david foster wallace project 3 guidelines due date H u m a n i t i e s
This semester in English 120 we have explored our course theme of “Community, Culture, and Care” through diverse genres of texts: a music video, TED Talks, poetry, an allegorical short story, published articles, a memoir, and a commencement speech. Wow! We began our journey with diverse texts that inspired a discussion of the role that community plays in our lives. We then transitioned to Bryan Stevenson’s memoir Just Mercy and turned our attention to issues of race, culture, and justice. We are concluding with some life lessons from novelist David Foster Wallace on the themes of education, awareness, and empathy. What are your greatest takeaways from our English 120 journey?
“This is America” (Links to an external site.)– music video by Childish Gambino
Immigrant Writers on Community – video chats by various authors
“The Danger of a Single Story” – TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“There is Much More to the Nuclear Family, Even Now”– Atlantic article by Mandy Len Catron
“Alone” – poem by Maya Angelou
“If They Should Come for Us” – poem by Fatimah Asghar
“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” – short story by Ursula Le Guin
“We Need to Talk About an Injustice” – TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson
Just Mercy – memoir by Bryan Stevenson
“This is Water” – commencement speech by David Foster Wallace
Project 3 Guidelines
Due Date: Wednesday, December 15
Course Worth: 16.6% of final grade
Audience: you choose!
What do you take away from our English 120 journey? For this project, you have two options:
Option 1: The Synthesis Essay
Synthesize: 1a. The combining of separate elements or substances to form a coherent whole.
b. The complex whole so formed. You know this term from the research process in Unit 2!
After reflecting on our course content (the texts we have read and the essays you have written) this semester, what is a life lesson that you can share with your audience? For this essay, you should articulate this “life lesson” as your major claim/thesis. To support your thesis/claim, you will need to analyze and synthesize evidence from three (3) of our course texts. Your essay should work closely and critically with the texts, and the texts you incorporate should be determined by the scope of your argument.
The final paper should be an original and compelling reflective essay that synthesizes, integrates, and contextualizes course readings (through quotations, paraphrasing, and summary) with your own voice, analysis, and position, while avoiding plagiarism. No outside research is required. You may use the first-person “I”. It should demonstrate mastery of MLA Format and Style. You may use as inspiration for this paper any of your other projects from English 120, including discussion posts.
Option 2: The Allegorical Short Story
Allegory: a story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. Allegories often impart greater life lessons. You know this term from Unit 1! (“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas was an allegorical story.”
After reflecting on our course content (the texts we have read and the essays you have written) this semester, what is a life lesson that you can share with your audience? For this option, you should write your own creative allegorical short story that illustrates this “life lesson.”
Each of the following writing strategies should be employed in your allegory:
Make at least one major argument inspired by our course content (this argument should be the “life lesson” you want to impart with your audience based on our course readings, discussions, and essays.
Use description that evokes the readers’ senses: smell, touch, taste, sight, sound.
Use narration to tell your story and support your thesis
Employ allegory, which should enable you to imply/represent, rather than explicitly state, your thesis statement (main idea or argument). The reader should be able to infer your thesis.
Project 3 Grading Criteria:
Has the author created an original and compelling essay in response to either assignment/option 1 or 2?
Does the author have a strong thesis (absolutely crucial, whether or not it is implied or explicitly stated);
Does the essay engage the reader? (Use your unique voice to appeal to your audience. Give it a great title and opening “hook.”)
Does the author successfully establish their own claims and evidence to support their thesis?
For the Synthesis Essay, evidence will consist of evidence from three (3) course texts and the writer’s own thoughtful analysis and commentary.
For the Allegory Essay, evidence will consist of description and narration, and perhaps dialogue.
Is the conclusion of the essay effective? Does it resonate?
Does the essay demonstrate an awareness for audience?
Does the writer use an effective structure that carefully guides the reader from one idea to the next? Is the essay well organized? Are paragraphs focused and ideas developed logically?
Is the essay thoroughly edited so that sentences are readable and appropriate for an academic paper?
Does the writer effectively use MLA format?