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Community of Learners NCLC 110
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DISCOVERY READING A LIFE Overview As an Integrative Studies student you will take four interdisciplinary courses this year each of which involves a different set of perspectives and themes In keeping with New Century s emphasis on active learning you will be making connections between and among courses and integrating what you ve been learning One of the primary ways you ll do so is through an individual yearlong research assignment called Discovery Reading a Life In this project you will be learning about an individual from a previous generation in order to consider how your own discoveries about sense of self ways of learning and ways of knowing might compare with the eXperiences of your subject You will also conduct research to determine the conteth of this person s life such as the social and historical forces that in uenced the times in which she or he lived and the groupsicultural ethnic economic or even medicaliof which she was a part In this way you will consider your subject not only individually but as one among many different groups some relatively narrow in membership eg a religious movement and other broader categories eg cancer survivor immigrant Because this is a year of transition and change in your own life we hope you will nd it interesting to consider how another person in a previous generation has responded to and coped with transition and change In addition at this particular historical momentithe beginning of a new centuryiwe hope your examination of these issues will help you learn more about the events and social and cultural fabric of the twentieth century Throughout the year you will be asked to keep a research log detailing your discoveries and evaluating the research process Yearlong Objectives 0 Demonstrate skill in gathering information from a variety of sources appropriate to academic research including oral printed and online sources and utilizing both primary and secondary sources Evaluate analyze synthesize and organize research ndings in order to examine your subj ect s life from multiple perspectives and create new knowledge based on your analysis Develop an understanding of how personal cultural social scienti c and political events create symbiotic relationships between individuals and the broader environment Frame interesting original arguments and positions about your subject s life in clearly written essays supported by appropriate use of carefully documented source material Demonstrate the ability to be selfre ective and selfevaluative during the research process and at the conclusion of the project by connecting and integrating what you have learned in an essay for the yearend portfolio Year at a Glance In each of the four courses of your rstyear curriculum you will be writing a chapter of your project beginning with a research proposal in NCLCl 10 In this rst course the emphasis of the assignment is on choosing a subject writing a biographical essay and developing a research proposal In order to make a good choice of a yearlong subject you will need to look ahead and think carefully about how your person will t with the conteth and issues of the Discovery chapter for each of the following three courses Note as you go through the year your seminar professors may ask to see your previous Discovery chapters in order to understand your project more fully Unit I NCLCllO Fall 2002 Discovery Reading a Life In NCLClZO The Natural World you will focus less on your subject s life and more on a population of which your subject is or has been part By population scientists refer to group of individuals with like characteristics You will need to nd quantitative information about this group so it is best to identify a population that is neither vast nor quite small As an example of membership in various populations you may interview a relative who is one among many high school teachers who received Masters degrees in Biology or English in the 1970s Or you might learn about a medical issue eg diabetes cancer heart disease etc that leads your subject to identify with a national or international health risk population In NCLC130 The Social World you will be examining the social world in which your subject lives or lived For example what changes has society undergone during this person s life What social roles were most important to your subject To which local regional and global groups or communities does this person belong and what beliefs and values do members of these groups share How have the relationships among these multiple communities shaped his or her attitudes What cultural boundaries and borders shape his life How has your subject s life differed from that of her parents In NCLC140 Self as Citizen you will be asked to come back to your subject s life and examine what he has done in the context of effective citizenship In addition you will be asked to consider the actions and values of your subject in regard to citizenship Does she meet your de nition of an effective citizen What has he contributed to the common good Has she made sacri ces for others either within or outside her own family or immediate group If for example you believe that effective citizenship involves taking a stand against discrimination or injustice what evidence can you nd of your subject s doing so Choosing a subject Because you will be spending a lot of time examining this person s life and circumstances you will want to make a wise selection As with most other research topics you will select as a college student you will need your professor s agreement on your choice The selection criteria require that your subject must be 1 At least one generation 25 years older than you 2 A living acquaintance eg mentor neighbor teacher or a relative of yours 3 Someone you regard as a positive gure or role model This will become especially important toward the end of the academic year when you will be asked to consider your subject s positive contributions whether in a family neighborhood community public office