Text Selection and Rationale Assignment


You have all made one significant step towards your “Final Project”: the informal text selection and rationale assignment. That assignment offered a low-stakes opportunity for you to begin thinking about the text you might want to write about for the “Final Project”–a project that will be our sole focus after Spring Break. Now, it’s time to commit to a text. This assignment should be roughly the size of a typical blog post: 250-350 words. It should include the following elements:

  • In the first paragraph, begin by introducing the author and the target text. Make sure you indicate the kind of text it is (poem, novel, film, memoir, etc.), its more specific genre or mode (romance, horror, epic, pastoral, young-adult literature, utopian, etc.), and when it was produced.  Next, offer a brief description of what the book is about and what its central concerns seem to be. This is a key distinction. Tropic of Orange is about seven characters whose paths intersect in dynamic ways, ultimately converging at the urban center of Los Angeles. Its concerns include globalization, multiculturalism, ideas of class and race, media, and so on.
  • In paragraph two, write more about your unique approach to this text. What do you hope to argue, and what theoretical concepts or methodologies do you find most applicable and fruitful in relation to you text? What kinds of research do you see yourself gathering? Critical articles and books about the text? Historical documents? Books representing other areas of knowledge that you might bring to bear on the text (history, psychology, philosophy, geology, etc.)? Try to be as specific as possible about what you hope to find.
  •  Finally (this may or may not be its own paragraph) explain why you have chosen this text in particular.  Are you already familiar with it? What are you most excited or anxious about in terms of research and reading and re-reading process?

Though this assignment does allow for slightly more information responses at the conclusion, please understand that this as a formal writing assignment, and your writing should reflect that.

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