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Autoethnography Essay

For this assignment you have a variety of options. Central to each of these is to present an analysis of a culture in which you are a member in such a way that an outsider to that culture can gain insight.

Option 1: Write an essay that explores an event or memory that defines your place in a particular culture. You may want to reflect on your childhood experiences—your family, your likes and dislikes, particular events that shape who you are, role models, etc. Then consider the ways those early experiences might account for the type of culture you feel a part of today or once felt a part of. The key here is not so much to tell a story, but rather to illuminate a culture and its impact on you (and on other members of the culture) through the lens of that event. “My American Dream” in CCM is a good example of this.

Option 2: Think about a culture you participate in and identify with. You goal will be to describe that culture to outsiders by focusing on a few elements of it in detail. Use “thick description” to convey these elements and reflect on the cultural values they represent

Option 3: Conduct an interview with another member of the particular culture you describe. Put your interviewee’s point of view in dialogue, or perhaps in tension, with your own. You will notsimply be reporting an interview. Rather you will want to integrate parts of the other person’s perspective into your essay.

Option 4: Find a document or artifact about this culture and analyze it, reflecting on how the object you’ve chosen represents the culture or illustrates a unique aspect of the culture.

Special Considerations:
You are required to integrate visual representations to illustrate/explain some aspect of the culture in your writing. Scanners to digitize paper-based materials are available in the Center for Information Management in the Library. They are also available in Gaskill 201, another robust computer lab on campus with a number of machines and multimedia capabilities.

4-5 double-spaced pages of text or its equivalent (not counting images)

Due Dates
Mid-Process Draft: August 31
Publication Draft: September 7

Upload the essay to your Blackboard site, naming the file yourlastname_auto_essay

Evaluation Criteria
__Introduction is interesting, inviting the reader into the essay and clearly setting out the specific focus of the essay with either an implicit or explicit thesis.

__All claims and statements are supported with sufficient evidence (details, examples, facts) that effectively illustrate aspects of the culture in such a way that an outsider to that culture gains insight.

__Body paragraphs show unity (roughly one topic per paragraph).

__Paragraphs are organized in a logical manner that aligns with the rhetorical purpose and style of the essay.

__Paragraphs show sentence-level coherence. That is, the ideas expressed and how they are expressed take the reader smoothly from one point to the next.

__Conclusion emerges from essay but also points toward new directions or interpretations.

__Writing exhibits voice and style consistently throughout the piece. Word choice fits the tone and style.

__Spelling, punctuation, and grammar conform to Standard English Usage .

__Visual images support the purpose of the essay and are explained/alluded to in the text.

Remember to include a title.


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