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Materials: “How to Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn; “Looking for Trouble: Findi

by | Oct 12, 2021 | Creative Writing | 0 comments

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Materials: “How to Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn; “Looking for Trouble: Finding Your Way into a Writing Assignment” by Catherine Savini; They Say, I Say (Introduction and Chapter 1) by Graff and Birkenstein; Easy Writer by Andrea Lunsford
Let’s look for trouble! Take some time to observe your culture, whichever culture you feel you fit into. What artifacts, objects, traditions, ways of thinking can you examine to help an audience come to a new understanding of your culture? How can this exploration reveal aspects of the human condition?
In this essay, you will assume the persona of a cultural critic by endeavoring to investigate these questions. Using an object, artifact, tradition, or way of thinking, try to provide your audience with some new understanding, reveal an aspect of culture that is not readily visible, and spark a dialogue in the tradition of Brittney Cooper’s “Orchestrated Fury.” Think about the fact that Cooper was able to develop an impactful argument because she situated a seemingly insignificant object such as Michelle Obama’s hair bun within the framework of a larger conversation on respectability politics. The argument not only provided the reader with an exploration of Black women’s hair culture, it also critiqued cultural and sociopolitical conventions. Cooper skillfully weaves her argument in “Orchestrated Fury” by knowing when to emphasize minutiae and when to focus the lens by peering into the bigger things related to the human condition: a woman enraged by events but constrained by social propriety from expressing that rage. In some sense, Cooper treated Obama’s hairstyle as a text that spoke on these larger topics, and she interpreted that text for her audience. What can you explore in this way? What unseen thing can you expose through analyzing the commonplace?
Your initial steps in this writing journey consist of using Mike Bunn’s “How to Read Like a Writer” and “Looking for Trouble: Finding Your Way into a Writing Assignment” by Catherine Savini as guides to assist you in your investigation. You will also think about the suggestions and strategies that Graff and Birkenstein lay out in the introduction and Chapter 1 of They Say, I Say.
Assignment: Write a well-articulated, 5-page paper, double-spaced, in Times Roman or Arial 12-point font with 1-inch margins that sheds light on something important and explores an aspect of culture by providing a fresh look at something familiar and common. Imagine your audience to be the general public, who may or may not know much about the aspect you’re discussing. Consider what tone and voice would be appropriate to reach and teach your audience. Skills:
Describe the rhetorical situation.
Integrate a personal connection to the conversation; use your voice!
Develop your inquiry skills. (See Savini)
Locate the ongoing conversation and integrate a new perspective into the discourse.
When using sources, use appropriate citation conventions.

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