General Education Common Graded Assignment: English 101: College Composition I
College Composition is a general education course designed to assist students in the development of critical life skills. One of the goals of this assignment is to assess student competence for each of these objectives:
I. Written and Oral Communication— write organized essays with a clear thesis; support the thesis with details, examples, reasons, and other evidence; vary sentence structure and length as appropriate; employ strategies in a manner appropriate to a given audience; conform to the grammar, punctuation, and spelling rules of edited American English with a minimum of errors.
II. Critical Analysis and Reasoning—apply the critical thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation for a variety of texts; employ rhetorical strategies to express complex ideas.
III. Technological Competence— utilize learning management systems and word processing programs as appropriate to the academic environment.
IV. Information Literacy— conduct research; access and choose appropriate academic sources; evaluate sources by examining authority, currency, validity, and reliability; incorporate appropriate academic sources into essays by summarizing, quoting, and paraphrasing correctly; document sources according to the assigned formatting and style guide.
V. Local and Global Diversity— examine a variety of complex texts from diverse perspectives and authorship; demonstrate an awareness of historical, social, and political contexts.
Write a four to six-page Researched Analytical Essay about a cultural product that represents and scrutinizes some aspect of the American justice system. This cultural product may take the form of a cartoon, a photo, a piece of literature, a visual image, and so on. (See the list of ideas below.) Your task is not only to analyze the cultural product, but to also connect the cultural product to the larger framework of its impact on the American justice system. For instance, a photo capturing the elation of a wrongly imprisoned inmate after being freed from prison may symbolize a system of justice that is at times broken.
Analysis is an essential skill needed for success in college and in life. An analysis involves first breaking down the information presented in a work into individual pieces and then examining the pieces to better understand the whole.
Almost anything can be analyzed. This assignment asks you to analyze a cultural product, which must be approved by your teacher. A cultural product may include images, videos, advertisements, written and oral texts, and much more. The cultural product must be tied in with the theme of the American justice system in some way.
Cultural product(s) include:
• Literature— a short story, novel, poem or play
• Music— a song, album, video, or performer
• Cinema or Television— a character in a movie or TV series
• Advertising— a specific ad or an ad campaign—print, internet, or television.
• Social media— a blog, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter site
• Print media— a specific magazine
• Visual Art: photography, painting, sculpture, political cartoon
• Technology—a specific gadget or company
As you analyze, consider the following questions:
• How does this cultural product contain or promote specific values?
• How is it representative of wider social assumptions that are reproduced and circulated and/or published, including the scope and method of circulation?
• How is the product experienced or interpreted?
• How does it contribute to and actively shape cultural ideals and expectations?
• How does it support or revise conventional ideas, practices, or expectations?
• How does it utilize symbolism to create meaning?
• How does it participate in influencing the formation of personal or group identity?
• What is its role in society?
• What essential elements of its form (visual or textual composition, style, presentation) contribute to its meaning?
• How does it adhere to conventions of a larger genre or category? (The “genre” may be action movies, men’s magazines, etc.)
In the process of considering these questions, you should do some research to become better informed about possible topics.
After considering these guiding questions, determine which question or questions lead you to develop an insightful and informed interpretation of the significance of a cultural product.
In generating your idea for this essay, identify the elements of the cultural product that best support your central interpretation and craft a coherent essay presenting and defending that interpretation.
• Your audience is your instructor and other members of the class, representative of an adult, educated, academic audience.
• Utilize a search strategy and library databases to locate appropriate academic sources.
• When utilizing sources in your paper, remember to integrate sources smoothly, supplying source introductions and clarifying comments as needed. Remember, too, to quote judiciously and employ paraphrase and summary when appropriate.
• Document sources in parenthetical citations and on a Works Cited page as appropriate to the style format in use.
ASSIGNMENT REQUIREMENTS & SPECIFICATIONS:
• You must insert an object related to the cultural product at the beginning of your essay, above the title of your paper. This could be a video or sound file or an image.
• The paper should be 4-6 pages of text, not including the inserted object, typed in Verdana 12-pt font, double-spaced with 1” margins. The Works Cited page is not included in the assigned page length.
• MLA-style format and documentation for parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page.
• Utilize a minimum of three to five academically appropriate secondary sources in addition to any primary source/s.
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