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Mandy Bridgers

Writing Assignment Design
Dr. Hartman,
I’m pretty excited about this assignment because I think it can be so useful in many ways. I think
it’ll help them write to learn, for one thing. They’ll be learning about themselves, about the
literature they are reading in class, and about the situations in which writing/literature are
created. Cultural/Social contexts are important, in my opinion, when reading literature and I
think this assignment will help reinforce that idea while the students end up participating in the
very activity as well in their own creative ways. I hope it will pan out like I am hoping because I
think it would be a great assignment to adapt in future classrooms of my own.
I am a little concerned about the assessment portion of this assignment. I watched your videos
and did my own research on rubrics and assessment tactics and what I ended up with, I’m still
not entirely sure it will be the best tactic for me. I’ve never had to design an assignment before
and all of this is entirely new to me which is very exciting but also kind of daunting. I can’t wait
to hear your feedback on the assignment, especially the assessment plans so that I can see what I
can improve on to make this only better because I truly want this to be an assignment that could
actually benefit my students.
Thanks so much for the opportunity. This has been one of the most constructive assignments I’ve
worked on since I got into grad school.
Best,
Mandy Bridgers

Rationale/Overview/Context: This assignment would be for a 300 level undergraduate
Literature class. But for the purpose of the assignment, we’ll call the class “Victorian Literature:
Cultural Contexts Then and Now.” I want this assignment to do a number of things. 1) Help
teach students how to develop ideas about the world around them as this is important in
becoming a community member 2) Show them how writing those developed ideas, even in
unique ways, can have the power to influence others, move passions that could incite real change
and movement in their own culture 3) Show them how literature, as it is also unique writing by
writers just like you and me, fits into its own cultural contexts and often did the same thing (i.e. it moved and influence change). 4) Help them to understand how cultural and social contexts
can affect and influence literature as much as literature can influence the culture they operate
within.
I would tell them about the assignment at the beginning of the semester but wouldn’t assign this
until probably about mid way through the semester so they had plenty of time to think about it
and would have a decent amount of literature read through our required texts. Before this is
assigned, I would have discussed in class ways the texts fit into their social and cultural contexts
and how texts can be used as catalysts for change.
Objectives/Goals:
-To help students connect cultural contexts to literature and their own writing, showing them
how these things can influence writing then and now
-To show students how to write applying several strategies in order to practice/improve writing
skills and show them how writing, in multiple strategies, can be effective
-To help students understand rhetorical influences/purposes for writing
-To provide an opportunity for students to develop rhetorical ideas about their own culture
Assignment:
This is a multi-part writing assignment in which you will employ different writing strategies and
explore how your ideas coalesce with the literature we are reading this semester. So far we have
been examining how various works of Victorian Literature were used to “play on the senses” of
others in order to advocate social, political, and cultural changes such as reduce child labor,
equalize women in society, and more. In this assignment, I want you to keep these things in mind
as you work through each part carefully.
Part 1: You will pick a particular cultural issue in present society that you find interesting
or important to use for this portion of the assignment. Then, I want you to rhetorically
take a stance on that cultural issue and assert your stance as would the writers of the
Victorian era. Like them, I ask that you do this in a non-traditional way. Charles Dickens
wrote stories and newspaper articles; E.B. Browning wrote a lot of poetry; while Dante
Gabriel Rossetti painted. For you, though, this could mean doing something like them
such as writing a poem, short story, or newspaper clipping, or painting a picture.
However, it could also be something more modern such as a graphic novel, social media
postings, a video presentation, etc. The main goal here, though, is remembering to assert
your rhetorical stance on a current cultural issue while keeping in mind some of the

Victorian rhetorical assertions made through their literature. It is not meant to be an essay
format so be creative and have fun with it.
Part 2: This portion of the assignment will be much more formal. Here, I want you to
connect a piece of literature that we have read to Part 1 in an essay format. Discuss how
the piece of literature fits into its own social/cultural contexts. Explain what
stance/movement the author was attempting to make through that piece of literature. Was
it successful? How may it have been influential or a catalyst for change? Finally, connect
this to your own creative piece comparing/contrasting the methods used, and the final
products’ assertions towards the culture they operate within.
Although this piece will be written more traditionally as an academic piece of writing,
feel free to keep the creativity flowing. Think of interesting and unique ways to link the
literature we are reading to the cultural issue you chose to expand on. However, it will
require research and the application of at least one secondary source to support the more
historical parts of this assignment.
Part 3: Finally, tie up all of the pieces. I want you to reflect on the work you’ve done.
Here, I want you to defend your choices showing me what rhetorical points you are trying
to make in Part 1 and how it ultimately connects in Part 2. Tell me why this is important
to you. You can also include any final connections you want to bring to my attention,
questions that were brought up during your project, challenges you had, things you
enjoyed, or any concerns you feel are unresolved in regards to the project.
Guidelines:
 Proper MLA formatting for Parts 2 & 3 are required. This includes a works cited page for
any and all secondary sources, images, etc. applied.
 At least ONE piece of literature is applied.
 At least ONE secondary source is applied.
 All parts of the assignment are turned in on time, are clear and organized.

STANDARDS
NCTE Standards for English
3. Students apply a range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their
knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their
understanding of textual features.
5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process
elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety
of literacy communities.

Assessment: This assignment is worth 100 points.
Part 1:
Goals/Objectives (20)

/ 40 points
Explanation for points earned:

-The student makes a rhetorical statement effectively and
clearly.
-The student incorporates a non-traditional form of
writing.
- The student draws on their own experiences, as well as
their interaction with others and the text(s).

Creativity/Originality (20)
-The final piece is well-crafted, striking, designed with a
distinct style but still appropriate for the purpose.
-The final product is new, unique, and imaginative.

Part 2:
Goals/Objectives (20)

/ 40 points
Explanation for points earned:

-Student effectively understands, evaluates, and connects a
piece of literature to their own ideas.
-Student effectively incorporates a secondary source to
supplement their ideas with correct citations.
-Student shows an understanding of how rhetoric works in
writing/literature and considers the audience.
-The student draws on their own experiences, as well as
their interaction with others and the text(s).

Creativity/Originality (20)
-The final piece is well-crafted, unique, and imaginative.
The student’s own thoughts and voice should be evident.

Part 3:
Goals/Objectives (10)

/ 10 points
Explanation for points earned:

-Student participates critically reflecting on their choices
and connections. All criteria are met for this section by
answering prompt questions provided in the handout.

Overall Organization/Writing Mechanics (10)
-The overall organization of the project is clear, concise
and easy to follow. Proper MLA format has been applied.
-Final pieces have few, if any issues/errors in grammar,
capitalization, punctuation, spelling, etc.
-At least two different forms of writing are employed (one
in Part 1 and the essay in Part 2).

/ 10 points
Explanation for points earned: