English 2010 Writing Curriculum

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English 2010 Assignments

  • Project Proposal OR Slideshow Proposal
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Rhetorical Think Piece
  • Researched Argument Essay and Companion Piece
  • Writing Portfolio OR Reflection Essay

PDF of Full Assignment Prompts

Assignment Summaries

Project Proposal

The project proposal to conduct research represents a student's attempt to define a topic and plan a strategy for a longer research paper. The proposal shares their interests in a topic area, asks important questions, and sets out plans for secondary and primary research in order to complete the task. The proposal begins with students considering what they currently know and what they need to know about the topic area. The next step is to define student role and purpose in addressing the topic, asking important questions they'll need to find out through primary and secondary research. Finally, students set a schedule for the work to be done, staying flexible in their approaches as they revise their working theses in response to growing knowledge.

Slideshow Proposal

The Slideshow Proposal has the same objectives as the Project Proposal. However, students create a slideshow using any slideshow presentation format (Google Slides, Prezi, PowerPoint, or Word thumbnails), then lead a presentation for the whole class about their plan (receiving feedback and additional ideas along the way).

Annotated Bibliography

Students create an annotated bibliography of diverse perspectives with eight published sources in their topic areas. Beyond the traditional summary of each source, students are encouraged to assess:

  • The methods of research (how research was conducted, how source reached its conclusions)
  • The limitations or biases of the text (mention if a source is outdated, questions about credentials, conflicts of interest, or other reasons source may be reliable, unreliable, or of limited value for purpose)
  • Compare and contrast to other sources in bibliography (point to agreement or disagreement, or to note minor or major deviations between sources)

Rhetorical Think Piece

Using the topic of their proposals and annotated bibliographies as a starting place, students write a popular audience essay with the main purpose of informing readers about the various and differing perspectives on the issues they chose. While the next assignment makes a focused, cohesive argument about their own positions, the objective here is to summarize, inform, and also provide initial commentary about the competing views that have already been expressed about the topic. Students select a highly specific target audience that allows them to play with tone, stance, and style as they explain potentially controversial perspectives to an audience that likely already have preconceived notions and biases about the issues being discussed.

Researched Argument Essay and Companion Piece

After a semester of research and exploring multiple sides of an issue, students write a final essay that posits an arguable thesis that can be supported with the reasoned evidence of secondary sources. Students also choose a very specific audience of readers whom they wish to address in their essays. The paper should address an audience named with a proper noun and an actual address (either physical or digital). For example, students could address Mitt Romney, Engadget.com, or the FCC. Whatever the choice, students are encouraged to research this audience to understand the values and assumptions that will strengthen their arguments.

In addition to the essay, students compose a companion text that repurposes the essay's argument in a different genre/medium (a poster, slideshow/presentation, pamphlet, postcard, website, video, storify essay, or any other appropriate “text”).

Writing Portfolio or Reflection Essay

A writing portfolio is an end of the semester collection that demonstrates student accomplishments in the course. It includes copies of final assignments, rough drafts and comments from peers and instructors, and a portfolio statement that reflects on the writing process throughout the semester. In addition to assessing strengths and weaknesses as a writer, this statement also address students' future goals as writers.

The Reflection Essay similarly asks students to reflect upon their work throughout the semester. However, the longer length requirements gives room for a deeper exploration of reflections around such issues as: curiosity, openness, engagement, persistence, and responsibility.