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Essay 1 Topic Invention: Big Myth-Understanding

The following activities will help you to explore, organize and develop further your topic for Assignment 1.
Meanwhile, a sign-up sheet for conferences will be passed around while you are in groups. Don't forget to put your name down for a day and time to discuss your working draft in my office (52-558A), and keep a record of it for yourself. The conference schedule will also be posted securely to the course website.
Working in groups of three, discuss and (most importantly) record your notes on the following.

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I. Precis and Prompt

Take five minutes to come to a consensus on what the assignment prompt is asking for. Then, discuss the difference between deconstructing a myth and correcting a mistaken belief. Use your answers to help you determine what sorts of topic, developmental patterns, and types of support your essays should use.

II. Issues

One at a time, read your precis to the members of your group.

  1. Tell them or ask them how your thesis specifically answers the demands of this assignment. (If the answers are unclear, brainstorm how to refine your thesis.)

  2. Discuss one at a time why you selected your specific cultural myth for this assignment: what, if any, are your personal or intellectual interests in it.

  3. After everyone has had a chance to answer the first question, one at a time summarize then brainstorm with your peers your intended outline of points in the body of your essay. (If you have no idea what you're going to write, then brainstorm that with your peers, instead.)

III. Support and Sources

Discuss the sorts of external academic or scholarly sources you and your peers intend to use for your topics, and why. Which specific intellectual aspects of your topic do they address (e.g., historical background, analysis of the myth, reasons to deconstruct the myth, etc.)? How and why will they enhance the scholarly ideas of your paper?

IV. At home...

Use your notes from today's discussion to refine your topic, outline its major points, and compose a working draft of the essay for your conference. (Do NOT wait to meet with me before composing your draft; you MUST produce an actual working draft in proper MLA-style Works Cited page.)

Last Updated: 02/27/2017

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Karl J. Sherlock
Associate Professor, English
Email: karl.sherlock@gcccd.edu
Office Hours: 558A (inside Bldg. 52)
Phone: 619-644-7871

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