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Appalachian State University

RC 1000
Expository Writing

Theme: Food Matters

“Writing is really a way of thinking--not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate,
unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.”
― Toni Morrison

Dr. Jessica Blackburn


Office:​ Sanford Hall 411
Office hours:​ WF 10:00-11:00 AM
Phone:​ x7300
E-mail: ​blackburnjb@appstate.edu
Class meeting times: ​MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
Class location: ​Sanford Hall 303

Required Resources
Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers,​ A Writer’s Reference ​(customized for ASU)
Holly Bauer​, Food Matters

Course Description and Objectives


This writing course is designed to enable you and your peers, through intensive practice, to
read and write academic arguments and to reflect on the writing process as a heuristic
(problem solving that helps us come to a new sense of ‘knowing’). Our larger purpose is to
continually refine our understanding and practice of reflective inquiry, rhetorical
awareness, and critical literacies. Expect to read and write and think a lot. Expect to work
with your peers in small groups and full class conversations. Expect to be challenged.
While the themed topic is food, the real purpose of the course is to develop and practice
critical reading and academic writing. As we explore provocative ideas and complex texts,
we will develop the skills of inquiry, interpretation, analysis, synthesis, argumentation, and
revision. RC 1000 is an introduction to the various types of expository essays and
examines the rhetorical and practical elements of writing effective arguments for
contemporary academic audiences. A grade of “C” or higher fulfills the English
proficiency requirement for students entering the Reich College of Education or the
Walker College of Business.
Assignments and Grade Weights
The formal essays/projects you will compose are the center of this course. All of the other
reading and writing assignments are intended to help you articulate questions, generate
ideas, and construct arguments for these three substantive assignments and your final
reflective portfolio. Throughout the term, you will engage in the writing process through
drafting and revising your projects, participating in peer review, and paper conferencing
with me. At a​ minimum, e​ ach major assignment will require three drafts and peer-review.
You are expected to contribute constructively to class activities, to attend class regularly,
and to complete all assigned course work/readings on time. Failure to complete smaller
assignments will affect your related “process” grade of the essay with which the
assignments are associated. In RC 1000, we will focus on MLA. We will use ​A Writer’s
Reference​ inside and outside of class as we work on style, grammar, format, and citation
conventions. No late work will be accepted unless you make special arrangements with the
instructor. Even with special permission from the instructor, late work may be subject to
grade penalties.

Assignment One
Rhetorical Analysis (15% of Course Grade)
The Rhetorical analysis examines a visual artifact to determine what
persuasive elements are employed, to raise methodological concerns, and to
expose biases that might affect its value or use.
Assignment Two
Research Proposal & Annotated Bibliography of 5 sources (15% of Course
Grade)
You will propose your research idea, including thesis, methodology, and
resources. In preparation for the research project, you will gather and annotate
sources emphasizing their value for a particular research project.
Assignment Three
Research-Based Argument (25% of Course Grade)
You will compose a research paper or multimodal project that extends out of
your annotated bibliography.
Scholar’s Circle (15% of Course Grade)
At the end of each major assignment, students will present their research
focus, interests, concerns, findings, outcomes, and compositions. These
presentations will be multi-modal, thorough, rigorous, academic explanations
of each student’s process during the assignment. This is meant to create a
scholarly circle in which you reflect on what you learned about your own
process as a writer. Use these reflections to evaluate your synthesis of the
content and your responses to both course readings and your related major
assignment. Consider the following questions: What did you learn about your
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process as a writer? What do you like best about your paper/project? What
was the hardest aspect of composing this paper/project? How did you
approach revising your draft? What did you take into account? How did you
use the handbook to improve your writing? What aspects of your composing
would you like to continue to work on? There will be no make-up days for
these presentations, which account individually for 5% (15% cumulatively) of
your course grade.
Reflective Portfolio (30% of Course Grade)
As the culmination of the course, you will submit a portfolio consisting of a
reflective portfolio letter, your revised research project, and one additional
revised major assignment of your choice. Additionally, you will submit
evidence of your reflective reading and writing process. All final projects
must be fully revised and polished.

Community Expectations
(See below for class policies & procedures)

Attendance​: Attendance is mandatory. Class discussion is an important part of this course,


and you must attend to participate. No more than three absences are permitted during the
semester.

Peer Review: ​Everything you write in this course is subject to peer review. You will
occasionally be asked to share your work with your classmates and to comment on the
work of others.

