The Literature of the Silenced Assignment

The Literature of the Silenced Assignment

Short Writing and Major Writing Prompts for English 102 (Unit 2 “Evolutions”)

Evolving Genres: The Literature of the Silenced

Short Writing Assignment (SWA) Guidelines: Please see the SWA Expectations and Grading Standards document on D2L prior to submitting each SWA. In this document, I attempt to clearly lay out my expectations. Additionally, there is an example SWA that may help you see what I am looking for in these assignments.

SWA Assignments:

SWA3— Starting the Writing Process for MWA 2

This SWA will be different from previous ones because we are going to use this as an opportunity to do some extended pre-writing for our next MWA. I believe in pre-writing as a way to get clarity on assignments that require a great deal of critical, out-of-the-box thinking.

This is a thinking piece, so it will be more casual than other SWAs; however, be diligent to respond to all of the pre-writing questions listed below. (The only thing that causes students to lose points on this one is when they are not thorough; it must still meet the 1 page minimum for SWAs.) This will not require any kind of works cited or in-text citations.

For this SWA, you will need to respond to the following:

· What questions do you have about the prompt for MWA 2?

· What piece of literature are you going to rewrite in a new genre? What are the important things to remember about this text? (This is a great time to look back on your annotations and pull ideas from those.) Think about literary devices and theme here.

· Why are you going to write this? What do you want to achieve? What is your purpose for the option that you have selected for MWA 2? What do you want to achieve in the hearts and minds of your readers? Explain this fully. Be specific about an intended audience. If you don’t know, brainstorm and figure one out. That’s the point of this piece.

· What are the characteristics of the romance and horror genre to which you might adapt this text? (See the links on our D2L page for help with this.)

· How might you want to change or modernize the text you are adapting to better reach your intended audience? How might you connect this modernized version to current events that we are now hearing about in the news or via The TED Radio Hour? (This is a great place to take ownership of this assignment and say something relevant through your writing!)

If you choose to think through and pre-write about other things, go for it. Write in the questions and your responses. In fact, I would encourage to come up with at least one more thing about which you feel you should pre-write (though this is not mandatory).

Your format for this SWA is really up to you, but it should not look like an essay. It can be handwritten if you are certain that your handwriting is VERY legible, but you would still need to scan the pages so that you could upload them to the appropriate Dropbox. Please keep a copy of your pre-writing for yourself. This is easy to do in the library for 10 cents a page, or you can do this on the computer and save a version of it for yourself.

SWA 4— Doing Background Research for your MWA 2

The goal with this SWA is to connect your fiction writing to something going on in the news or media. First, do the research. You must find ONE source. You have two different options for sources here:

1. You can use a general online search engines, such as Google, locate ONE secondary source about topics connected to the ideas and experiences related to the silenced group you are researching and writing about for MWA 2.

2. You can search The TED Radio Hour archives on NPR’s website (or via a Google search, as we have practiced) and find one podcast that somehow connects to an idea or topic that is going to be part of your MWA 2.

Remember, you only need to do ONE of the above options.

Next, for the written portion of this SWA, in one paragraph, consider the following:

· Who is being silenced in the fiction piece (MWA 2) you are going to create? You must choose a group of silenced people to include in your MWA. What do you know about this silenced group? What silences them? This is going to be based on your own thoughts and opinions.

In the second paragraph of SWA 4, consider the following related to your researched sources:

First, name and identify the sources (either the secondary source or the TED Radio Hour podcast), why you consider it to be valuable to your MWA 2, the audience and purpose of the source, and what features of the source show that it is a valid and reliable source for an academic assignment (in other words, show that you evaluated the source for credibility).
Summarize the source’s main topics and points.
Finally, reflect upon and discuss how the information provided by the source specifically adds to your understanding (as readers living in the 21st century) of the topics that come up in the poem, play, short story, or graphic novel that you are composing for MWA 2.

Remember to format your response with a clearly and fully developed body. Refer to the sheet on D2L explaining my expectations and grading rubric for these types of writings before submitting your final draft. Also, remember to avoid the use of “I, me, my” pronouns unless you are talking about personal experiences. “You” is almost always inappropriate in academic writing, so consider words you could use that are more specific and say exactly what you mean.

Include a Work Cited page for the source in order to avoid plagiarism.

MWA Two: A “Re-genred” Text: Horror or Romance? Become the writer.

