Course Theme: Language and Identity
At-Home Essay 1: Literacy and Memory: How literacy plays out in our lives
Background: In this unit, we have read about the way that reading and writing influence us in our lives. Some authors have revealed the way reading acts as a source of power. Others have suggested that reading not only influences the reader but the reader’s surroundings. Some of you have pointed out that literacy doesn’t necessarily mean one thing. In fact, literacy plays out in our lives in different forms that stretch beyond the classroom and a book. In class, you have annotated the readings and written short responses in-class to formulate your own ideas on the topic. And you have practicedparaphrasing and interpreting to help you make connections to your experiences and the readings.
• “Superman and Me” –Sherman Alexie
• “Small-Town Tales” –Michele Serros
• “Learning to Read” –Malcolm X
• “Mother Tongue” –Amy Tan
Reflect on the ways literacy plays out in your life. What do you learn about yourself as a reader and writer through this reflection?
• The essay attempts to present your opinion clearly in one or two sentences that answers the prompt.
• The essay attempts to build from the outline practiced in class ( introduction, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion)
• The essay supports your opinion with examples from your own life and/or observations of the world
• Proofread, making sure that grammar errors don’t interfere with readability and comprehension
• Write a final draft of 3-4 pages in length, follow the standard MLA formatting guidelines
An “A” paper will meet all the minimum requirements AND…
• The essay presents your opinions that go beyond “stating the obvious” or summarizing class discussion
• The essay uses multiple pieces of evidence from the assigned readings
• The essay clearly guides readers through your thought processwith topic sentences and transitional phrases
• Present your opinions in a formal academic style (utilizing subordinating and coordinating conjunctions that read smoothly and connect ideas clearly)
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