Collaboration & The University Writing Center: ​You are strongly encouraged to share
your thoughts and responses to the course materials with your classmates, both inside and
outside the classroom. Helping one another to gain greater comprehension of the readings,
discussing your ideas with your fellow students, reading your classmates’ paper drafts, and
offering suggestions for improvement are all acceptable forms of collaboration. Effective
collaboration requires that you respond respectfully to your classmates and instructor at all
times. Beyond the collaborative spirit of this course, the ​University’s Writing Center
(UWC) is a wonderful resource in support of the writing process. ​Located in room 204 of
the Belk Library & Information Commons, the UWC is here to help you with any writing
assignment. Consultants will work with you one-on-one and provide assistance with style,
organization, content, voice, documentation, and grammar. In addition to your draft and/or
any pre-writing notes, bring your assignment to your UWC session. To make an
appointment, go to ​https://appstate.mywconline.com/​ to register and access the scheduling
system. Current Writing Center hours, updates, and handouts can all be found on the
UWC’s website.

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Reading Accountability: ​When assigned reading is due, come prepared to discuss the
following: What questions, issues, and/or problems do the authors identify or respond to?
What rhetorical moves and stylistic choices do you see working well in each writing. In
what ways do the authors “speak” to each other? How might you respond? What questions
of your own do you have? All in-class writings and reading responses will be counted in
the final portfolio.

A Writer’s Reference: D ​ ifferent students manage the writing and reading processes in
different ways. Handbooks can help you manage your own individual process. You should
familiarize yourself with what ​A Writer’s Reference​ has to offer, paying attention to how
this text is useful to the class conversation about the writing process. We will use the
handbook in class to talk about inquiry, the writing process, peer work, and revision.
Sometimes I will point you to a specific section that may help you with your individual
work. If you find yourself facing a particular challenge, talk with me about how the
handbook might be useful to you.

Course Flow
(This schedule is subject to change to accommodate a shift in deadlines.)

Week 1: Reading and Writing Critically


Jan 14 Introductions/ In-class Diagnostic
Jan 16 In-class writing on “what is food?”
A Writer’s Reference: ​“Shitty First Drafts” pp. RC72-74
Continue syllabus overview
Jan 18 Food Matters: ​Pollan p. 10, Schlosser p. 20, and McCorkle p. 31
A Writer’s Reference: ​Fallacies pp. RC75-88
Week 2: The Rhetorical Situation (of food)
Jan 21 MLK Day
Jan 23 A Writer’s Reference: ​Continue Fallacies pp. RC75-88
“What Is Rhetoric?” pp. RC24-44
“Rhetoric: Making Sense of Human Interaction and
Meaning-Making”​ ​pp.​ ​RC45-68
Jan 25 Food Matters: ​Kingsolver p. 218, Wong p. 93, and
Questlove p. 98
Introduce first paper: Rhetorical Analysis
Week 3: Rhetorical Analysis
Jan 28 Rhetorical Analysis Workshop
Jan 30 Rhetorical Analysis Workshop (appeals and fallacies)
Bring link to class your link to chosen artifact
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Food Matters: ​Berry p. 47, Nestle p. 37, and Fukuoka p. 71

Feb 1 Rhetorical Analysis Workshop (appeals and fallacies)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vagc5qqm1_o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv7uinV1S64
Bring link to class your link to chosen artifact

Week 4: The Writing Process


Feb 4 Rhetorical Analysis Draft One Due​ (​peer editing workshop​)
A Writer’s Reference: ​“Using Peer Review” pp. 19-23
A Writer’s Reference: ​“Responding--​Really ​Responding--to
Other Students’ Writing” pp. RC 107-117
Feb 6 Paper conferences​: ​Rhetorical Analysis Draft Two
Feb 8 Paper conferences​: ​Rhetorical Analysis Draft Two
Week 5: Metacognitive Reflection
Feb 11 Paper conferences​: ​Rhetorical Analysis Draft Two
Feb 13 Introduce the scholars’ circle and workshop a rough draft for the
rhetorical analysis scholars’ circle presentations.
Introduce Assignment Two: Research Proposal and Annotated
Bibliography
Feb 15 Scholars’ Circle​ (see the link to the left for the rubric)
Note: Students should be reading ahead for class.
Week 6: The Rhetorical Situation (of food)
Feb 18 Scholars’ Circle​ (see the link to the left for the rubric)
Note: Students should be reading ahead for class.
Feb 20 Scholars’ Circle​ (see the link to the left for the rubric)
Note: Students should be reading ahead for class.
Feb 22 Food Matters: ​Shiva p. 179 and Freedman p. 139
Week 7: Research Proposal & Annotated Bibliography
Feb 25 Food Matters: ​Mead p. 200 and Bartlett & Steele p. 161
Discuss the readings of Feb 22 and Feb 25 and synthesize with:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/smallhold-wants-automated-in-store-farms
-to-change-how-we-eat/
Feb 27 Review Proposal & Annotated Bib Assignment
A Writer’s Reference:
Mapping Out a Search Strategy, Searching Efficiently, and
Evaluating Sources pp. 334-360
MLA formatting, Citing, and Documenting Sources pp.369-371
& 383-423
Claims Workshop
Mar 1 Rough Draft Due: ​Proposal and 2 Annotations
Peer-review workshop
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Sign up for paper conferences​ on March 11 and 13. These
conferences will be held for 15 minutes, during which time I will
meet with 4 students at once. This is to give students the chance
to collaboratively revise with a shared writing goal in mind.

