Discussion 2: Rubric and Alaskan Stories

***This week, there are two discussions you need to join, labeled “Discussion 2” and “Discussion 2-5” in our Slack Team page. You should contribute two  paragraphs worth of content in both discussions combined. (In other words, approximately 3 posts and one paragraph of content per discussion).

Discussion 2

In order to understand how to write to a given audience, you need to understand what that audience is looking for. Writing to a facebook audience is going to look quite a bit different than writing to an academic audience; a reference letter is going to look different than an email asking for a raise. Its always helpful to familiarize yourself for what it is that your audience is looking for, and in this class, when I’m your primary audience, lucky for you I’ve spelled out what it is I’m looking for.

However, it’s an unusual rubric, probably different than any you’ve ever seen before. Spend a bit of time looking at it, then lets talk about what the different terms and ideas in this document. What the heck does “Writer’s Position,” or “Rhetorical Situation Awareness” even mean?

For discussion, read:

Our class rubric

Then, answer the following question:

What does the rubric emphasize? What do each of the categories mean? What do you value in quality writing, and what do you undervalue? How do you find that you look at your own work when you edit and revise?

Got it? Head to our Slack discussion board to discuss.

Discussion 2.5

Last week, we discussed Jon Krakauer’s account of Chris McCandless’ death.  Since Krakauer’s article first came out, McCandless has become a sort of folk hero and the bus where he died a pilgrimage for other dreamers. In “A Man Made Cold by the Universe,” Sherry Simpson follows this trek, but with the skeptical lens of a local Alaskan. She delves into the question not of whether or not McCandless’ death was tragic, but whether or not it is a story that deserves our attention.

For this discussion, read:

A Man Made Cold by the Universe” by Sherry Simpson

Then, answer the following question in  Slack discussion 2-5:

“This may be our oldest, truest survival skill: the ability to tell and to learn from each other’s stories…in some ways, Alaska is nothing but stories.’ What does Simpson mean by this? What does this say about your own identity, or others’? What are some of the repercussions when we aren’t willing to give up the “right’ story? How does your view of McCandless change with Simpson’s version, vs. Krakauer’s?


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