etc 4 Someone who is willing and able to meet or talk with you periodically since you will be asked to conduct interviews about 68 times throughout the year in addition to completing other research activities Unit I NCLCIIO Fall 2002 Discovery Reading a Life DISCOVERY READING A LIFE UNIT I ASSIGNMENTS ASSIGNMENT 1 FINDING YOUR SUBJECT 15 points Hand in Research log Due Date Tuesday September 3 Your research log see attached Research Log description and tips at this point should contain your notes in legible form showing the two or three people you might use as a subject for your yearlong project For each potential subject provide a summary entry with the following information I Who is this person eg name relationship to you and any other information you have discovered such as date and place of birth where she has lived occupation major achievements etc I Why is this person interesting to you personally I What are the pros and cons as you see them for choosing this person I Did any of your potential subjects express concerns or have questions about the project Please describe these and how you responded ASSIGNMENT 2 CHOOSING AND INTERVIEWING YOUR SUBJECT 40 points Hand in Preliminary biographical essay interview questions and notes consent form and research log Due Date Tuesday September 10 You continue your research in this second assignment by developing interview questions conducting your rst interview see attached Interview Tips analyzing your notes and overall progress in your research log and drafting a preliminary biographical essay We will discuss your preliminary interview questions and Interview Tips handout in seminar to help you prepare for your rst interview Thinking about your seminar discussions on generations and sense of self plan on including several questions that ask your subject to identify at least one historical social or political event that has been especially in uential or memorable Equot You will need to schedule this interview with your subject planning for about an hour You will hand in your nal interview questions and notes from the interview itself W After reviewing your notes and interview tape if you have one complete a research log analyzing your interview experience eg successes challenges and re ecting on things that went well and things you might want to do differently for your next interview 5 Write a preliminary biographical essay minimum of four pages that creates a narrative introducing your subject Consider what you have learned about your subject Identify what you believe is an interesting theme in her or his life and use this as your organizing principle You will need to include basic biographical information eg date and place of birth where she lived occupation education major achievements etc and any signi cant events achievements or other themes and topics that you learned about during the interview process Begin thinking about ways to make larger observations about your subject s life ASSIGNMENT 3 GETTING READY FOR YOUR SECOND INTERVIEW 25 points Hand in Preliminary questions research log preliminary bibliography Due Date Thursday September 19 For your second interview keep in mind that most good research questions cannot be answered brie y they usually require more complex answers Also your subject may have additional topics she wants to talk about In this second interview he prepared with your own questions but also allow some time for serendipitous discovery Unit 1 NCLCllO Fall 2002 Discovery Reading a Life 1 Review your research log interview notes and preliminary biographical essay to prepare for your second interview Consider what more would you like to learn about your subject in the conteXt of your preliminary essay and the course themes For example I Is there essential biographical information missing Are there areas you need to clarify I What topics from the rst interview were particularly interesting for you I Were there topics that your subject seemed to enjoy talking about How much time do you want to spend following up on these topics I How has information technology in uenced your subject s life I What are your subject s perspectives on the importance and value of learning in his or her life 2 In addition in order to get a start on the information you will need for Units 24 generate questions that would elicit the following information from your subject I At least two groups populations with which this person identi es eg geologists who are women persons with diabetes immigrants to the US during the 1970s etc I At least two historical cultural social scienti c or political events your subject believes were in uential in shaping his or her life and I At least two examples of how your subject believes they are contributing to the greater good eg being a good parent volunteering serving in a public office etc 3 For your preliminary bibliography you will also need to conduct library research to develop a preliminary list of sources at least siX that might be useful throughout the yearlong project As you read in Shopes Making Sense of Oral History a good biographical essay can include memories but must also include evidence of veri cation through research using additional primary and secondary sources 4 Please develop research log entries that address points 13 above ASSIGNMENT 4 A RESEARCH PROPOSAL 70 points Hand in Final biographical essay annotated bibliography complete research log and interview notes from interviews 1 amp 2 Due Date Draft on Thursday 39 26 Final on Friday 39 27 at noon In order to create a successful nal research proposal you will need to review carefully and rethink some of the ideas information and language that you have submitted for earlier assignments Your draft nal biographical essay minimum of siX pages should build upon the information from your second interview Be sure to rework your material rather than simply inserting information throughout Revision is one of the most important ingredients of good writing revising gives you the opportunity to reconsider your organizing themes or framework and thus to present a more compleX and thoughtful narrative Remember