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This assignment should be no less than one page, single-spaced, 12 point font, Times New Roman, and 1 inch margins all around. Write only your name in the header. You will not be penalized for going over one page but you will get points docked for not writing one full page. Long, direct quotations from articles are not allowed; this is a short assignment and I need to hear your voice in it.

For this paper you will choose one of the following two options:

Option #1:

Saturday Night Live Skit Analysis:

  • Write an analysis of a Saturday Night Live skit “This is How I Talk”.
  • Use the analytical tools and social theories presented in this class to demonstrate how different forms of talk and uses of the body—ways of speaking and gesturing—communicate, index, and perform cultural identities, community affiliations, genders, so-called races, ethnicities, forms of power, formality, and/or informality. All the characters in the video speak in different ways at different moments, thereby creating different social contexts.
  • You can start by paying close attention to what Samy Alim calls “style shifting” and explore how style shifting facilitates performances of different identities.
  • You have to use analytical concepts talked about in class lectures, discussions, and Samy Alim’s article “Talking Black in this White Man’s World.”
  • Organize the paper into three paragraphs:
    • First paragraph: shortly explain what is going on in the skit and what you think is the main point of the skit.
    • Second paragraph: is the most important and this is where you analyze certain linguistic/communicative aspect(s) of the skit. Make sure you explicitly connect the issues raised in the skit back to the class readings, lectures, and discussions. In your analysis, you have to use concepts such as indexicality, style shifting, language ideologies/linguistic supremacy, and/or monoglot standard, etc. (you are not required to use all of these concepts but you do need to use more than two we mentioned in the class).
    • Third paragraph: continue with the socio-linguistic analysis of the skit and reflect on how are issues raised in the skit related to your own life and/or the lives of people living around you. You can answer the questions: Why does this issue matter? Why is this issue important?

Option #2:

Dude” Analysis:

  • Pay special attention to people around you using the word dude. It can also be a situation where you are using it with friends and your friends are using it when addressing you. Write down those conversations; short dialogues and the context in which the word was used. Who was using the word and whom they were addressing (pay attention to the context and note the gender, age, social status such as a student, for example). Was the word used to create camaraderie or distance, disgust, friendship, masculinity (for women as well) or something else entirely?
  • It is also important data, if you do not overhear people using the word dude very much. In that case, pay special attention, if there is another word used instead. If yes, do you think that substitute word has the same, similar, or entirely different function than the word dude? Describe what that function might be?
  • Organize the paper into three paragraphs:
    • First paragraph: shortly describe the situation(s) (one or more) when the word was used (who was saying what), the context (gender, app. age, social status – eg. student), and where did this conversation take place.

Second paragraph: connect your observations to the following class materials:

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