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English II - CultEx: Assignment



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Debby Barnes
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Assignment Overview


The overriding objective of the “CultEx Paper” is for students to use the analysis of a variety of texts as a vehicle of critical thinking on a sophisticated level. Through the paper, students should:

  • Develop an arguable, original thesis and develop coherent support for that thesis, sustaining focus in a paper of substantial length
  • Synthesize ideas from multiple sources
  • Ground analysis in close reading of language
  • Write with clarity, fluency, and a scholarly tone

Class Requirements for 2017-2018

Students must thoroughly examine a non-fiction text from a cultural perspective, utilizing additional illuminating texts, including several informational texts.

  • Students will read six pieces of informational texts and read (or view, listen to) an additional illuminating text.
  • Students must complete three graded writing exercises to encourage their thinking before completing a rough draft.

Topic Selection, Exploration Activities, and Drafting Deadlines

Topic/Cause Selection Form:  The form must be completed and submitted for approval.  Any changes to your topic/cause made after this submission must be approved.                         Due date:  11/8 & 11/9

Writing #1: This is a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of your first three informational texts.  The paper should explore a few key ideas in or aspects of the pieces that you find most compelling.  Quotes from the texts must be integrated. Due date: 11/29 & 11/30                  


Writing #2:  Read three more informational texts (articles, speeches, government documents, etc.) then write the second entry, summarizing and engaging with the ideas in these pieces, linking to your first entry. This second assignment asks you to refine your thinking about your topic after this additional reading.               Due date:  12/11 & 11/12

Writing #3:  Read/view/listen to a final illuminating text (this may be another piece by the same author, a film version of the focus text, or a related nonfiction piece (such as a biography of or interview with the author) and write about what this text reveals and how it deepens your thinking.                              Due date: 1/10 & 12/11

Rough Draft: Now, having read all of the texts, you will refine and develop your thesis into a rough draft of your paper. This submission should be as close as possible to your final paper.                  Due date:  1/23 & 1/24

Peer Edit: In-class revision and editing by two (2) peers      Due date:  1/25 & 1/26

Final Draft: Cultural Exploration Synthesis Paper                 Due date:  1/31 & 2/1