at this stage you want your narrative to draw the reader in and provide insight into your subject s unique life eXperiences and perspectives Equot You should narrow down your bibliography to at least three 3 good sources two 2 of which must be scholarly or authoritative eg a government document You will need to write a research log entry in which you eXplain how you used criteria from the phases on Library Research Writing Sources Evaluation andor Internet Source Evaluation to make your nal selection W In the annotated bibliography each source annotation should clearly eXplain how or why you believe this source might be useful to your yearlong research Also indicate whether or not each source is scholarly or authoritative You may choose either APA or MLA style guidelines for preparing your bibliographic citations 3 Please hand in your preliminary and draft biographical essays annotated bibliography complete research log in a folder and all interview questions and notes with your nal essay Unit I NCLCIIO Fall 2002 Discovery Reading a Life RE SEARCH LOG As part of your yearlong research project you are required to keep a research log This log is both an analytical and re ective document written for yourself and shared with your faculty members You should use it as a place to keep records take notes and record ideas questions concerns frustrations insights and new realizations This is the place for comments that do not nd eXpression elsewhere and for recording your plans for future work Each time you work on your yearlong project you should develop an entry 1 recording the progress you are making on your research topic 2 any problems you might be having and 3 what you plan to do neXt In addition to keeping your overall notes and ideas here be sure to detail the speci c work you have undertaken For example record how long you worked where you searched for information individualsexperts with whom you spoke data you recorded and decisions you have made regarding interview questions and bibliographic sources You should also include entries that re ect on how your work is proceeding eg what you are discovering questions you might like to pursue ways in which the course readings and other source materials are in uencing your thinking what you nd puzzling and re ections on classmates contributions to your project As faculty review and evaluate your research log they will be looking for evidence of this kind of thinking on paper TIPS 0 You will need to keep your research log all in one place Purchase a folder to keep all of your entries organized in one place as you will turn in your complete research log periodically throughout the unit for feedback and grading You should also develop a standardized heading for each research log entry that notes the date and entry number This will be particularly helpful for keeping your folder in order and reviewing previous entries When researching or considering a source be sure to get the complete bibliographic data This will save you precious time when you want to locate a particular source for future use You should leave space on each page so that you can reread and make comments on previous entries This kind of doubleentry work helps you to re ect back on the development of your ideas throughout the research process Unit I NCLCllO Fall 2002 Discovery Reading a Life 2003 2004 DISCOVERY READING A LIFE Overview In the New Century College NCC firstiyear program you will take four interdisciplinary courses each of which involves a different set of perspectives and themes In keeping with NCC s emphasis on active learning you will be making connections between and among courses and integrating what you ve been learning One of the primary ways you ll do so is through an individual yearlong research assignment called Discovery Reading a Life In this project you will be learning about an individual from a previous generation Because this is a year of transition in your own life we hope you will find it interesting to consider how someone ofa previous generation has responded to and coped with change In addition we hope your examination of these issues will help you learn more about the events and social and cultural fabric of past decades Year at a Glance In each of the four courses ofyour firstiyear curriculum you will be writing a chapter of your project beginning with a research proposal in NCLC110 In this course the emphasis of the assignment is on choosing a subject writing a biographical essay and developing a research proposal In order to make a good choice of a yearlong subject you will need to look ahead and think carefully about how your person will fit with the contexts and issues of the Discovery chapter for each of the following three courses In NCLC120 The Natural World you will focus on a particular scientific or technological issue in which your subject is interested and about which she would like to see change As a tribute to your subject your assignment is to develop an evidenceibased letter of advocacy on this issue representing your subject s Views and direct it to the attention of someone who could create change or affect outcomes In working with your subject to identify an interesting issue you will want to consider some of the following questions How are we each intimately related to the natural world How do our interactions with the environment affect our health and well being What challenges do we encounter through growth reproduction health and disease In NCLC130 The Social World you will pinpoint and examine an important slice of time for your subject You will consider how societal constructs and in uences affected the actions ofpeople generally and your subject specifically during this time How are social constructs important for understanding both an individual s and a community s identity In what ways were the options facing your subject enhanced or limited by socially constructed notions of race gender and class How do concepts such as identity ideology nationalism and imperialism play a part in shaping this time period and your subject In NCLC140 Self as Citizen you will be asked to come