Representing Communities

English 104.069
Representing Communities
Overview: In the previous essay we examined, explored and explained your personal identities
using a photograph. Now we are going to expand our scope and skills by looking at objects,
symbols and icons different communities use to identify themselves and distinguish themselves
from others. These identifying marks are commonly produced for mass consumption by those
outside the community; however, they frequently hold slightly different meanings for those who
are considered insiders. The dual meaning of these objects, symbols and icons highlights how
communities form their identity as well as the tension between insider/outsider statuses. To
explore how and why communities use a particular object, symbol or icon, we will again draw
upon the use of a combination of visuals and words to provide analysis. We will also build upon
the writing skills learned in the first essay by considering multiple perspectives, conducting
primary and secondary research, thoughtfully incorporating research, exploring argumentative
structures, and addressing a wider array of sentence level concerns.
Prompt: In 6 pages you will write an essay that uses an object, symbol , icon or other cultural
artifact that represents a specific community as well as primary research and traditional resources
to explore and analyze how a community creates a common identity and what it means to be an
insider or outsider of the particular group. You can choose to analyze the symbols of a
community to which you belong or one that considers you an outsider. Regardless of your status
in the community, you must represent both perspectives (insider and outsider).
To begin, pick a community and identify the cultural artifact that it uses to represent itself.
Because you must explore both sides of the insider/outsider divide you need to select a
community that you can gain access to with relative ease. Once you have chosen the community,
you will need to use what you already know about the community as well as questions you
would like answered to plan and conduct primary research. You will also select one shared
reading and two additional resources that enhance your understanding of the community. In the
end, all of these resources along with your personal experience will be used to craft an essay that
effectively presents both sides of the insider/outsider divide in a particular community.
Some Questions to Consider:
What is the history of the community?
When and why did they adopt this particular symbol to represent themselves?
What might the individual components of the symbol mean?
What does the group stand for? What goals might they have?
Who can be a member of the community?
What does it mean to be an insider? An outsider?
What are some of the misconceptions about this community?
How does the insider perception of the community differ from that of an outsider and vice versa?
Resource Requirements:
For this essay you must thoughtfully incorporate the symbol you are analyzing, the findings of
your primary research, one shared text and two other resources. These resources will need to be
incorporated into your essay using a combination of summary, paraphrase and direct quotation.
Also, make sure that you follow correct MLA format for in-text citations.
Length: Minimum length is six full, double spaced pages of text in 12- point Times New Roman
font with 1 inch margins. You must include a works cited page, but it will not count towards the
six page requirement. Essays containing fewer than 6 full pages of text will not receive a passing
Grade Weight and Criteria: This essay will account for 150 points or 15% toward your final
grade. See pages UK18 to UK22 in The St. Martin’s Handbook for more information on grading.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism occurs when you use someone else’s words, ideas, or sentence structure
without using documentation to acknowledge the original author. Plagiarism will result in a
failing grade for the essay, and in major cases, the course.
Project Two Schedule: This schedule outlines the readings and major project due dates for
essay one. All readings listed are required and should be read carefully for class on the day they
are listed. Although this schedule includes readings and due dates, it does not include everything
we will be doing in class, so attending every day is vital to being prepared for completing project
one to the best of your ability. Unless indicated, all readings can be found in The Engaged
9.17 Introduce Project Two/ Invention and Planning Field Research
9.22 First Annotated Bib Entry and Research Plan Due/ Dobra’s Rites of the Dead
9.24 Ehrenreich’s Serving in Florida / Incorporating Field and Secondary Research/
9.29 Williams’ Clan of One Breasted Women/ Argumentative Structure and Voice
10.1 Eighner’s On Dumpster Diving / Developing Analytical Paragraphs
10.6 Rough Drafts Due to Peer Groups/ Citing Sources
10.8 Peer Review/ Workshop/ Revision Plan
10.13 Riker’s Expectations of an Empty Bottle/ Sentence Variety and cohesion
10.15 Final Draft Due