SPRING BREAK: March 4-8

Week 8: Research Proposal & Annotated Bibliography


Mar 11 Group Paper Conferences: Proposal Draft & 5 Annotations Due
Mar 13 Group Paper Conferences: Proposal Draft & 5 Annotations Due
Mar 15 PROPOSAL AND ANNOTATED BIBS DUE ON ASULEARN
(not as a shared Google doc) by midnight tonight.
Sign up for your next scholars’ circle presentation​.
Independent writing day. Dr. Blackburn will be away at an
academic conference. Use this day to prepare for scholars’ circle.
Week 9: Metacognitive Reflection
Mar 18 Scholars’ Circle for Research Proposal and Annotated Bib​ (see
previous rubric)
Mar 20 Scholars’ Circle for Research Proposal and Annotated Bib​ (see
previous rubric)
Mar 22 Scholars’ Circle for Research Proposal and Annotated Bib​ (see
previous rubric)
Week 10: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Evidence
Mar 25 Introduce assignment three: Research-Based Argument
A Writer’s Reference: ​Focusing on and Developing a Main Point
pp. C42-44
A Writer’s Reference: ​Thinking Critically about Arguments pp.
C78-86
Mar 27 A Writer’s Reference: ​Writing Arguments pp. C87-99
A Writer’s Reference: ​Counterarguments pp. C93-94, 100, & 368
A Writer’s Reference: ​Integrating Sources pp. 372-382
Mar 29 COMMAS & PRONOUNS
A Writer’s Reference: ​Fallacies (review) pp. 79-86
Week 11: Making Claims and The Rhetorical Situation (of food)
Apr 1 COMMAS (continued) including the glorious semicolon
Continue commas, pronouns, SVA
Purdue Owl Exercises (done in class)
Food Matters: S ​ inger p. 212, Kunzig p. 307, and Lappe p. 294
Apr 3 A Writer’s Reference: ​Reviewing, Revising, and Editing pp.
19-35
First draft due of Research-Based Argument Due ​(​peer-review
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workshop).
Apr 5 Food Matters: M ​ cKibben p. 229, Hurst p. 240, and Johnson p.
191
Claims workshop
Week 12: The Writing Process
Apr 8 Conferences: Second Draft of Research-Based Argument
If today is not your paper conference with me, please use this
class period to schedule an appointment with the ​University
Writing Center​ for additional project feedback. In your final
portfolio, you will need to include evidence of this Writing
Center visit.
Apr 10 Conferences: Second Draft of Research-Based Argument
If today is not your paper conference with me and if you haven’t
already visited the UWC for this project, please use this class
period to visit the ​University ​ ​Writing Center​ for additional
project feedback. In your final portfolio, you will need to include
evidence of this Writing Center visit.
Apr 12 Conferences: Second Draft of Research-Based Argument
If today is not your paper conference with me and if you haven’t
already visited the UWC for this project, please use this class
period to visit the ​University ​ ​Writing Center​ for additional
project feedback. In your final portfolio, you will need to include
evidence of this Writing Center visit.
Week 13: The Rhetorical Situation (of food)
Apr 15 Conferences: Second Draft of Research-Based Argument
If today is not your paper conference with me and if you haven’t
already visited the UWC for this project, please use this class
period to visit the ​University ​ ​Writing Center​ for additional
project feedback. In your final portfolio, you will need to include
evidence of this Writing Center visit.
Apr 17 Food Matters: B ​ owens p. 279, Biello p. 262, Coleman p. 266,
and Noah p. 233
Apr 19 Introduce Reflective Portfolio
A Writer’s Reference: ​Preparing a portfolio; reflecting on your
writing pp. 36-41, Becoming a Reflective Learner pp. 26-33 and
Preparing to Write the Introduction and Other Reflective
Components pp. PK 63-69
Week 14: Reflective Portfolios
Apr 22 Holiday Break: ASU CLOSED
Apr 24 A Writer’s Reference: ​Planning an Electronic Portfolio pp. PK
14-19 and Final Portfolios pp. ASU21-26
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Rough draft of cover letter due​ (peer-review workshop)
Apr 26 Argument & Portfolio Scholar’s Circle
Week 15: Reflective Portfolios
Apr 29 Argument & Portfolio Scholar’s Circle
May 1 Argument & Portfolio Scholar’s Circle