back to your subject s life and examine what he has done in the context of effective citizenship In addition you will be asked to consider the actions and values of your subject in regard to citizenship Does she meet your definition ofan effective citizen What has he contributed to the common good or to community involvement Has she made sacrifices for others either within or outside her own family or immediate group If for example you believe that effective citizenship involves taking a stand against discrimination or injustice what evidence can you find of your subject s doing so Note Save your work in both hard and electronic copies throughout the year Unit I NCLCllO Fall 2003 Discovery Reading a Life Choosing a subject In seminar there will be discussions about choosing appropriate subjects for your project and you will need your professor s agreement on your choice Your subject must be 1 At least one generation 25 years older than you 2 A living acquaintance eg mentor neighbor teacher or a relative ofyours 3 Someone you regard as a positive gure or role model This will become especially important when you are asked to consider your subject s positive contributions whether in a family neighborhood community public of ce etc 4 Someone who is willing and able to meet or talk with you periodically since you will be asked to conduct interviews about 678 times throughout the year in addition to completing other research activities Yearlong Objectives 0 Demonstrate skill in gathering information from a variety of sources appropriate to academic research including oral printed and oniline sources and utilizing both primary and secondary sources 0 Evaluate analyze synthesize and organize research ndings in order to examine your subject s life from multiple perspectives and create new know edge based on your analysis 0 Develop an understanding of how personal cultural social scienti c and political events create symbiotic relationships between individuals and the broader environment 0 Frame interesting original arguments and positions about your subject s life in clearly written essays supported by appropriate use of carefully documented source material 0 Demonstrate the ability to be selfire ective and selfievaluative during the research process and at the conclusion of the project by connecting and integrating what you have learned in an essay for the year end portfolio Unit I NCLCllO Fall 2003 Discovery Reading a Life DISCOVERY READING A LIFE UNIT I ASSIGNMENTS In this course your task is to choose your subject write an introductory biographical essay about him or her and develop a preliminary research plan for your yearlong project This document outlines the individual assignments required for Unit I and provides a list of the criteria faculty will use to evaluate your work I The Sequence The following assignments and activities are planned to help you develop your ideas Due Date Assignment Guidelines and Expectations September 2 Tuesda Seminar Choosing Your Subject Worksheet With handwritten information about at least two individuals ou are considerin for our earlon project September 4 Thursday Seminar lst Interview Preparation Generate aminimum of678 questions that you plan to ask your subject including a brief statement about the importance of each question September 9 Tuesday Seminar lst Interview Biographical Essay 1 At least 4 pages provides basic information aboutyour subject arirl mrr Au th or qu i identi ed during the first interview A photocopy ofactual interview questions and notes that you made during the interview A re ective writin 172 pa es on the interview September 1 8 Thursday Seminar 2nd Interview Preparation imum of678 questions that you plan to ask your subject including a brief statement about the importance ofeach question preliminary list ofsources September 22 lIonday Seminar 2nd Interview Significantly reworked and revised essay at least 5 pages incorporates and works With at least 4 sources sources cited in A or MLA format annotated bibliography list ofspeci c questions to elicit peer feedback Biographical Essay 2 Annotated Bibliography September 26 Friday by noon NCC Of ce Revised Biographical Essay 3 Annotated Bibliography Final version must be at least 6 pages more fully developed and polished re ecting revision and thoughtful incorporation of course ideas All previous drafts peer comments and interview questions and notes October 8 Wednesday by noon NCC Of ce Optional Biographical Essay 4 A final revision to improve your grade can be submittedw1th the Portfolio II ASSESSMENT CRITERIA Below are the criteria your faculty will use in assessing your nal Discovery Project in Unit I Study this carefully so that you know how your work will be evaluated 1 Author draws the reader in Effectively draws the reader in by framing the discussion of Discovery subject and author39s response through skillful use ofrhetorical devices and strategy 2 Identi es subject and hisgher importance to author eg relationship to author reason for choosing this person 3 Overall I I Hgame DlanH is clear to reader throughout explicitly or implicitly based on themes that shape subject s life eg critical eventexperiencerelationship in subjects life to gain reader39s interest and launch discussion of subject 4 Provides appropriate detail 1 to support the organizing principles and Z to sustain the reader39s interest 5 Writer has paid attention to HtechniqueH Chapter is well written with few if any distracting errors of mechanics grammar syntax spelling etc Author has read the essay aloud and edited carefully eliminating Haccidental errorsH such as misspelled words eg uses appropriate quotes and introduces them effectively appropriate initext citations are used and follow APA or MLA style 6 Shows evidence of revision and or working in new material ample evidence that author has thought carefully about the most effective way to organize his her material 7 Chapter meets or exceeds the minimum required length 8 Provides annotated bibliogaphy 9 Provides supporting materials including photocopies of original detailed interview notes questions earlier drafts