Click on the links to the right to see the specific writing assignments for each week.

Weekly Assignment
Many weeks throughout the semester your weekly writing assignment asks you to engage the same two questions:

1) What assumptions underlie the texts we’ve read this week? Do the authors share any assumptions? Do their assumption diverge? Be careful to be specific about each author. A strong answer will never lump them together without reason.

2) What are the implications of the assumptions you have identified? How do taken-for-granted ideas matter, either in this writing or in the larger world?

It can be difficult to answer these questions. Be careful -- in this assignment I am not asking you to summarize the theories, or rework them in your own language. It is wonderful if you feel comfortable writing a summary of the theories, but that will not get you credit for this assignment.

Instead, this assignment is asking you to imagine something about the theories that is not explicitly stated. All people, coming up with any ideas or theories, have to be making assumptions. This assignment asks you to effectively reverse engineer these theories -- given the theory, what assumptions can you imagine the theorist making (either consciously or unconsciously) to create that theory? What are they assuming about the world to create this theory?

If you’re having a hard time imagining plausible assumptions, I recommend you start thinking about what the theorist doesn’t talk about -- what topics, people, or ideas does s/he avoid, or find utterly unimaginable? How could those help make clear an underlying assumption?

All writing assignments must be uploaded to your Dropbox folder on Collab by 5pm each Saturday. I hesitate to make anything due on Saturday but I also want to give all students, especially those in who have sections on Friday afternoons, enough time to produce thoughtful work. You are always welcome to turn in your weekly writing early.

Grading Guidelines for Writing Assignments
A good essay includes: 1) a thesis point or points 2) that are clearly articulated as answers to the assigned questions and also 3) makes a compelling and insightful argument.

A = Clear, coherent, cogent, and compelling argument, with truly insightful ideas
B = An essay lacking real insight, but most ideas are presented clearly
C = The essay includes some ideas relevant to the assigned question, but many of its points are not clear or compelling
D = The essay grapples with the assigned question, but the points are not clear or compelling
F = No real engagement with the assigned question