Final Exam:
May 3 11:00AM-1:30PM
Electronically Submit Portfolios (due not later than the end of the
exam period)

Class Policies and Procedures

Attendance, Religious Observances, and Technology


Being fully present is crucial to your ability to claim your own learning.
You are allowed three absences without penalty (that’s one week of class). Any absence
beyond the permitted three will result in failing the course.
● Included in this attendance policy are two excused absences for
religious observances. You are responsible for requesting excused absences
for religious observances in writing no later than three weeks after the first class
day of the term. For purposes of this policy, the term “religious observances”
shall include religious holidays or holy days or similar observances that require
absence from class. You will be afforded the opportunity to make up tests or
other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance.
Specific arrangements to make up work will be made upon receipt of your written
request.
● If you know you must be absent due to University business, contact me prior to your
absence to make up any in-class work scheduled for that day. Please note that
in-class writings that take place at the start of class CANNOT BE MADE UP and
will be (1) geared toward reading accountability, (2) included in your portfolios,
and (3) used as a randomized attendance roster.
● Students who are unprepared for class (i.e., have not read, come without drafts,
or are unable to contribute to class discussion) will be counted absent for that
day.
● Texting/Cell phones are not to be used unless you inform me in advance of the
emergency situation. Students who misuse technology during class will be
counted intellectually absent for that day.

Drafts, Deadlines, and Peer Review

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● This course is designed to help you improve your writing by emphasizing extensive
planning and careful attention to the process of writing.
● In order to become comfortable with this process, each major writing assignment
will require multiple drafts, at least one of which will be reviewed by one of your
peers.
● In-class peer reviews cannot be made up.
● Your absence during a writer’s workshop impacts the ability of your fellow students
to learn from you. Missing a peer review results in a one-half letter grade deduction
off of the portfolio in which that assignment is submitted.

Reflective Portfolios
● Late portfolios will receive a zero.
● In all sections of RC 1000, students are required to compile a digital portfolio. This
enables you to collect, document, contextualize, and reflect on your
writing and your growth as a writer over the course of the semester.
● This portfolio should be media-rich and should provide an authentic, holistic
representation of your scholarly accomplishments, academic skills, and experiential
learning as a result of this course.

Inclement Weather Policy


When poor weather conditions exist, the University will post any cancelation
announcements on its website. Additionally, please keep an eye on your email on
inclement weather days, as I will be sure to post an announcement via email if I am unable
to travel to campus.

Submission Guidelines and Late Work


Time management is crucial to success in a college writing course. You must turn in all
writing assignments on time.
● Budget your time for the potential technical hiccup.
● Always make sure to schedule visits to the University Writing Center several days
before the assignment is due. The UWC is popular and books early; plus, you will
want ample time to make revisions between your UWC visit and the assignment’s
due date.
● Please submit work in a consistent format (in the case of RC 1000, we’ll be sticking
to MLA formatting), using a 12-point and double-spaced academic or professional
font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria, Georgia, etc.). For multimodal
projects, please consider stylistic consistency as a rhetorical move that keeps the
reader/user in mind.
● You are responsible for maintaining duplicate copies of all work submitted in this
course and retaining all returned, graded work until the semester is over.

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● When working in Google docs or Google Drive, you will want to make sure you
save drafts and iterations along the way. Demonstration of your process is crucial to
the final portfolio, so you will want to make sure you have saved drafts in order to
demonstrate your changes and growth as a composer.

Academic Integrity
As expressed in ​ASU’s student code of conduct​, p​lagiarism is the passing off of another
person’s work as if it were one’s own, by claiming credit for something that was actually
done by someone else. An unacknowledged use of words, ideas, information, research, or
findings not your own, taken from any source is plagiarism. Academic dishonesty can be
as basic as someone else writing your paper for you, and it extends to the practice of
turning in work that has been edited for grammar by someone other than yourself (the
University Writing Center will know how to assist you and your work without treading on
dishonest ground). At a minimum, plagiarism will result in a 0 for the assignment and
quite possibly an F for this class.

