ENGL146 14 and 16
Analysis of Creative Nonfiction Assignment
ENGL146 14 and 16
Length: 750 words; no points off if you’re 20% over or under the limit
Due date: Monday, February 22, by 11:55pm; please put into the Dropbox on Brightspace
20% of final grade
About deadlines: I give everyone a 24-hour grace period for late papers. After that, I take off 5 points per day late. If you are having a problem and need an extension, please ask me in advance! If we arrange it in advance, there’s no penalty.
Answer one of the following prompts. If you have an idea for a topic of your own based on the three creative nonfiction essays we read, that’s great! Just clear it with me first.
Also, a necessary component of this assignment is posting one paragraph from your assignment in the peer review forum by Thursday, February 18 (or earlier if you don’t want to work over spring break!) Then, you should comment constructively on one classmate’s paragraph.
Analyze how figurative language and/or grammatical constructions express ideas about power in “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” and “What Cancer Takes Away.”
Discuss how both Elliott and Boyer incorporate horror (body horror, the mention of horror films, horrific images, etc.) to more powerfully convey their themes.
Explore how Alicia Elliott and Robin Wall Kimmerer utilize Indigenous ways of knowing in both the content and structures of their essays, “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” and “Asters and Goldenrod.”
You’re also free to come up with your own topic—please just run it by me first!
- Start with a strong introductory paragraph and end with a solid conclusion, each at least four sentences long
- Put “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground,” “What Cancer Takes Away,” and “Asters and Goldenrod” in quotes, not italics
- Spell Alicia Elliott’s, Robin Wall Kimmerer’s, and Anne Boyer’s names correctly
- Insert an appropriate title for the paper at the top of the first page
- Imagine that your audience is an educated person who hasn’t read these essays yet
- Consider utilizing ethos and pathos if you studied them in ENGL 135; everyone should be using logos, which means providing evidence, reasoning, and examples for your argument
- You might experiment with using some subjectivity in your essay, as Elliott, Kimmerer, and Boyer do. How do your own experiences impact your analyses? (This is not a requirement because it may feel too personal for some students. But others should feel free to assess how their own experiences might condition their readings.)
- Write in the first person (I/my/we/our) or third person; avoid second person (you/your)
A+ to A-: The writer has made a crystal-clear claim. The writer has given the reader enough details to make the claim not only understandable but believable and compelling. A firm grasp of the essays is on display, and allusions to the essays are integrated seamlessly into the whole. Sentences are well constructed, with varied sentence structure, word choice, and length. The grammar, mechanics (e.g., capitalization), and spelling are consistent and mostly without error; there are no repeated errors like sentence fragments. Assignment guidelines have been followed.
Please note: An A+ is awarded only if the argument is strikingly original and the paper is perfect grammatically.
B+ to B-: The writer has chosen a fairly clear claim that is well-supported, or perhaps the claim is strong but the details do not support the claim quite as well as they could. The author demonstrates an understanding of the essays. Most sentences are well constructed and have varied structure and length. On average, the grammar, mechanics, and spelling facilitate rather than impede reading, but there may be a repeated error like comma splices or sentence fragments. The assignment guidelines have been followed.
C+ to C-: The writer may have chosen a claim that is too general or too vague. The writer does not appear to be in control of the material. For example, maybe the writer is trying to include too much evidence or too little. The writer doesn’t quite understand the essays discussed. There may be significant errors that impede reading. Errors that impede reading include, but are not limited to, spelling, sentence structure, word choice, and punctuation. The assignment guidelines have mostly been followed, but the paper may be much too long and rambling or shorter than required.
D-range: The writer doesn’t seem to have a clear argument and/or the grammar is seriously impeding the reader’s comprehension of it. The essays are misunderstood. Very little to no evidence is presented. The assignment guidelines have not been followed.