Ideas Essay

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English 128 A Free-Choice Writing Assignment I am continually impressed by the way you all make sense of a text on your own terms and the insights you offer in class discussion and in informal writings. Laura’s comment upon receiving the first paper assignment sheet—I don’t like to write like this—makes a good point: that academic writing is a different kind of writing. While it might be one way to express one’s understanding of a text, there are countless other ways to do so. So for those that are clamoring for a different mode of writing, this is your chance. I am offering you the option of freedom—to talk about a text, multiple texts, ideas from texts—in any way you choose. Whatever you choose, your written submission should indicate a thoughtful consideration of the ideas at hand. Here are some choices: you are not limited to them. If something else interests you, let me know. a. Reader Response Paper: We have done in this informally. You have chosen a passage, examined a motif. Compose an extended one for a novel we are studying. Prepare your own “reading notes” if you will. It may for the text you are considering writing about, it may just be your writing to make sense of a text, it may just be about commenting about the aspects of a text that strikes you/doesn’t strike you. You do not have to offer a formal argument in a reader response paper—although you might find your comments focusing around a particular issue you see as repeated. It should, however, address the totality of the text. b. Creative Response Paper: I realize that some of us might have different strengths and interests. And perhaps closeted among us is a would-be poet, a would-be novelist, a would-be blogger. So I am willing to allow you to be inspired by a text in a different way. Can you write in the style of Hawthorne? Offer a naturalistic text of your own? The

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