Accomodations
Appalachian State University is committed to making reasonable accommodations for
individuals with documented qualifying disabilities in accordance with the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Those seeking
accommodations based on a substantially limiting disability must contact and register with
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) at ​http://www.ods.appstate.edu​ or 828-262-3056.
Once registration is complete, individuals will meet with ODS staff to discuss eligibility
and appropriate accommodations.

Goals and Outcomes for RC 1000

Goal 1: Student exhibits increasing Rhetorical Knowledge.


● Drafts with a clear purpose in mind.
● Analyzes and responds appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations.
● Writes with strong voice and authority.
Goal 2: Student exhibits increasing Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing Skills.
● Uses writing and reading for learning, thinking, and communicating.
● Locates, evaluates, analyzes, synthesizes, and documents primary and secondary
sources.
● Demonstrates critical thinking, in part by understanding that personal investments
and cultural perspectives are woven into language and knowledge.
Goal 3: Student exhibits increasing understanding that writing is a Process.

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● Generates ideas and drafts, revises, edits, and proofreads recursively, consciously,
and effectively.
● Participates actively and collaboratively in a writing community.
● Reflects upon semester writing, in part by evaluating own work and that of writing
community members.
Goal 4: Student gains increasing ability to research and write in various environments,
including Electronic Environments.
● Use a variety of technologies to produce and share writing.
● Use a variety of technologies in conducting research.

All RC 1000 students will produce a semester-ending digital portfolio that demonstrates
fulfillment of these goals and outcomes.

Major Assignments

Assignment One: Rhetorical Analysis


See course schedule above for process due dates.

The major goal of this 3-4 page essay is to explore analytically the language and images of
an advertisement, website page, YouTube video, etc. in order to understand the rhetorical
situation, including context; the intended target audience and outcome; how the text ‘goes
to work’ on its intended audience in order to achieve its intended outcome, including
ethos, pathos, logos, visual appeals, cultural symbolism, etc.; and any underlying premises,
logical fallacies, metanarratives, etc. Your job, then, is to identify a web-based text related
to the theme of this course and write a rhetorical analysis of the ways in which the text
tries to persuade or reach a particular targeted audience (and whether you think the text is
effective, subversive, misleading, etc.). You will want to consider the exigencies (a term
we will continue to discuss in class) that surround you chosen ad, website, or YouTube
video; the written, spoken, and visual rhetoric of the text; the implied vs. stated audience;
the success of the text; etc. To write your essay, follow these guidelines:
● Included in your introductory paragraph should be the name, summary, and
citation information of your ad, website, or YouTube video.
● The introductory paragraph(s) must introduce your reader to your text and the text’s
intended audience.
● Throughout the body of your essay, you will need to provide multiple examples

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to support your rhetorical analysis--unpacking logical fallacies and rhetorical
appeals.
● Use your conclusion to remind your readers of your broader analysis.
● You must include properly formatted in-text citations and a Works Cited page that
reference the ad, website, or YouTube video (your primary text) itself.
● The paper should be 3-4 pgs. in length, use MLA formatting, and include
parenthetical citations at the end of quotes or paraphrases.

Assignment Two: Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography


See course schedule above for process due dates.

The Research Proposal


The first stage of our research project involves making a proposal for the topic
you want to pursue (note: this topic should align with the theme of this course). The first
thing to keep in mind about this assignment is that a topic for a paper is different from a
subject for a paper. Also, keep in mind that your research project in this class has to have
some kind of purpose beyond a simple description of the issue. That is, your essay should
argue a point of view or include your own analysis of the issue, and your research proposal
should include your topic and the kind of question or questions you want your research to
answer. When you have a clear sense of the purpose of your research, of where
you want to go with your research, then you have developed your research subject into an
effective topic. This assignment should adhere to MLA formatting and citation
conventions.

Assignment:​ Basically, your goal is to articulate your researched-based


question(s), argument, medium (essay, website, documentary, etc.), and your
methodologies. Please write one single-spaced page that conveys the
following information.
● What interests you about the topic you are proposing, or why is this
subject an important issue for academic study?
● What kind of project are you planning to compose, or in what medium?
● What might be some of the counterarguments to your topic?
● What information have you found on this topic so far, and why is that
information promising?
● What tentative thesis would you like to propose? Note: this tentative
thesis can—and maybe should—change as you research the topic.
● Note: It is acceptable to write a proposal in first person (e.g., “I propose
to research__________”).

