(This webpage is the assignment for our course's first midterm, to be updated until 19 February, when paper copies will be distributed.)
Format: Email. Open-book, open-notebook. No class meeting on 26 Februay but classroom available for students; instructor keeps office hours 4-7.
Email exams due to whiteC@uhcl.edu by 11:59pm Thursday 1 March. "Submission window" is 20 February-1 March.
If your exam will be late, no automatic discredit if you communicate.
If your exam will be late, no automatic discredit if you communicate.
your midterm1 submission to
Attach appropriate file(s) to an email for whiteC@uhcl.edu. (Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format works,)
and / or
and / or
Copy and paste contents of your essays into an email message to whiteC@uhcl.edu
Acknowledgement of receipt: Instructor usually replies that he's received your submission within a few hours (unless you send at an odd time). If you don't see an email confirmation within 24 hours, check if you emailed the right address: WhiteC@uhcl.edu.
Email problems? A problem or two with email (or computers generally) is normal in a class this size. Don't panic—communicate & we'll work things out.
Spacing: Single-spacing preferred. No need to double-space, but OK if you do. All submissions are converted to single-space for reading onscreen.
Return of grades: App. 1-2 weeks after submission.
Three parts to Midterm1:
Part 1. Essay defining minority identity with references to American Indian literature & history. (At least 7 paragraphs; references to all major texts.)
Part 2. Web Highlights reviewing at least three Model Assignments from previous semesters incl. at least one previous final exam essay discussing American Indian literature & one research report from other courses' Model Assignments) (5+ paragraphs)
requirement: All three essays
must have titles .
Draft Web Highlights first
to acquaint yourself with standards, reinforce learning, and provide models
Advice: Draft Web Highlights first to acquaint yourself with standards, reinforce learning, and provide models for organization.
may overlap or repeat materials, but be efficient; cross-reference to economize.
Confer with instructor any time regarding any part of your midterm: Office: Bayou 2529-7; Phone: 281 283 3380; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 1. Essay defining minority identity with references to American Indian literature & history. (At least 7 paragraphs; references to major texts.)
Use terms and themes from Course Objectives, definitions from term-webpages, historical backgrounds (American Indians as minority), and literary devices or purposes to introduce and develop examples from readings and presentations of American Indian Literature as minority (with possible relations to immigrant and / or dominant-culture). (Primary Objectives 1 & 2)
Optional approach: Describe your learning process. What did you arrive knowing or thinking about minorities generally and American Indians as a minority identity? What have you learned about Indians' identity as a minority culture from reading our American Indians' texts and surveying their history? How have literature and its various devices helped or enabled this learning process? Provide text-examples of minority identity, narrative, and literary devices. (Examples may serve more than one purpose.)
Required textual references to all assigned texts:
American Indian Origin Stories:
"Iroquois Creation Story"; "How the White Race came to America";
Zitkala-Sa, American Indian Stories: IMPRESSIONS OF AN INDIAN
THE SCHOOL DAYS OF AN INDIAN
American Indian Origin Stories: "Iroquois Creation Story"; "How the White Race came to America"; selections from Zitkala-Sa, American Indian Stories: IMPRESSIONS OF AN INDIAN CHILDHOOD; THE SCHOOL DAYS OF AN INDIAN GIRL;Louise Erdrich, The Round House; (extensive discussion)
Welcome to refer to poems from class: Chrystos, "I Have Not Signed a Treaty"; Simon J. Ortiz, "A New Story";
Part 2. Web Highlights reviewing at least three Model Assignments from previous semesters reviewing at least three Model Assignments from previous semesters incl. at least one previous final exam essay discussing American Indian literature & one research report (from other courses' Model Assignments) (5+ paragraphs)
Examples: See LITR 4340 American Immigrant Literature Model Assignments, LITR 4368 Literature of the Future Model Assignments, LITR 4370 Tragedy Model Assignments.
Purpose of assignment: To acquaint students with performance standards*, minority definition, American Indian themes, and research report assignment. (*All Model Assignments are good work, though a few are more interesting than exemplary.)
Describe your learning experience from reviewing previous students' descriptions of American Indian literature and other courses' research reports (as well as anything else you learn).
Write Web Highlights as an essay with introduction and conclusion, not just a list of 3 items. Unify your learning experience. Connect the three assignments you review, either thematically or by what you learned.
Review at least one Essay concerning American Indian literature from 2013 final exams or from earlier semesters in American Minority Literature Model Assignments. (Most of the essays discussing American Indian literature also discuss Mexican American literature, which we will cover for Midterm2.)
Review at least one research report on any topic from another course: LITR 4340 American Immigrant Literature Model Assignments, LITR 4368 Literature of the Future Model Assignments, LITR 4370 Tragedy Model Assignments.
“Review”: Describe what interested you, why you chose it, and what you learned. You may criticize what you found, but not required. What did you learn from reviewing model assignments that you didn't learn from in-class instruction?