with feedback etc 10 Overall impression The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and the chapter is memorable Unit I NCLCllO Fall 2003 Discovery Reading a Life III ASSIGNMENTS El Choosing Your Subject Due Date Tuesday September 2 Hand 13911 Worksheet You should complete the worksheet handwritten by identifying and describing at least two individuals you might use for your subject for the yearlong project Please be sure to indicate your preferences between the two potential subjects and summarize or list the advantagesdisadvantages for each El 1st Interview Preparation Due Date Thursday September 4 h Hand 13911 Interview Questions and Explanations Read Interview Checklist pp 2425 AR Prepare a set of678 preliminary questions that you want to ask your subject and provide a paragraph for each question explaining why you want to ask this question ie What information do you intend to gather Why is this information important You will need to schedule an interview with your subject allowing an hour or more for interview El 1st Interview and Biographical Essay 1 Due Date Tuesday September 9 Handin Biographical Essay 1 Photocopy ofinterview questions and notes Signed Consent Form Interview Re ection Read About Interviewing see attached and Writing About People pp 26727 Before conducting your interview review and revise your preliminary interview questions Conduct your first interview analyze the interview process and your notes and draft a preliminary biographical essay Take careful notes be sure to note the date time and place of the interview and your own observations about the setting and the subject s gestures or other nonverbal communication Hand in a photocopy ofyour actual interview questions and raw notes After reviewing your notes and interview tape if you have one prepare a re ective writing 12 pages typed analyzing your interview experience eg What seems especially important or central to this person s life What was the most compelling thing your subject said What about the interview process was effective What would you change if you could do it over again What will you do differently for your next interview Based on your interview and your re ection write a biographical essay minimum of 4 pages typed to introduce your subject There are two major purposes of this essay include information about each I To begin identifying important foci or themes in this person s life for example overcoming obstacles learning to cope with change personal growth accomplishment or values I To provide basic biographical information eg date and place of birth where she lived occupation education major achievements etc El 2nd Interview Preparation Due Date Thursday September 19 Handiu Interview Questions and Explanations Preliminary List of Sources Review your interview notes and Biographical Essay 1 Consider what more you would like to learn about your subject in the context of your Discovery Project and the course themes In this second interview be prepared with questions but also allow time for followeup and serendipitous discovery Most good research questions cannot be answered brie y they usually require complex answers Also your subject may have additional topics she wants to talk about In addition you will need to prepare questions to get you started on thinking about Units 274 You will also conduct library research to develop a preliminary list of sources at least 6 that might be useful throughout the yearlong project Unit I NCLCllO Fall 2003 Discovery Reading a Life El Biographical Essay 2 Due Date Monday September 22 Handin Biographical Essay 2 Annotated Bibliography and List of Questions for Peer Feedback Read Intention Developing Your Ideas and Invention Checklist p 14 Drafting and Drafting Checklist pp 14715 and Donald Murray Creating a Design p 113 The purpose of this revision is to enlarge the scope ofyour essay A good first step is to review carefully and rethink the ideas information and language you have submitted for earlier assignments This essay must be at least 5 pages Your essay must incorporate and discuss material from your two interviews In addition you will need to find two scholarly or authoritative sources that supply useful information about your subject s life and times For example you could find information about your subject s profession or about a social or medical issue important to her or him Include all four sources interviews and two others in an Annotated Bibliography which explains 1 how each source might be useful to your yearlong research 2 how you determined the quality of the sources eg primary scholarly authoritative etc drawing from evaluation criteria learned in the various phases You may choose either APA or MLA style guidelines for preparing your bibliographic citations see Hacker for guidelines El Biographical Essay 3 Due Date Friday September 26 by noon 1200 pm Handin Biographical Essay 3 Annotated Bibliography All earlier draft versions with peer comments interview questions and notes from 1St and 2 interviews Read Reivision and Revision p 16 Revision Checklist p 16717 Style and Editing pp 17719 Research Report Checklist p 29 AR Using the feedback you got from the Writing Workshop reconsider expand and polish this 67page biographical essay Revision is one of the most important ingredients of good writing revising gives you the opportunity to reconsider your organizing themes or framework and thus to present a more complex and thoughtful narrative Remember at this stage you want your narrative to draw the reader in and provide insight into your subject s unique life experiences and perspectives Please hand in your Biographical Essays 1 8c 2 with all faculty and peer feedbaclg and photocopies of all interview questions and notes El OI TIONAL Final Revision Biographical Essay 4 Due Date Wednesday October 8 by noon with the Unit I portfolio Handin Revised Biographical Essay Annotated Bibliography All earlier draft versions with peer comments interview questions and notes from 1St and 2 interviews Read Wendy Bishop Revision is a Recursive Process pp 116118 Unit I NCLCllO Fall 2003 Discovery Reading a Life