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Ruth Ray, Professor WSU Composition Grading Workshop January 11, 2010.

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1 Ruth Ray, Professor WSU Composition Grading Workshop January 11, 2010


3  Writer recognizes that there are competing voices within different discourses on every subject  Writer understands and accurately represents these multiple voices  Writer finds and articulates his/her own voice within these competing voices  Writer understands why (or at least writes as if) all of these voices matter

4 Discourses and Voices Based on multiple texts in different genres Clear as to genre of student’s writing Navigational Guidance Directive(but not overly so) Detailed (but not overwhelming) Process oriented Options One of several (3 or more) complex assignments

5 Assignment #4: Analyzing American Culture Readings: “The More Factor” Lawrence Shames “Is America Falling Apart?” Anthony Burgess “Why I am Optimistic About America” Daniel Boorstin “The Wild Places” Thomas Merton “Kids in the Mall” William Kowinski For this assignment you will be writing a 1250-word exploratory analysis essay. You will be combining analysis, interpretation and exploration as you read the above essays and write a paper that interprets the texts and attempts to “unpack” the issue so the reader can better understand all the different facts of the issue. You will be exploring the topic of American culture and analyzing the particular authors’ ideas. Your essay will look at American culture from several different angles, considering the many factors that influence how it is expressed and how it is viewed. Your main concern with an exploratory analysis essay is not to take a position (although you can certainly express leanings) but to clarify the different aspects involved and to answer the questions “who, what, why, how, where, when”and you can suggest possible reasons or responses, but you will not be arguingfor one strict response or position.

6 Briefly summarize the plot of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, viewed in class, and explain why the neighborhood responded violently to racial tensions. Then take a stance and argue for it: Do you think violence was the “right thing” in this case? From whose perspective? To support your argument, use (1) Relevant details from the film, including the final words of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and (2) At least two of the readings from the section on race in Identity Matters to help you explain your stance on violence as a response to social injustice.

7 There are many ways to interpret Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing. For example, while most agree that this is an “angry” film, viewers do not agree about where this anger is directed: -- to the “system” (represented by the police) -- to white people who say they aren’t racist but are (Sal and his sons) -- to racists of all colors (most of Mookie’s neighbors) -- all of the above Write a paper in which you explain the anger in Do the Right Thing. Who is angry at whom? What are the results of this anger? How might viewers respond to this anger? Use examples from the film to support your interpretation.

8 The paper shows evidence that the student: --Recognizes how voices compete (how are authors’ views similar and different? What aspects of the subject does each author focus on?) --Can accurately represent those voices (the more the better) in relationship to each other --Can articulate his/her own position in terms of these competing voices --Knows why and to whom the subject matters

9 Simplistic Moderately complex Richly complex


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