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There are two parts: (1) (800 words) The details of the story you’ll imitate and your focus for this week, as well as supplemental readings and due dates, are out laid below. You should expect to move between careful close reading of the stories, to drafting your own work, to reflection, and then back again. A quick note on imitation: your task for this assignment is not to re-produce or copy the writer, but rather to breakdown the reading so that you can understand the writer’s tools and techniques and apply these to your own original work. The key here is to look to the writer as a model and a guide: if you’re stuck or unsure how to solve a problem in the draft, or struggling to apply a particular technique, the answer will lie in returning to the reading itself. This means you should expect to read and re-read consistently throughout the quarter and draft with the author’s stories open next to you. Though I will offer guidance, it will be up to you to decide what the key rhetorical elements of the text are, how and why the author is using them, and how they are best applied to your work. Careful close reading is a foundational skill in this course and you will complete short exercises throughout this unit to help you practice and develop your facility with it. Finally, this assignment asks you to experiment, take risks, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. This unit will be particularly fast paced, so the point here is not to produce perfectly polished work. Much more important is developing the skill of careful close reading for rhetoric and technique, pushing yourself as far as possible in your drafting process as you try out new tools and styles, and using reflection to understand your challenges and successes, and the importance of each author’s tools as you’ve applied them to your own work. You will imitate Diaz’s story “How to Date a Brown Girl, Black Girl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” and will use a second person point of view to write a “how to” story using Diaz’s rhetorical tools and style, with a particular emphasis on point of view, vivid detail, and voice. (2) (200 words) You will also produce a short reflection for the draft explaining your rhetorical choices (a Letter of Introduction, or LOI). For each draft you complete this quarter you will write a Letter of Introduction (LOI) addressed to myself and your peers in which you will reflect on your drafting/revision process that week, and analyze the how and why of your close reading, drafting, and revision choices. This letter should be at least 200 words (including your revision questions, see below), and should use specific examples from the readings and your drafts to support the main ideas and claims you present about your work. In each, you should explore what you’ve learned from the reading that week; how it applied to your draft, your goals for drafting/revision that week and how you set about achieving; the challenges you faced in drafting/revision and why; and what you’re looking forward to addressing in the work ahead. Finally, you should include two specific revision questions at the end of your letter for your peers. These questions should point to specific aspects of your draft and focus on challenges you faced and/or questions that arose in the revision/drafting process. For example, you might ask about the rhetorical impact of a particular passage or whether the emotions you intended to convey with your detail selection are coming through. The more detailed and specific you can be in these questions, the better the feedback you’re likely to receive in peer review. The LOI provides an opportunity to practice and build toward your Portfolio Introduction and like all your reflections you complete this quarter will move you toward the goal of understanding and controlling your revision process. Look to be honest, detailed, and claim-driven in your reflections, and again, make sure to use concrete examples from your own work and the readings for support.

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