The Annotated Bibliography: ​An annotated bibliography goes behind (or below) the
proposal and provides specific information about each source you will use. As a
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researcher, you have become an expert on your topic: you have the ability to explain the
content of your sources, asses their usefulness, and share this information with others who
may be less familiar with them. The annotated bibliography serves as a curated list of
annotations that support your research.

Assignment: ​The annotated bibliography should be alphabetized, and it


should be formatted according to MLA conventions (see ​A Writer’s Reference
for works cited and bibliography formatting). Please ​follow this link​ see the
Purdue OWL’s samples of annotated entries. ​Five academic entries​ should
be included in this bibliography, and you will need to identify those from the
assigned readings.
● Each annotation ​(all 5)​ should be a hearty paragraph in which you
provide an in-depth description and evaluation of the source you are
annotating as well as its purpose in supporting your research claims.
● Each annotation should be a paragraph that is roughly half a page in
length, single-spaced, 12 pt. font, and Times New Roman.
● Please note that your annotated bibliography is not simply the first five
assigned readings from this semester. Rather, it is an annotated list of
the sources that your refined search led you to due to their specific
support of your proposal.
● Any bibliographic entry on this assignment that does not DIRECTLY
SUPPORT your proposal will not count toward the required ​5 entries
that are necessary for this assignment. In other words, failing to
compile a researched and refined bibliography will result in a
maximum of a ‘D’ grade for this assignment (the grade will only go
down from there if the entries and annotations are not properly
formatted).
● It is acceptable for entries to be written in first person (e.g., “This
source supports my claim of __________”).
● As you can tell, this is a major assignment that requires critical reading,
refined research strategies, and meticulous attention to detail. This
assignment simply cannot be completed at the last minute, and you
should expect to read a minimum of twice the sources in order to make
your way to the 5 sources that are required.

Info from the ​Purdue OWL​:

Below you will find sample annotations from annotated bibliographies, each with a different research project. Remember that
the annotations you include in your own bibliography should reflect your research project and/or the guidelines of your
assignment. As mentioned elsewhere in this resource, depending on the purpose of your bibliography, some annotations may
summarize, some may assess or evaluate a source, and some may reflect on the source’s possible uses for the project at hand.
Some annotations may address all three of these steps. Consider the purpose of your annotated bibliography and/or your

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instructor’s directions when deciding how much information to include in your annotations. Please keep in mind that all your
text, including the write-up beneath the citation, must be indented so that the author's last name is the only text that is flush left.

Sample MLA Annotation

Lamott, Anne. ​Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.​ Anchor Books, 1995.

Lamott's book offers honest advice on the nature of a writing life, complete with its insecurities and failures. Taking a

humorous approach to the realities of being a writer, the chapters in Lamott's book are wry and anecdotal and offer

advice on everything from plot development to jealousy, from perfectionism to struggling with one's own internal

critic.

In the process, Lamott includes writing exercises designed to be both productive and fun. Lamott offers sane advice

for those struggling with the anxieties of writing, but her main project seems to be offering the reader a reality check

regarding writing, publishing, and struggling with one's own imperfect humanity in the process. Rather than a

practical handbook to producing and/or publishing, this text is indispensable because of its honest perspective, its

down-to-earth humor, and its encouraging approach.

Chapters in this text could easily be included in the curriculum for a writing class. Several of the chapters in Part 1

address the writing process and would serve to generate discussion on students' own drafting and revising processes.

Some of the writing exercises would also be appropriate for generating classroom writing exercises. Students should

find Lamott's style both engaging and enjoyable.

In the sample annotation above, the writer includes three paragraphs: a summary, an evaluation of the text, and a reflection on
its applicability to his/her own research, respectively.

Assignment Three: Research-Based Argument (choose one of the following)


See course schedule above for process due dates.

Leaning on assignment two (the research proposal and annotated bibliography), compose a
six-page essay or digital equivalent in response to one of the prompts below. Choose the
medium that best fits your argument, and incorporate all of your sources from your
annotated bibliography. This assignment should adhere to MLA formatting and citation
conventions.

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Option #1: What is food? What is the purpose of food? What determines what we
eat?
The authors in this section of our textbook offer varying definitions of food,
describe its multiple purposes and argue for various understandings of the larger political,
cultural, and socio-economic factors that play a role in determining what we eat. Select at
least four authors that address a related issue or question. You may draw from ideas in the
course reader’s question sections or develop your own. Either way, consider how they
collectively respond to that question and how their ideas are “speaking” to one another.
What is driving their “conversation”? How do they each contribute to our understanding of
the definition and purpose of food? What do they say about what determines what we eat?
Why are you compelled to focus on this particular issue or problem? What ideas do you
have to share?
Articulate the issue or question that you want to focus on in your project, one about
which you have something to contribute. After you articulate your question, make a claim
in response to it. Then, write an argument that supports your main claim, using evidence
from at least five course readings.

