Research paper/article* : 3000 words min (10 pages times new roman double spaced etc. – 13 pages or 3900 word MAX). This will be the main outcome from the class. In this paper, present your research findings in a way that both expands upon and responds to an existing body of knowledge, to an academic audience, producing new knowledge, using qualitative, quantitative, humanities and/or mixed methods. We will discuss several available forms and structures for the research paper/article, including the IMRAD paper.
* At least 5 academic, peer-reviewed secondary sources expected in this project. More is wonderful (but not expected), and a mix of public/academic sources beyond this is also wonderful (but not expected).
Portfolio: Includes both a brief response to our Writing Program Portfolio prompt (2-3 pages), which I will grade + our two major papers (research paper final draft + ekphrasis/analysis
Ekphrasis of a Text: (600 words). In rhetoric, an ekphrasis is traditionally an elaborate visual description, meant to use words to bring a vivid image for an audience to picture and behold. For your ekphrasis, I will allow expansion of this visual tradition into the five senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch. Using Anthony Bourdains Kitchen Confidential (Food is Good excerpt, under files) and a chosen chapter of Stuff Matters (also under files) as models, consider applying one or more of the five senses to a particular item or text. By item, I mean a print text, image, setting, artifact, or pattern of your choice (this can include digital media as well). It will help, for this short assignment, to stay focused in a particular direction, item, and sense or two. Be as descriptive and detailed as possible. For this stage, do not yet attempt an analysis; here, you are representing through words a particular sensation and observation of a specific element.
Analysis of Text: (900 words). Building from your ekphrasis, now break down what you have described and speak to the larger purpose, concept, and/or meaning of what you have observed (considering what is interesting, strange, and/or revealing/important about your observations). Since analysis breaks things into parts, it might help to be inductive here: think about the different elements you observed and why they matter, why they stood out to you, and why they are unique. Be sure to draw your analysis from your details, and your observations of those details. What can you express about your items features that might not be thought of, at first glance? What can you uniquely uncover and discover about this item? Then, approach an overall impression and interpretation of your item in your conclusion. Although this is a shorter essay, and this may therefore be your comfort zone, DO NOT impose a five paragraph theme structure onto your analysis.
Original, primary research is expected of you here: well get into all methods of primary research (textual, qualitative, quantitative) and how you can do these from home in greater detail once we get started on this component of the class. To sum up briefly, these could include online surveys, auto-ethnographies, phone or zoom interviews, in person interviews of those you live with, cyber ethnographies of websites/blogs/comments sections/etc., online surveys (which may include our media reports), close observations (which may or may not include the ekphrasis/analysis project), analyses of texts/images/artifacts from home, etc. The point of primary research in our WRIT courses is to ensure close analysis, to build critical thinking skills, and also to give you the opportunity to make interesting, unique observations and findings and to add to a larger conversation to avoid the summing up of what other scholars say and what has already been said that you might have suffered through in projects past.