Overview: We have spent time examining the conventions of literary texts, from poetry to the news, as well as the analyzing the significance behind how literary devices are used in different genres. Our previous essay assignment focused on academic literary analysis, so for this major assignment, we will be looking at the creative side of literature and ensuring that we understand the various genres that are part of the literary world so that we can compose a horror story or romance tailored towards a specific audience.

One of the interesting things about this project is that it will allow you to critically think about genres, art, and making meaning when you write. I realize that some of you might not describe yourselves as “the creative type,” but keep in mind that I will not be expecting you to write like a published writer here. I simply want you to explore the various genres and see what you unearth along the way.

Whichever option you choose, I want you to have a unique purpose and message that you want to relay through your text. Have some fun with this. Look at current news pages, TED presenters, and things that are happening locally and nationally. What do people in our American communities need to hear? Use this assignment to incorporate and share that theme. Have a relevant message for your audience.

Assignment:

For this assignment, you will need to select a text from the following list as your primary source. You will then adapt this primary source into either a horror or a romance, based on the options found below in “assignment options.”

Primary source options:

1. Poem: Frost “Out, Out- -“ https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53087/out-out)

2. Short play: Glaspell’s Trifles (http://www.one-act-plays.com/dramas/trifles.html)

3. Short story: Bierce, “The Death of Halpin Frayser” (http://www.ambrosebierce.org/halpin.htm)

4. Graphic novel: From Satrapi’s Persepolis (D2L)

Additionally, you will need one CURRENT and CREDIBLE secondary source (either a news article or a TED Radio Hour podcast) that explores a RELEVANT topic or issue that is also part of the story, play, or poem that you compose. (My hope is that you will be able to use the source you found when working on SWA 4.)

Assignment options:

Option 1: Adapting a short story or poem into a romance or horror themed play.

For this option, you must choose one of the stories that we read and adapt it into one act of a play. Your act must be complete with a title, stage directions, dialogue, character descriptions, at least 2 scenes, and any convention of a play that is necessary for readers to be able to visualize the content. Look at the beginning of Trifles, for an example. (Remember that scenes can be long or short. You just need to have a reason for dividing things up the way that you do.)

You must recreate an idea from the story or poem as much as possible, but you should feel comfortable altering things, as well as adding, deleting, or emphasizing different parts, in order to fit your purpose for your horror or romance adaptation. Remember that you need to connect to an event or idea that is relevant to what has been in the news lately.

With your play, you must submit a short document (500 words or more) that explains the choices you made (i.e. character issues, scene divisions, and similar things), what you chose to emphasize or omit from the original short story or poem, and why. Also, this is where you will connect the play that you composed to an issue that you researched in your source for SWA 4. How does your play respond to something that is happening in modern day society? Based on this, who is the specific audience you are attempting to address? Be very specific about who your audience is and why you chose this group as your audience.

Grading Criteria:

• There is no length requirement; I just need to see an act divided into two scenes. Keep in mind that your writing will be evaluated on how well you understood the theme and structure of the story and recreated it as either a horror or romance.

• It is not a question of how “accurate” your rendition is, as much as how well you understood the point of the story and managed to communicate it in a different way.

• Your play should include all of the standard elements of written plays: (stage directions, scenery descriptions, character descriptions, dialogue, division into acts/scenes etc.)

• Your accompanying document should explain what you believe is the main theme of the story, and how you specifically (with examples) tried to present that theme with drama.

• Be careful with this “no length” requirement issue. You must fully develop your work in a way that is appropriate for a college classroom.

Option 2: Adapting a play into a romance or horror themed short story.

This is essentially the reversal of option 1, but I should point out that I believe this choice would be more difficult. The play we read was somewhat longer than the short stories, so there would probably be a higher word count to complete this assignment. With that said, however, the task would be similar. You would have to translate the conventions of 1 act of a drama into a short story format. You must adhere to the conventions of the short story genre and the conventions of a romance or horror; thus character descriptions, stage directions, scene summaries, and other conventions of a play would have to change form. Also, you would have to consider a new point of view or perspective since the default of an audience watching a stage is no longer feasible.

You must recreate an idea from the play as much as possible, but you should feel comfortable altering things, as well as adding, deleting, or emphasizing different parts, in order to fit your purpose and the intended audience for your horror or romance. Remember that you need to connect to an event or idea that is relevant to what has been in the news lately.