To identify passages, copy and paste brief selections into your web review or refer to them using names, locations, paraphrases, summaries, and brief quotes. (Both options in models.) Either way, highlight and discuss language used in the passages as part of your commentary.
Requirement: Web Highlights essay must have a title.
Also remember to write it as an essay, not just a list of 3 items.
Note on organization and grading: Some students fulfill assignment by going through 3 assignments individually, one at a time until finished, with few or no connections between the separate models.
Better submissions unify the three reviews into a whole, purposeful essay in which the learning experience of one review connects to the learning experience of another, and your entire learning experience is previewed and summarized in the essay's introduction and conclusion.
Successful Web Highlights sometimes start by identifying a subject of special interest, then choosing models that meet this interest.
Assignment: Write 2 paragraphs of 3-5 sentences each identifying your probable topic for a research report. Why did you choose this topic? What do you want to learn? How? What do you already know?
End your proposal with a question for the instructor.
If you're stuck between 2-3 subjects, describe situation—instructor will help.
You can change your subject, or your subject can evolve as you do research. If your subject changes completely, clear with instructor. If your subject evolves but stays more or less the same, not required to clear with instructor. As part of your research report, you can write about how your subject changed. (That is, how your subject or interests evolved can be part of the learning experience you describe.)
Look across the whole semester for possibilities—you're not limited to what we've covered so far.
Warning: The only recurrent mistake is topics that didn’t have anything to do with racial or ethnic minorities (i.e., American Indians, Mexican Americans, African Americans). You may discuss other minority classifications like gender or class, but these topics must connect to our course's concentration of racial or ethnic minorities.
Nature of assignment: Your research report is not a typical literary essay in which you analyze the language, form, or meaning of individual texts. Instead, your topic must concern a factual figure, phenomenon, or movement in literary or cultural history about which you will learn.
Put another way, your report will find research about a literary or cultural topic and summarize what you learned about your subject of interest.
Research requirements: Mention at least one research source relevant to your topic that you may use; even better if you report what you've learned from that source so far.
Possibilities for topics (plenty of others—these are just to help you start thinking):
History of a particular minority group and / or some literary or cultural movements or achievements associated with them. (see above)
An immigrant or ethnic group that mixes immigrant and minority traditions, e. g. New-World Immigrants like Haitian-Americans, Jamaicans, or other Afro-Caribbeans; Dominicans; Mexican Americans or other Central Americans? (This report can be partly about culture and history, partly about literature.)
A particular minority writer, e. g. any of our course's authors, or figures like Sherman Alexie; Sandra Cisneros; Richard Rodriguez; Toni Morrison; Langston Hughes. (Career review + bibliography of major writings—which you don't need to read but only read about.)
A minority-literature-related topic of a more formal literary nature focusing on narrative, language issues, publishing challenges, etc.
An artistic movement related to a minority group, e.g. hip-hop, Tejano music, soul music, American Indian powwows; ethnic foods.
The main thing is to choose a topic you care about and want to learn about and share.
To get a sense of this report’s possibilities, look at previous models on Model Assignments. No problem if you repeat an assignment—in fact, you may use previous research reports as sources for your own research requirements. LITR 4340 American Immigrant Literature Model Assignments, LITR 4368 Literature of the Future Model Assignments, LITR 4370 Tragedy Model Assignments.
Response to Research Proposal
When your midterm-submission email is received, instructor will directly read your proposal and email a response.
Student does not receive a letter grade for the proposal, only a “yes” or instructions for receiving a yes. Students don't lose credit for problems reaching a topic as long as they keep working on it.
The only way to get in trouble over proposal is by not doing enough, i.e., you simply don’t offer much to work with, especially after prompts from instructor.
A bad proposal is one sentence starting, “I’m thinking about . . . ” and ending “ . . . something to do with minorities and gender.” Then, “What do you think?” In these cases, a bad grade isn’t recorded, but notes regarding the paper proposal may appear on the Final Grade Report.
In other words, a few students obviously don't think about this topic until the last minute when the exam is due. Instructor can't act like that's acceptable, but you can recover.
Instructor welcomes inquiries on possible topics before Midterm1. Email, phone, confer in person.
Midterm2: 4-5 paragraphs describing your research and learning so far on your topic and how it relates to American Immigrant Literature.
Final Exam: 8-10 paragraph report summarizing your research and learning on your topic and how it relates to our course.
Evaluation standards: Readability, competence levels, content coverage and development, and thematic unity.
Readability & surface competence: Your reader must be able to process what you're explaining. Given the pressures of a timed writing exercise, some rough edges are acceptable, but chronic errors or elementary style can hurt.
Content coverage & development: Comprehension of subject, demonstration of learning, use of course resources including instructional webpages + interest & significance: Reproduce course materials accurately but refresh with your own insights, examples, and experiences.