Project #4 Assignment

This final project counts as your exam for this course, a course that emphasizes writing as a process. The process that works for you may not be the same process that works best for me, but we have employed various strategies throughout the semester in order to improve the way we approach writing. Thus, as a major objective for this project, you will demonstrate the strategies you have learned for writing and arguing effectively. Such strategies may include but are not limited to the following: reading extensively on the topic; generating ideas; selecting a narrowly focused, original, imaginative topic; creating a working thesis, drafting your essay; using sources critically; soliciting comments from others; consulting your instructor; employing strong research as support and/or as a counterargument to your stance; revising your writing extensively, paying attention to issues such as introductions, audience, and sentence style; following the required documentation style; and proofreading for and correcting surface-level features.

This time, I will not guide you through the writing process, but as part of your final portfolio, you must include any evidence that you believe contributes to your polished final draft. The evaluation for this assignment will include how effectively you engaged in and demonstrated the writing process. Ten percent of your grade for this paper will hinge on the evidence you supply of the process you used to arrive at your final draft. Additionally, one-half point per local error will be deducted from your final score.

We will not have a regular class meeting on Wednesday, December 1; instead, I will hold optional conferences in Anthony-Seeger, Room 6, on this day (and possibly on Tuesday, November 30 if need be). These dates and times will provide you with opportunities to consult with me and/or your classmates about your writing for this project. Projects are officially due at the beginning of class on Friday, December 3. All portfolios must be hand-delivered by you to me at the beginning of your class period on that date. Any portfolios not received at that time will be counted as late. On your scheduled exam day, I will show up for the last half hour of the exam period to return to you your graded portfolios.

The explicit guidelines for this assignment follow: You must write a minimum of 1,250 words on a topic related to gender. Consider as models the writing we examined during this unit from Dave Barry to Anna Quindlen to Nora Ephron. Avoid cliché topics like Title IX. Your topic should have a narrow focus, and I encourage you to employ humor and narrative, two forms of arguing that stretch the boundaries of traditional argument. You must still maintain an arguable angle, though, even if you use an unconventional method of argumentation. Your argument must also have a research dimension. For your research, you may only use “print” sources for this assignment. “Print” sources included books, magazine articles, newspapers, films, news programs, etc. Any materials found through the library’s research databases count as print sources, even though technically they are electronic and web-based. If you use the databases to find your sources, be sure to cite them as material from a library subscription service. As your documentation style, please follow MLA format. Finally, you must adhere to the JMU Honor Code.





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