With your story, you must submit a short document (500 words or more) that explains the choices you made, what you chose to emphasize or omit from the original play (especially the act and scenes you chose and deleted), and why you made all of these choices. Also, this is where you will connect the story that you composed to your researched source. How does your story respond to something that is happening in modern day society? Based on this, who is the specific audience you are attempting to address? Be very specific about who your audience is and why you chose this group as your audience.

Grading Criteria:

• There is no length requirement; I just need to see that you took the related scenes and changed them into a short story. Remember that your writing will be evaluated on how well you understood the theme and structure of the play and recreated it as a horror or romance.

• It is not a question of how “accurate” your rendition is, as much as how well you understood the point of the play and managed to communicate it in a different way.

• Your story should accurately translate the environment and ideas of the play. Scene summaries should be replaced with descriptive paragraphs, stage directions with action, off-stage action with narration, etc.

• Your accompanying document should explain what you believe is the main theme of the play, and how you specifically (with examples) tried to present that theme with your story.

• Be careful with this “no length issue.” You must fully develop your work in a way that is appropriate for a college classroom.

Option 3: Adapting a poem into a romance or horror themed short story.

For this option, you must adapt the poem into a short story. Your story must be complete with a title, dialogue, character descriptions, and any convention of a short story that is necessary for readers to be able to understand your work.

You must recreate an idea from the poem as much as possible, but you should feel comfortable altering things, as well as adding, deleting, or emphasizing different parts, in order to fit your purpose for your horror or romance. Remember that you need to connect to an event or idea that is relevant to what has been in the news lately.

With your story, you must submit a short document (500 words or more) that explains the choices you made when converted the poem to your short story, what you chose to emphasize or omit from the original poem, and why you made all of these choices. Also, this is where you will connect the story that you composed to your researched source. How does your story respond to something that is happening in modern day society?

Grading Criteria:

• There is no length requirement; instead, your writing will be evaluated on how well you understood the theme and purpose of the poem and recreated it as a horror or romance.

• Be careful with this “no length issue.” You must fully develop your work in a way that is appropriate for a college classroom.

• It is not a question of how “accurate” your rendition is, as much as how well you understood the point of the poem and managed to communicate it in a different way.

• Your story should include all of the standard elements of short stories, including the literary devices that we have studied thus far.

• Your accompanying document should explain what you believe is the main theme of the poem, and how you specifically (with examples) tried to present that theme with your story.

Option 4: Adapting a short story, poem, or play into a romance or horror themed graphic novel (see Satrapi’s From Persepolis for an example of a graphic novel).

This option is excellent for those that consider themselves artistic (whether that is with graphic design, drawing, painting, or some other visual art). You must choose the poem, story, or play that we read and adapt it into a horror or romance themed graphic novel. Your graphic novel must be complete with a title, dialogue, character development, and any convention of a short story or play that is necessary for readers to be able to understand the characters, setting, and theme. Look at Satrapi’s From Persepolis (D2L) for one example of how you could do this.

You must recreate an idea from the story, poem, or play as much as possible, but you should feel comfortable altering things, as well as adding, deleting, or emphasizing different parts, in order to fit your purpose for your horror or romance. Remember that you need to connect to an event or idea that is relevant to what has been in the news lately.

With your graphic novel, you must submit a short document (500 words or more) that explains the choices you made, what you chose to emphasize or omit from the original short story, play, or poem, and why you made all of these choices. Also, this is where you will connect the graphic novel that you composed to your researched source. How does your graphic novel respond to something that is happening in modern day society? Based on this, who is the specific audience you are attempting to address? Be very specific about who your audience is and why you chose this group as your audience.

Grading Criteria:

• There is no length requirement; instead, your writing will be evaluated on how well you understood the theme and structure of the story or play and recreated it as a horror or romance.

• It is not a question of how “accurate” your rendition is, as much as how well you understood the point of the story or play and managed to communicate it in a different way.

• Your graphic novel should include all of the standard elements a play or short story (whichever you choose).

• Your accompanying document should explain what you believe is the main theme of the story or play you choose, and how you specifically (with examples) tried to present that theme with your graphic novel.

Option 5: Adapting a short story, poem, graphic novel, or play into a romance or horror themed video (movie/ sitcom style).

If you choose this option, you should be very capable when it comes to filming and technology. This is not the time to try to learn a new skill. You must choose one of the texts and adapt it into a horror or romance video. Your video must be complete with all of the conventions of the original text that you choose that are necessary for readers to be able to see how your video recreates the original source.

