English 101

“Intellectuals almost always write in response to the work of others. But to respond is to do more than to recite or ventriloquize; we expect a respondent to add something to what is being talked about. The question for an academic writer, then, is how to come up with this something else, to add to what has already been said….My advice here is to imagine yourself as rewriting—as drawing from, commenting on, adding to—the work of others.”

– Joseph Harris

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In the passage above, Harris describes his understanding of academic writing, a process that he renames rewriting. A key part of rewriting, according to Harris, is a method of coming to terms with a text. For this Project #2, I ask that you “try out” Harris’ method to come to terms with Warren’s “The Rhetoric of College Application Essays: Removing Obstacles for Low Income and Minority Students.”

Ultimately, the goal of this project is for you to add your thoughts and perspectives to the conversation that Warren has presented us. Harris writes that, “the job of an intellectual is to push at and question what has been said before, to rethink and reinterpret the texts he or she is dealing with.” That is what I am asking you to do. Your essay will be an explanation of the stance/position you take towards Warren’s ideas as a result of coming to terms with his project. Keep in mind, though, that Harris reminds us that “academic writing rarely involves a simple taking of sides,” so you will want to avoid taking a side or simply stating agreement or disagreement.

As we have discussed in class, Warren makes claims, and explains how he arrived at his ideas. You will have to do the same; your essay will make claims about Warren’s ideas and about your own perspective. Therefore, as a part of coming to terms, you must directly quote Warren, and explain and analyze those terms and passages that are key to the claims you make. Of course, you are welcome to bring in passages from any other text that contributes to your thinking, as well as any experiences that are relevant to your discussion.

You will recognize the process for developing this essay – it is the same process that we used for Project 1. However, we will speed up the process a bit so that you can practice the process at a pace that is more similar to what you can expect for a typical writing project in an upper level class. It will be important that you figure out how to manage your time. Of course, do not hesitate to contact me should you run into any issues along the way.

Schedule of Key Dates

Initial Idea-Generating Draft: due Thursday, November 12

Audience-Facing Draft: due Wednesday, November 18

Draft Conferences: November 20-22

Final Revision/Essay: due 12/05

Feedback to Learner
11/15/20 3:44 PM
Focus your early drafts more on your ideas – there is a lot of summary here, which overshadows your contributions to the discussion.

Feedback to Learner
11/22/20 5:10 PM
This draft is a bit underdeveloped.

Most importantly, however, I want to draw attention to the last paragraph, which is where you begin to establish your position in relation to the ideas that Warren has raised. In revision, use one of those ideas as the main idea for your paper – you can discuss why you think colleges need to rethink the use of the college essay or the need for greater transparency and use Warren as supporting evidence to make that case.

The most important thing for you to keep in mind is that the purpose of this essay is not to summarize Warren but for you to share your position and reasoning.

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