Introduction to Academic Writing at the University

ENG 105 – University of Miami, Fall 2019


Course Description
Course Requirements
Grading & Rubrics
Assignments & Prompts
Schedule


Assignments and Prompts

Essay 1 – Insecurity and Conforming – 4-6 pages

Prompt: Should we conform?

As a framework, consider the following scaffolding. These are by no means a laundry list of things you ought to include; they are just places that may help you begin.

Examine your identity. Describe a moment when you felt your identity was insecure and you felt you had to conform. Evaluate whether you think this is good or bad. Revisit Yoshino’s essay “Pressure to Cover” and Martínez’s “Academia, Love Me Back.” Where in those essays do they feel themselves to be insecure and what did they do? Write an analysis paper including this information that includes a thesis statement arguing whether we ought to conform or not. What is conforming? When is it appropriate? When is it expected? Is it okay that we do or do not? What is insecurity? How does it feel? In what situations do we often feel insecure and why?

Essay 2 – The Twitter Meme (Observation assignment) – 4-6 pages

Prompt: What makes a meme go viral?

As a framework, consider the following scaffolding. These are by no means a laundry list of things you ought to include; they are just places that may help you begin.

Look and see what things are trending on Twitter. What is a meme you have enjoyed? What made it relatable? What made it funny or clever? Why do tweets or memes go viral? Moreover, there are related communities (sometimes called “tribes”) on Twitter (i.e. black twitter, gay twitter, gamer twitter, stan twitter, political twitter). What is specific to these communities? How does one partake in or respond to what is trending in each community? Write an analysis paper including this information that includes a thesis statement arguing what makes a meme go viral. In considering this, you might discuss whether/how different Twitter communities (like those listed above) value certain memes over others and why that may be, though I encourage you to take this in other directions if you so wish.

Essay 3 – Culture(s) – 4-6 pages

Prompt: What most defines culture?

As a framework, consider the following scaffolding. These are by no means a laundry list of things you ought to include; they are just places that may help you begin.

Examine the global culture we inhabit. What factors contribute to one’s ‘culture’ broadly defined? How do these factors inform one another? How do various cultural structures (race, economics, language, history, geography) conflict or resist one another? How have cultural narratives been used? Write an analysis paper including this information that includes a thesis statement arguing what most defines culture. In considering this, you might refer back to our readings to see how/whether Edward Said or Lila Abu-Lughod argue for cultural definition.

Essay 4 (Final Essay) – My Culture

Prompt: What is your culture?

As a framework, consider the following scaffolding. These are by no means a laundry list of things you ought to include; they are just places that may help you begin. Examine your identity and the identity and culture of others. Describe a moment when you felt yourself at odds with what someone may call your ‘culture’ and a moment when you felt you lived out your ‘culture.’ Revisit each of the essays we’ve read in this semester. How did they each identify themselves or their culture? Write an analysis paper including this information that includes a thesis statement arguing what your culture is and is not. How do you define culture? What about your identity informs your culture? What about the world informs your culture?