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Question Title: Analytical Essay (1000-1200 words)

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CAL 103 W

Fall 2021

Dr. Minsloff

Analytical Essay 1: Education and Sponsorship

Overview: For this assignment, you will write an essay of 1000-1200 words in which you respond to Deborah Brandt’s article “Sponsors of Literacy” by analyzing your own educational background.

Brandt explains in her introduction that her research is based on case studies:

[My] investigation is grounded in more than 100 in-depth interviews that I collected from a diverse group of people born roughly between 1900 and 1980.  In the interviews, people explored in great detail their memories of learning to read and write across their lifetimes, focusing especially on the people, institutions, materials, and motivations involved in the process. (63)

Add to her discussion by using yourself as a case study.  To do this, you will have to “interview” yourself about how and what you were taught.  You will then select one specific literacy to focus on and one specific sponsor to examine.  Finally, you will compose an argument in which you agree or disagree with Brandt, or do both at once.

Prewriting/Gathering Data: Using Brandt as a model, “interview” yourself by asking yourself questions about how you developed literacy skills.  The purpose here is to gather as much information as you can.  Some questions to ask yourself:

Which specific literacies were you taught?  What kinds or reading and writing did those around you value?Who taught you?  Where did you learn?  Who and what were the sponsors of your literacy?What texts and tools do you remember using when learning literacy?What assignments or activities can you remember?  How was your work evaluated?Which types of reading and/or writing were younottaught?  What kinds of reading or writing were overlooked or actively discouraged?What kinds of reading and writing do you do most often now?  In what formats?Who benefits from what and how you read?  How do you hope to use your literacies to your own benefit?What larger economic forces can you see at play in your literacy learning?

Next, test Brandt’s main claims against your own experiences.  Does your case support her arguments about literacy sponsors?  If you generally agree with her, what new type of sponsor or literacy can you add to the discussion?  If your experiences do not fit her claims perfectly, where exactly do you disagree and how can you refine her arguments?

Evaluation Criteria

Your essay should demonstrate comprehension of the main ideas and techniques we have discussed in class:

Provide an accurate summary of the main claims of Brandt’s essay that you are responding to; do not include unnecessary information.Form your thesis as a response to Brandt.  Indicate which specific claims you agree and/or disagree with and add substantively to what Brandt has already said.Quote Brandt in your analysis.  Frame all quotations and explain how they operate as evidence for your arguments. Use key terms and precise verbs to ensure precision and coherence. Compose an engaging, persuasive, and effective introduction.

Formatting & Submission

All papers for this class must be typed in a common 12-point font such as Times New Roman, double-spaced with one-inch margins, and titled (NB: “Essay 1” is not a compelling title).  Sloppiness (typographical errors, poor spelling and grammar) will not be tolerated.  

Include a works cited page ONLY if you draw on an outside source.  Please use MLA in-text citation style: state the last name of the author in the text of your sentence followed by page number in parentheses. 

The first draft of your essay is due for workshopping in class onSeptember 16.  Be prepared to share your draft with a partner via email, Google Drive, etc.

The final draft is due September 24 (Friday) at 11:59 PM, via upload to Canvas. Please save your document in .doc format.