inquiry-into-self-paper

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Where do you come from? How has academics shaped you? How have you been influenced by education, teachers, parents, and experiences? Throughout the semester, we’ll talk about the influence of context/events on our writing and the different ideas and opinions we bring to individual writing situations. Understanding how our opinions are tied to “where we come from” can be very helpful in making our opinions and perspectives understood by people who are influenced by different contexts.

Because experienced writers are thoughtful about how their worldview influences who they are, how they write, and what they write about, this course begins by asking you to describe and reflect on how a particular event has shaped your writing. The goals of this assignment, then, are to think through the influence of a particular context/event on some aspect of your writing (an opinion, an action, a belief, etc.) and share it with your classmates as a way of both getting to know one another and preparing for the less familiar audiences we will be writing to later in the course. For this week, select a context that you think has had a significant impact on your writing, and describe and critically reflect on that context in such a way that readers who have little experience with it can both understand the context and why you see it as significant to who you are as a writer.

The contexts/events I would like you to consider is as follows: An experience with a teacher/coach, whether positive or negative, an assignment or assignments that had an impact on your writing, your parents’ position on education/ writing, a personal preference/ experience that has shaped your idea of writing. In these cases, it may be more interesting to investigate how we think we do not fit easily with the expectations of us.

We will be doing a lot of generative writing to expand on the broad and local contexts that matter to us. Selecting an item, you can brainstorm using a series of questions:

  • How am I different than others who share this context/event with me? What accounts for those differences?
  • What kind of person would I be if I had a much different context/event than X (e.g. was a different gender, grew up in another town/school, etc.)?
  • How has this context/event influenced who I am today as a writer?

Be sure to answer this question in your explorative essay: What is writing to you?

These are not questions that you necessarily need to answer in the paper, but they may provide one way to begin thinking about how a particular context influences you. Write your paper in 2-3 double spaced pages. Use Times New Roman, size 12, 1 inch margins as guidelines

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