WRA 150: Evolution of American thought TUESDAY, OCT. 8, 2013
AGENDA • Housekeeping • Introduce Project 3: Disciplinary Literacies Paper • What is a discipline? • Who cares and why? • Discuss: Blue Collar Brilliance • What’s next
CULTURAL ARTIFACT ANALYSIS • Remember that final drafts are due by 11:59 pm on Thursday. • Any questions?
GOALS FOR TODAY • Introduce the third project and unit and answer any initial questions you have about that. • Characterize what a discipline is • Begin conceptualizing how the writing we do in this class transfers into your chosen field. • We’ll talk about the values attached to different disciplines (starting with your own) and how these values are reflected in the writing done in different fields. • Investigate the different kinds of writing that you will likely encounter as you navigate forward in/leave academia.
PROJECT THREE: DISCIPLINARY LITERACIES PAPER
THE STRUCTURE • This paper should build off of the skills you’ve accrued thus far in class and help develop them for more practical purposes. • Those practical purposes should point to the different types of writing and knowledge production that occur in your discipline. • We will continue to conduct, synthesize and incorporate appropriate research, this time to help you understand and convey the kinds of writing—or literacies—that are present in your chosen discipline. • One important mode of research that you will be doing is the interview with someone in your discipline.
STRUCTURE CONT’D • This interview can be a professor at MSU who you might be taking a class with in the future, or any other relevant professional in your field. • Remember that there are other WRA150 classes with students in the same major, who will likely want to speak with the same professors, so try to think of your interviewee as quick as you can and contact them as soon as you can beat the competition, so to speak. • But not before we talk about email etiquette next class!
STRUCTURE CONT’D • Along with the different forms of research, I will be asking you to do an annotated bibliography. • This bibliography should act as the scaffolding to your paper and will help streamline your research. • I will talk more about the annotated bibliography during a later class.
WHAT IS A DISCIPLINE? dis·ci·pline disəplin noun • The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience. • a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.
ACTIVITY • Take a few moments and write down your chosen discipline/major. • If you are currently undecided, pick a discipline that you are interested in pursuing OR a discipline that you want to learn more about. • How did you choose this major? • In what ways was this major represented to you before you chose it as your focus? • For instance, if you’re in supply chain management—a pretty esoteric major—what made you think that it was something you wanted to pursue work in?
ACTIVITY • I will be giving you a handout with several examples of the writing that happens “in the field” • All of which are scholarly articles, just randomly chosen in fields that I have no affiliation with. • Get into groups of 3 or so • Each group will be assigned two examples from the handout • In your group, compare and contrast the two pieces of writing • Think of this as an extension of the analytic work you’re doing with the cultural artifact paper. • Instead of analyzing an artifact, we’ll be looking at the content of these articles. You don’t need to read the articles completely (or even at all, just survey the content from a global perspective)
ACTIVITY • Some questions to help guide your discussion • What sorts of things do you notice? Look at the way the articles are structured. • What kind of writing is this? Who is the intended audience? • How do they use images (if at all)? What about numbers, data, and statistics? • Thinking visually, what sorts of things does this field value? How do you know? • Share your findings with the larger group.
WHY DO THIS? • Hopefully doing this exercise will help you see the ways different disciplines write in their field and how that writing is completely dependent on genre conventions of that discipline. • To start characterizing different genre conventions in general. • To get you started looking at pieces of writing as points of analysis. • To make sense of scholarly articles despite their high barriers to entry
BLUE COLLAR BRILLIANCE • What were your general impressions of it? • What was Rose’s main argument? • How does he corroborate this argument? • How does this piece of writing relate to the disciplinary literacies project?
BLUE COLLAR BRILLIANCE • My hope in having you guys read this article was to show how elastic the definition of “literacy” is and illustrate how valid knowledge is both created and shared in places outside the ivory tower—in places like work service. • Reinforces the many different intelligences that exist in the world and argues that physical labor should not be mutually exclusive with “school” and “brain work” • Not only that, but these work service jobs, although situated outside of academia still have their accompanying language, writing and communication skills that make it “cognitively rich” • Obviously, this paper is about your scholarly endeavors, but Rose’s piece shows that our literacies do not stop short of our education.
QUESTIONS? • About what’s expected of you for this project? • What do you feel unsure about as we move forward?
FOR NEXT CLASS • Read pp. 88-90 in the Curious Researcher to help you think about constructing interview questions • We will be talking about setting up the interview/email etiquette as well as project management.