Option #2: What does it mean to eat ethically?


While larger political, cultural, and socio-economic factors may play a significant
role in determining what we eat, we do make our own food choices. And thus, what we eat
is at least partially a moral choice, whether we are cognizant of it or not. What are our
ethical responsibilities when we make food choices? Does it matter ​morally​ what we
choose to eat? What does it mean to eat ethically? What moral principles should guide our
food choices and ways of eating?
The authors in this section offer varied and sometimes conflicting views on the
responsibilities and obligations we necessarily take on when we make dietary choices.
They offer a range of potential responsibilities—social, political, personal, environmental,
spiritual, global. And they make suggestions about what principles and priorities should
affect our ethical obligations related to food.
Consider what it means to declare that eating is necessarily a moral act. Then select
at least 5 of our assigned readings that contribute to a conversation about the particular
aspect of the ethics of eating that you would like to explore and about which you have
something to say. Make an argument in which you join this conversation. Be sure to
position your claim in relation to at least five authors we have read.

Option #3: What is the future of food?


We never know what the future will bring, but we do know that we will need food.
The authors in this section weigh in on what they think will influence the future of food.
They identify problems that will remain at the forefront—climate change, global hunger,
and labor injustice, to name a few. They also discuss potential changes that might lessen
the negative impact of food production on the environment and that might bring food
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production to the urban centers where food is in short supply. Still, even as we think of
solutions to existing concerns, new problems will inevitably emerge. In fact, the authors
we have read suggest as many questions as they answer.
Here are some to consider: Is the future of food going to be organic? Will it rely on
conventional, industrial approaches? Or will we adopt hybrid approaches? What ethical
principles will guide food policy in the future? What kinds of moral choices will
individuals make? Will they see food choices as moral choices more or less than they do
now? What roles will innovative approaches and new technologies play in feeding the
population? Should we focus on futuristic, potentially expensive, inventions or return to
the basics? What roles will corporations and industrial farming play in the future of food?
What roles will small-scale farming and local businesses play? Will worker justice and the
impacts of food production on historically oppressed groups be considered? Will
democracy emerge as a positive force in bringing about food equity? Will people care
more or less about global hunger in the future than they do now? Will the global hunger
crisis ever become a thing of the past?
Drawing on five course readings and your own research (optional), make an
argument about the future of food.

Reflective Digital Portfolio


As the culmination of the course, you will submit a portfolio consisting of a reflective
portfolio letter, your revised research project, and one additional revised major assignment
of your choice. Additionally, you will submit evidence of your reflective reading and
writing process. All final projects must be fully revised and polished.

Deadline:​ Due in rough-draft form at various stages and submitted electronically by the
end of our final exam period. Any portfolio that is updated or submitted after our final
exam period (i.e., after the due date) will not be accepted and will receive a zero for the
grade. Please note that a final reflective portfolio is required for completion of RC 1000.
Please see the syllabus for deadlines.

Instructions:​ ​Your final digital portfolio should be collected using any online platform
you choose (e.g., Weebly, Wix, Google sites, Adobe, Spark, Digication, etc.). ​Failure to
follow these instructions will affect your grade, and failure to complete a final digital
portfolio will result in an F for the course.​ I will NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE
accept late portfolios. Your portfolio should include ALL of the following:

1. Home/Landing Page:​ This should demonstrate rhetorical awareness and introduce


readers to the full content of your portfolio.

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2. Digital Affordances: ​Throughout the digital portfolio, you will need to take
advantage of multimodality. This means that wherever it adds strength to your
essays and serves a purpose, you will need to embed images, video, sound,
hyperlinks, etc. and play with color, font, and style. In other words, this course has
focused on a sense of rhetorical awareness and persuasion. This digital portfolio
asks you to take the work you have done and move that work into an online
space—speaking to a public audience that is invested in the theme of our class.
Doing so requires more than simply uploading your alphabetic essays; it requires an
employment of all modes of appeal and digital affordances. Remember to use digital
content that is appropriate and cite accordingly. Make sure to keep your audience in
mind and not overburden the reader with excessive hyperlinks. Be sure to respond
thoughtfully to images and videos that you do include. In other words, if you find an
image or video worthy of inclusion in your website, be sure to tell your audience
why. ​Each page within the portfolio/website should include at least 2 images or
videos​, and you should consider incorporating more than that as long as each
element strengthens the claims you are making with your text. In other words, make
sure all of your visual choices serve the purpose of strengthening your argument and
appealing to your audience. Check out this link to ASU’s Documentary Film
Services, which offers links to free and open-sourced images and sounds:
https://doc.appstate.edu/resources/free-photos-music

