GLOBAL CHANGE 2018: Writing Assignments

There will be at least two main types of writing assignments (I may add something along the way):

FIRST: read these notes about citation and plagiarismThere will be two main types of writing assignments:
AND, if you're interested in some notes on my favorite (most annoying?) writing problems and peeves, look here

    1. 'Abstracts' :  An 'abstract' is a concise, focused statement summarizing an argument, perspective, idea.  In this case, they are short, flexible essays serving as a vehicle for your own thoughts. MAXIMUM LENGTH is equivalent of one (single-spaced) page -- about 400 words, should generally be enough -- so they need to be tightly focused on a particular idea or question.  The emphasis is on your thinking, not rehashing the reading.  Further points to think about:
    THERE WILL BE SIX OF THESE, and you may skip ONE of them:
    DUE DATES are 
March 1, 15, 29; April 19; May 3, 17
    SUBMIT THESE AS SHARED GOOGLE DOCS OR emailed .doc or .odf file.  FILE NAME SHOULD BEGIN WITH YOUR LAST NAME. Each time, I will 'share back' a selection with the class as a whole (without attribution) for discussion.

    2. 'Critical review' essays:  Slightly longer and more extended analyses of particular pieces of reading/media BEYOND assigned class reading .  C
hoose a paper, document, other publication concerned with the themes of the class (again, NOT one that's assigned for the whole class), read it, think about it, and write about it. The emphasis is on 'critical'; I expect more than restatement of what you read.  Consider implications, discuss strengths and weaknesses of position, point out inconsistencies, reflect on the forum/source, assess rhetorical form and purpose (how do creators make their arguments and how does that influence your perception), etc.  (you can't do all of these things for every review; choose your critical 'thread'..).
    IMPORTANTLY, do NOT simply fall prey to your own predispositions; good critique involves looking at your own assumptions and reactions critically.  Whether you agree or disagree with the object of analysis is far less important to me than your thinking about why you react as you do, how the writer/creator might have been more effective, what they're trying to do, etc. 

    You might address technical/research papers, magazine articles, news stories, or (if it makes sense) a closely linked set of such things. THE IMPORTANT THING: the thing you're reviewing must be substantial (LONG) enough to support several pages of critical commentary and review. For example, simple web pages are often too short/insubstantial.  Similar issues can apply to audio or visual media -- like documentary videos or lectures; they can be appropriate, but many are not ("TED" talks are generally very brief and superficial -- equivalent of just a few pages of text).  IF you tackle video material be aware that similar critical assessment and analysis are expected.  Focus on HOW the makers frame and support their claims and arguments, how they use background material, etc. AT LEAST ONE essay should be about a book or material of comparable magnitude.
    These essays should generally be in the neighborhood of 5 type-written page-equivalents (around 1250 words). 
    Again, submit as shared Google doc or .doc or .odf file with your name beginning file name.
    THREE of these: DUE DATES:
March 19, April 15, May 24