You have written a summary and response of an article, and you will be writing more and watching videos related to having a voice. Following these activities, you will put your thoughts into the shape of an exploratory essay of approximately 500 words (2 double-spaced, typed pages) on the theme of finding and using one's own voice. See Chapter 6 in Writing in Response for a discussion of the ways an exploratory essay is different from other essays. This chapter also contains a sample exploratory essay if you would like to see a model.
The essay should take this shape:
a. The title should express the essence of the essay in as few words as possible. Make me want to read the essay.
b. The introduction draws the reader into the essay and establishes your credibility as a writer. It is your first impression. Make it a good one.
-- Provide a "hook" that powerfully draws the reader into the essay. This may be an intimately related quote, a powerful statistic, a very brief related story or case study.
-- Provide the reader with background on the topic. What led you to the questions that are the centerpiece of your exploration.
-- One distinction in an exploratory essay is that it does not contain a thesis statement. Instead you will be exploring a question or two that came to you after reading the material or watching the assigned videos. Remember you are wrestling with ideas related to finding your own voice amid a sea of voices wanting you to think their way and do things the way they think they should be done. How do you sort all this out to determine your own views and the path you want to follow so that you will become a person of influence rather than a person who is easily duped into following someone else's ideas and path?
c. The body - Organize your exploration into sub-categories. This may be using the readings and videos and talking about their contributions to the question(s), or sub-categories and questions associated with the main questions you are exploring.
-- Provide a strong transition to connect the questions you are exploring to the body of the essay.
-- Each paragraph in the essay should develop one of the points in support of the exploration of the main question(s).
-- Each paragraph must have an identifiable topic sentence.
-- Use examples, statistics, stories, dialogs, quotations from the readings and the videos to support and develop the point. Make sure to use MLA citations and signal phrases (See Hacker for these) when you use this material. The exploration should be 90% you and 10% research material.
-- MOST IMPORTANT: YOUR analysis of what you've seen and read. How do these relate to the issue of finding and developing one's own voice. What are the challenges? What questions are raised? I want to read you wrestling with the issues. Remember: You are tossing around ideas in a logical way. You are not trying to find the RIGHT answer; you are trying to come up with some process for finding your own voice amid the barrage of voices you hear from every day. How do you determine what you think/feel/do?
-- Provide a smooth transition from the body--no "In conclusion," "in summary," "finally."
--Summarize or better synthesize the whole essay.
-- Now that you have explored these questions, what are you left with? This does not mean you have THE ANSWER (no such thing), just some thoughts. What is the point the reader will take away from your essay? What should the reader do/think about all of this?
The final essay should be submitted in a two-pocket folder. In the left pocket should be your summaries (very informal) and drafts and the right pocket should contain the final, your "thoughts on paper" of at least two full pages (500 words). -- Draft, Wednesday, October 14 (print the draft and bring it to class for review); final, Monday, October, 19.
1. Go to http://media.wiley.com/assets/165/44/jrnls_ABC_JB_lipson803.pdf read "Community of the Mind," beginning on page 9, and "Voicelessness," beginning on page 12, in "The Responsible Plagiarist: Understanding Students Who Misuse Sources," by Abigail Lipson and Sheila M. Reindl.
2. Go to http://static.schoolrack.com/files/34213/220710/Chapter_4-Part_3.pdf Read and summarize "Superman and Me" by Sherman Alexie.
3. Go to http://www.ted.com/talks/gary_kovacs_tracking_the_trackers. View "Tracking our online Trackers."
4. Go to http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles. View "Beware on line 'filter bubbles.'"
5. Go to http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity. View "How schools kill creativity.
6. Go to https://secure.aworldatschool.org/page/content/the-text-of-malala-yousafzais-speech-at-the-united-nations/. Read Malala Yousafzau's speech to the UN.