You must recreate an idea from the story, poem, graphic novel, or play as much as possible, but you should feel comfortable altering things, as well as adding, deleting, or emphasizing different parts, in order to fit your purpose for your horror or romance. Remember that you need to connect to an event or idea that is relevant to what has been in the news lately.

With your video, you must submit a short document (500 words or more) that explains the choices you made, what you chose to emphasize or omit from the original short story, poem, or play, and why you made all of these choices. Also, this is where you will connect the video that you composed to your researched source. How does your video respond to something that is happening in modern day society? Based on this, who is the specific audience you are attempting to address? Be very specific about who your audience is and why you chose this group as your audience.

Grading Criteria:

• There is no length requirement; instead, your video will be evaluated on how well you understood the theme and structure of the original text and recreated it as a horror or romance.

• It is not a question of how “accurate” your rendition is, as much as how well you understood the point of the original text and managed to communicate it in a different way.

• Your video should include all of the significant elements of the original text.

• Your accompanying document (or interview) should explain what you believe is the main theme of the original text, and how you specifically (with examples) tried to present that theme with your video.

Option 6: Adapting a short story, graphic novel, or play into a romance or horror themed poem.

First, I want to say that this option is going to be a bit different from the others, so please read this explanation carefully and ask questions if something is unclear. This is really for those of you that love poetry and want to push yourselves to understand another style of poetry that is out there.

The thing that is going to make this option different is that it is going to require that you have the original short story, graphic novel, or play to restructure into a poem AND you must also have a published poem that you are going to use as a model for your poem. You cannot simply create a poem written in your own style; you must create a poem that mimics the major characteristics (structure, rhythm, rhyme (if present), and literary devices) of a poem published by a website like Poetry Foundation (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/browse#page=1&sort_by=recently_added ) or a similar site. This DOES NOT have to be a poem that we have read.

You must recreate an idea from the short story, graphic novel, or play as much as possible, but you should feel comfortable altering things, as well as adding, deleting, or emphasizing different parts, in order to fit your purpose for your horror or romance themed poem. For a good example of a horror themed poem, see Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” or “Annabel Lee.” Remember that you need to connect to an event or idea that is relevant to what has been in the news lately.

You must submit a short document (about 500 words or more – this one will need to be a bit longer due to what you need to include in it) that explains the theme of the original play or short story, as well as the choices you made when changing the short story or play into a poem. In this document, you should ALSO include a brief summary of the major characteristics (structure, rhythm, rhyme (if present), and literary devices) of the original poem you used as your model. Finally, this is where you will connect the poem that you composed to your researched source. How does your poem respond to something that is happening in modern day society? Based on this, who is the specific audience you are attempting to address? Be very specific about who your audience is and why you chose this group as your audience.

Just to review and summarize this option, you must do the following:

1. Summarize the major characteristics of a published poem that you are using as the model for your own poem.

2. Choose a short story or play and change it into a poem based off the poem you chose for number 1 above.

3. In a document of 500 words or more, explain the major characteristics of the poem you chose. You must also explain the choices you made when changing the play or short story into the poetic style of the poem that you selected. Finally, consider how your poem responds to something that you researched in modern news? Who is the specific audience that you hope reads your poem? What effect do you want to have on that audience?

Grading Criteria:

• There is no length requirement; instead, your writing will be evaluated on how well you understood the theme and purpose of the short story/ play and recreated it in the form of a specific poem (basically imitating the major characteristics of the poem you chose).

• Be careful with this “no length issue.” You must fully develop your work in a way that is appropriate for a college classroom.

• It is not a question of how “accurate” your rendition is; instead, it is important that you show how well you understood characteristics of the original poem and the point of the short story or play, and managed to communicate the play/ short story as a horror or romance-themed poem.

• Your poem should be obviously modeled off of the major characteristics of the poetic style of the poem you chose, including the literary devices that we have studied thus far.

• Your accompanying document should clearly present the information requested.

Requirements:

Sources: One primary literary piece from the list. One researched secondary source.

Due dates: Prewriting (SWA 3) Day 8

Rough Draft – Day 10

Final draft portfolio – Day 11

Quoting and Citing Your Sources: Quoting is unnecessary. Instead, focus on rewording things in a way that fits the audience, purpose, and context of your new rendition of the original text. If you choose to quote, you must use MLA formatted in-text citations. You MUST provide a work cited page for the original text and any podcast or news source you used as additional sources (most likely, the material you collected during SWA 4).

