Thursday, March 18, 2010

Assignment: Response #2

Your assignment for Response #2 follows directly from our group presentations this afternoon. However, you should not feel bound by your group work: if you want to make a different point than the one your group presented to the class, feel free to do so. Even if you are making the same point that your group made, you will need to discuss it in a more formal and more developed way in order to produce a sophisticated piece of writing.

Due: March 22 by noon

Response #2 is a highly structured, three-paragraph response paper in which you:

* State and explain one point that you want to make in response to Schlosser's chapter "Behind the Counter." This should be your idea, not a paraphrase of Schlosser. Refine and define your point, walking the reader through it step by step so that that your reader has the opportunity to understand it thoroughly. Good development and clear, specific language are key to this step. (Paragraph 1, 5+ sentences)

* Choose a quotation from Schlosser to illustrate your point. In no less than four sentences, explain the quotation and how it relates to your point. Introduce your quotation by giving the author's name and the title of the chapter or the book you are quoting from; give the page number so that your reader can find the passage you are quoting. As you discuss the quotation, consider the information it contains and the author's particular choice of words. Why does he use the language that he does? Is that the language you would choose, or that people usually use to discuss the same idea? What attitude or information does the author convey in his choice of words? (Paragraph 2, 5-8 sentences)

* Describe a personal experience that illustrates your point. Your description should be detailed, and it should employ clear and specific language, so that the reader is able to imagine the situation or event you are describing. In no less than four sentences, explain how this personal experience relates to your point.

This response is due on your blog by Monday at noon. Don't forget to label it "response" so that it will be easy to find later.


  1. prof. should this be like in essay format or just the three paragraphs answering each point that you mention above?

  2. Think of this as its own highly-condensed essay form: the first paragraph is an introduction (but one that does the specific work outlined above) and the rest is the body. The second body paragraph should end in a way that brings the piece to a close.

    This should be a challenging assignment: brevity is harder, not easier to produce than length. But if you do well with this assignment, you'll learn an "essay" form that will help you produce short, idea-rich blog posts.