3. Organized Tabs/Sections: ​Demonstrating rhetorical purpose, these tabs should


help you organize your portfolio and your reader navigate your portfolio:
➔ Reflective Cover Letter Tab​: This letter should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced.
This is not a first draft!​ This letter should be polished, revised, and submitted
as a final draft within your reflective letter tab. I encourage you to seek
feedback before its submission through peer revision and the University
Writing Center. Should you have questions about this piece, you are welcome
to discuss them with me, although I will refrain from reading reflective
process letters until you submit your full portfolio. This 2-3-page reflective
process letter is your chance to tell me anything and everything I need to
know about your portfolio (remember that I am the audience for this letter).
You must connect your essays and/or in-class work back to each specific RC
1000 course objective/outcome listed on our syllabus​. This piece of writing
must​ also reflect on each text’s development and evolution throughout the

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research and writing processes. Reflection is a vital part of your portfolio and
should be treated as such. This piece of writing should fully embrace your
unique voice and style, but it is meant to be a polished text by the time you
submit your portfolio. The tone should be academic and professional. I
encourage you to seek feedback before its submission through the Writing
Center.

Citing each ​specific RC 1000 Course Objective, ​address at least 4 of the


following questions in your reflective cover letter:

● How have you evolved this semester as a researcher and writer?

● How have your essays helped you meet the learning outcomes for this
course?

● How has your writing process developed and/or changed? How did the
multiple drafts affect your writing? Will you continue to embrace
writing as a process? Why or why not?

● How has our work impacted your understanding and development of


how you think about and write about a topic?

● What do you consider to be your strengths as a writer? Your


weaknesses?

● Which aspect of your portfolio is the strongest? Why? Of which piece


are you proudest? Why?

● How does this portfolio ‘go to work’ on its public audience in terms of
introducing readers to your work, complicating the
knowledge/assumptions that readers may bring to your work, and
proposing solutions or inviting readers to engage in making new
meaning through reading your portfolio?

● How does this portfolio contribute to the cultural dialogue and public
debates discussed in the content of your portfolio?

➔ Process Tab​: (this is more for my eyes than a public audience). This category
should include any in-class writings, peer reviews, and one revised major
assignment of your choosing (i.e., either the rhetorical analysis or annotated
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bib/proposal). Included in this tab should be all artifacts/pieces of evidence
that you reference in your cover letter that help you demonstrate your growth
as a reader and writer over the course of this semester. Please remember that
the revised draft included in this tab should include citations, be properly
formatted (MLA), and have an original title. Also, be sure to provide a works
cited page for all sources/images/videos used at the end of the revised
assignment.
➔ Research Project Tab:​ (use your title). Please remember that the final drafts
of the research project should include citations, be properly formatted (MLA),
and have an original title. Also, be sure to provide a works cited page for all
sources/images/videos used at the end of this project. You should take full
control of your writing, and each final revision and rhetorical move should
work to convince your audience of the skills and processes you’ve developed
this semester in becoming an effective writer/composer.

Goals and Outcomes for RC 1000

Goal 1: Student exhibits increasing Rhetorical Knowledge.


● Drafts with a clear purpose in mind.
● Analyzes and responds appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations.
● Writes with strong voice and authority.
Goal 2: Student exhibits increasing Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing Skills.
● Uses writing and reading for learning, thinking, and communicating.
● Locates, evaluates, analyzes, synthesizes, and documents primary and secondary
sources.
● Demonstrates critical thinking, in part by understanding that personal investments
and cultural perspectives are woven into language and knowledge.
Goal 3: Student exhibits increasing understanding that writing is a Process.
● Generates ideas and drafts, revises, edits, and proofreads recursively, consciously,
and effectively.
● Participates actively and collaboratively in a writing community.
● Reflects upon semester writing, in part by evaluating own work and that of writing
community members.
Goal 4: Student gains increasing ability to research and write in various environments,
including Electronic Environments.
● Use a variety of technologies to produce and share writing.
● Use a variety of technologies in conducting research.

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All RC 1000 students will produce a semester-ending digital portfolio that demonstrates
fulfillment of these goals and outcomes.

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