Writing With Substance: You Can Haz it! SRSLY!

Reading and Writing Assignment 7

Like Assignment 5, Assignment 7 is intended to give you an opportunity to think about your interests in order to help you develop a topic for the three major writing assignments due in this course, Assignments 9, 10, and the collaborative version of Assignment 10 that I've dubbed "Assignment 9 3/4." Assignments 7, 8, and 9 3/4  will be completed primarily to allow you to make progress towards the two major papers for the course that you will write on your own; Assignment 9 will also provide me with ample opportunities to comment on aspects you need to improve upon in your prose. In order to complete Assignment 7, you must look forward to Assignments 9 and 10; we will have reviewed these assignments in class, but you may need to re-visit those prompts in hard copy or in this book in order to to remind yourself of the requirements within them. For the most successful responses to them, you will need to understand how these Assignments build upon one another and allow you to gather research and reflect upon what you've learned before you write an argumentative essay about it.

Assignment has two parts.

1. Open up a document. With your final paper assignment (Assignment 10) in mind, choose at least two (but no more than three) topics that you would be happy to learn more about and that you believe would make suitable subject matter for Assignment 10.  
2. For each topic you might pursue, write a few sentences that explain why the topic is important and relevant for the audience identified in the prompt for Assignment 10, supporting these claims about significance with sound reasoning and persuasive evidence. 

3. For each topic you might pursue, write a few sentences about the background/historical information you would need to learn in order to inform your readers and to demonstrate that you have done the necessary research to speak with authority on the matter. When does the history of your subject matter begin, as far you know? Is there a way of looking even further back in time to an even earlier version of your topic? Consider next what your "Hofstra angle" will be. How will you incorporate the university into your written discussion? Consult students and faculty? Apply the scholarly lens you've learned in a particular discipline/department in order to study your topic? Conduct research in non-academic offices on campus? Be sure your chosen subjects have both the history & Hofstra components! (If you aren't sure about how to approach your topic with those two elements in mind, your classmates and I may be able to help--see the next item below). 

4. What questions or concerns do you have about pursuing your topic; what, in particular, do you think might require additional direction or assistance from me and your classmates? 

5. Proofread your document carefully; cut and paste your written text into the Blackboard Discussion forum allotted for this purpose. Your topics will be visible to all members of the class, who will be given opportunities to respond.

You will complete Part II of this assignment after I have seen your first attempt at coming up with a topic; it will require refining your interests and pitching your topic in terms that take into account my comments. 

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