonstrate a deep analysis of the poem? What is unique about the format you’ve chosen that will allow you to learn more about the poem than what is expressed on the surface? What questions or concerns or excitements do you have about creating a project in this format? What questions do you have about the poem itself? What pieces of it do you want to analyze? Why? What rhetorical choices (cite specific quotes and/or gestures, facial expressions, clothing, etc.) did the artist make that struck you? What was the impact of these rhetorical choices?

Monday, October 2 — Rough draft for Assignment 1 posted to the blog before class. Try to have as many of your thoughts/analysis expressed in your draft as possible. Include with your draft at least 5 specific questions that you would like your peer reviewer to answer.

Wednesday, October 4 — Post your peer review commentary and detailed answers to each of the questions your partners posed as a comment to two of your classmates’ Rough Draft posts before class.

Friday, October 13 — Post your most recent, edited and revised project to the blog before class, along with your 600 word reflective artist’s statement regarding what you learned, what you didn’t learn, how you can use what you learned in the future, why you chose the assignment format that you did and how you think this helped you analyze the poem, and how you think you could have pushed your analysis even further. What rhetorical choices did you make in your analysis and how did these choices advance your analysis? How did the process of peer review push your analysis forward? If it didn’t, why not? How can you and your partners conduct your peer reviews differently next time? What fresh rhetorical insights might you bring from this assignment into future assignments?

 

Grading Contract

All,

I’m so excited by how class went today: I loved the enthusiasm you all demonstrated in getting to know each other and sharing your ideas. I look forward to many more exchanges with you!

The google doc of our class grading contract is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gL_1Oqws9nVM4A4yH25txxrAcvPcIjCZCyvtPu41Gww/edit?usp=sharing

As promised, I added the “I am guaranteed a B in this class if…” — as I noted in my comments, please feel free to modify this as you see fit! This is a collaborative document, and we can adjust it as we need to throughout the term.

As for your individual grading contracts, continue working on what you started writing in class today: include anything you think might be relevant to how you learn and how you want to be assessed in this class, as well as what you need from me throughout the class to achieve the grade you’re striving for.

Please email this to me at jpolish@lagcc.cuny.edu (you can take a photo of your handwritten work if you want to, since you already started to write it out, and send the photo of the finished work to me if you’d prefer — just make sure it’s legible, please!).

Looking forward to seeing you all at 8am on Wednesday!

 

Assignments Overview

This is the page where I will be making announcements about assignments! Please keep note of this page and check it frequently!

Course Assignments:

In addition to participating in blog discussion forums with your classmates, in English 102, you will have four major writing assignments in which you will create your own pieces of literature/art/analysis:

  1. An analysis of a spoken word piece;
  2. An research essay analyzing Anon(ymous);
  3. An analysis of Ms. Marvel; and
  4. An in-class essay.

You will have to create a 600-word analytically reflective artist’s statement regarding what you learned, what you didn’t learn, how you can use what you learned, etc., with assignments one and three.

For assignments one and three, you will choose the format of your piece from the following list of choices (for assignment one, you will choose from one category; for assignment three, you will choose from a different category). Below, each link contains an example or a how-to of the format listed. Have fun with your choice!

Visual

Video/documentary-style

Music video

Reaction video/vlog

Drawing

Painting

Sign/poster

Comic

Auditory

Podcast

Music mix/mashup

Musical performance

Spoken word

Tactile

Map/diagram

Performance

Sculpting

Conceptual set design

Improv performance

Create a game

 

Written

Poem

Fan fiction

Blog post

Comic

Personal essay

Analytical essay

Short story

One-act play

Monologue

 

Action

Website action

Letter

Blog post

Campaign

Workshop

Street theater

Community work

Toolkit

Assignment Expectations:

Before each assignment is due, you will get a hard copy and two online copies (on the course blog and Google Docs) of the specific expectations. Before each assignment is set, we will always have the opportunity to review these assignments in class together. Further, you will be encouraged to edit/comment on the assignment parameters on Google Docs to make sure everything is crystal clear and that you get to shape expectations.

Through this process of shaping our expectations, I’d like to share something that is important to me. Education is often designed for people who already have access to education: academic writing is designed by and for people who have experience with… academic writing! Perhaps you’ve experienced this in your previous courses/school work. This racialized power that accompanies language — allowing white professors, like me, access to a world that many students, especially students of color, are often denied access to — is important to discuss, and we will be doing this a lot in our class. In the same way that I want you to feel empowered to correct me if course materials aren’t accessible in terms of learning styles and dis/ability, please do so also if there are culturally relevant methods that would help you learn better that I am not thinking of or currently valuing.

In addition to this, there are a few things each of the assignments will have in common:

Each assignment will require you to submit pieces of your thoughts — drafts — in advance of the due date, and these are extremely important. They do not have to be perfect — far from it! — but these drafts will be a very important part of our work together. Importantly, you have to annotate each of your drafts with specific questions for me and for your peers!

For each draft, you will review and comment on the work of one or more of your peers. These reviews are crucial, not only to help you and your peers experience each other’s writing processes and make each other’s projects stronger, but to build the kind of collaborative writing environment that will make our classroom a generative space.

Each assignment portfolio (including your peer reviews, your revisions, and your due date copy) must be submitted with a short artist’s statement that you create after completing the assignment, in which you will reflect critically on your own process of creation.