Writing process: Regardless of the option you choose, this should still be a product of the writing process. Even playwrights, poets, and short story authors go through the writing process so that they produce clear, professional works. Your work should be free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors that hinder the clarity of your writing. You must submit all of your writing process work with this essay.

This means that you should provide evidence of every stage of the writing process. Failure to provide evidence of each stage of the writing process will reduce your grade on the final project, so you should have evidence for the pre-writing, planning, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading stages. Other than the drafting and revising stages, each of the other stages of the writing process should be on individual editions of your text (in other words, you cannot complete the editing and proofreading stages on one print out of your essay; this is an ineffective writing process).

Plagiarism: Please refer to the “English Department Student Responsibilities” document for a full understanding of what constitutes plagiarism, but plagiarism is when you use another person’s words or ideas as if they are your own. Mismanagement of sources is when you fail to appropriately cite (either in-text or via your Work Cited page) sources. Any intentional plagiarism will result in an F on the paper, and you will be reported to the Vice-President of Student Development Services. Any mismanagement of sources will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but your grade will be HEAVILY penalized. If you have questions about citing sources, you should bring your draft with you to office hours and discuss those questionable portions of your essay.

Submitting work: See syllabus for guidelines and expectations for submitting work.

A suggested writing process:

If I were creating one of these options, here is the writing process that I would go through. This is provided as a model to help you navigate the writing process and this assignment.

1. Prewriting:

Use a prewriting method of your choice to get your ideas on paper. Remember that prewriting is basically mental throw-up, so you do not need to worry about structure, clarity, or any other “final draft” piece. Just get your ideas out of your head and onto paper.

2. Planning:

Use an outline or map as your planning method for this assignment. If you choose the graphic novel option and have a different idea for how you might effectively plan (for example, some artists use storyboards – check this out if you do not know what a storyboard is: https://accad.osu.edu/womenandtech/Storyboard%20Resource/), just run it by me. You must submit this as part of your final draft folder. Your planning can be typed or written.

3. Revising and Editing

Revising are mandatory parts of the writing process for ANY genre, and I will guide you through a thorough revision process when the time comes (see due dates on syllabus).

4. Proofreading

This is the point at which I would have a few different readers go over this document and discuss it with me. As we discussed earlier in the semester, this is a time designed to help you catch careless errors. One neat strategy here is to read your work out loud to someone that is following along on their own copy. With both of you making notes, you are sure to get some helpful feedback.

Major Assignment Two Rubric

Scoring:

4 – high level of competency–completely accomplishes & satisfies this criterion

3 – good work–somewhat accomplishes & satisfies of this criterion

2 – needs improvement–barely accomplishes or satisfies this criterion

1 – incomplete or missing crucial components needed to satisfy criterion

Criteria:

1. _______ Focus—Clearly recreates the theme, mood, and ideas present in the original text. Writer takes ownership of the assignment by looking for and writing about a unique, relevant perspective or angle on the topic. Clearly responds to the entire prompt.

2. _______Development—Clearly develops the setting, characters, mood, themes, and other conventions that were present in the original text. Any changes to the original logically build and support the student’s new version of the original text. Explanatory document is carefully developed to ensure a full explanation of why you made the choices that you did. Fully explains the connection between the fictional text, the researched news source, and your intended audience.

3. _______Organization—Clear and logical order enhances the presentation of the subject. The plot or layout of the student’s work basically follows the model of a romance or horror, while still allowing for new twists and ideas to be included in ways that do not violate the theme, mood, meaning, and ideas present in the original text.

4. _______Coherence—Sentence structure is mature and coherent, expressing the writer’s intended meaning. Words are specific and accurate; language is natural and engaging. If slang is used, it is appropriate to the character, setting, and meaning of the text. Writer is sensitive to the needs of readers by using information that is appropriate to the audience and purpose for the project.

5. _______Mechanics and Grammar —Free from distracting errors in grammar & usage, punctuation, and spelling.

6. _______ MLA Documentation – Any quotes are followed by accurate in-line citations in accordance with MLA standards. The project includes a properly formatted Work Cited page, giving credit to the original text and all secondary sources.

Grading:

A = 4’s (and no more than one 3) for items 1-6

B = 4 & 3’s for items 1-6

C = 3’s & 2’s for items 1-6

D = mostly 3’s & 2’s for items 1-3 and 2’s & 1’s for items 4 – 6

F = mostly 1’s for items 1-6

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