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Course: English 1101 Instructor: Anthony Borrero Email: Aborrero@uncc.


Project #2: Profile of a Writer - An Auto-Ethnography I. General Assignment Description: Throughout this semester, and more specifically, in the MultiModal Literacy Narrative project, we have explored your history as a reader, writer, and communicator, and have begun the process of connecting your past experiences with who you currently are as a writer. For our second major project, you will continue the exploration of your writerly self by not only exploring what you actually do when you write, but also what those practices say about you as a writer, and how your writing is impacted by the practices you conduct. II. Purpose of Assignment: The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to literally see yourself as a writer through learning about what you actually do when you write. Through recording, analyzing, and reflecting on your practices as a writer, you will not only gain a deeper understanding of your own unique writing process (and I stress the word unique because your practices are indeed unique to you), but will also gain a stronger understanding of how your habits and practices can both facilitate and inhibit your writing. In short, by gaining a stronger understanding of what you do when you write, you will have a stronger understanding of who you are as a writer and will be able to use the knowledge you gain to improve your skills as a writer. III. Assignment Description (Summary): For this assignment, you will take the role of an ethnographic researcher in order to study your actions, practices, and habits as a writer. While ethnographers are traditionally concerned with studying the practices, behaviors, language, and attitudes of a large group of people in order to learn about an entire culture or sub-culture, for this project, you will be the main focus your research. This is why the project is called an auto (or self) ethnography. Since this project will require you to document your working process, it is important that you know how to use your computers audio and video recording devices (If your computer has none of these capabilities, contact me so we can discuss alternate means of recording yourself). In order to analyze your practices as a writer, this project will be conducted in two parts: Part 1: Portrait of a Writer Part 2: Analyzing Your Portrait


Part 1: Portrait of a Writer: Within the world of art, a portrait is typically defined as an image that captures an individual during a specific moment. For this project, you will be composing a portrait in which you attempt to capture yourself in the act of writing. But in order to do this, you must first have something to write about. While it may be easy to think of your writing process in simple terms (for example, in your Writers Praxis Log, many of you described your writing process by stating, I just sat down and started writing.), in reality, your process and practices are much more complicated than you think. From the places you choose to work and music you listen to, to the technology you use and various methods you employ to organize your thoughts, each persons process and practices are not only unique, but specially tailored to serve the purpose of that individual writer. Having said that, to begin this project, I want you to compose an essay in which you attempt to identify specific habits and practices that you have conducted within your individual writing process. In order to do this, I want you to look through the work you have completed for this course (as well as your other courses) and consider what you can determine about your writing process, the practices you conduct when writing, and the actions you perform to compose texts. As you compose your essay, consider what you notice or already understand about yourself as a writer, what habits or trends you see emerging, how you see your practices being represented in the work you produce, as well as more specific (i.e. little narratives) that can convey your beliefs and practices for engaging with each of the major phrases of the writing process, which includes but is not limited to: setting the tone for where and how you will write, planning/prewriting, drafting, and revising your work. As you begin your essay, you may consider some of the following points to get some initial ideas: Consider what you already understand about yourself as a writer and how you engage with the act of writing (i.e. habits, trends, practices, etc.). Consider how you engage with the various phases of the writing process. Consider what the work you have done can unveil about your writing process. Look at it closely. Consider what kinds of writing you enjoy and/or dread. Consider what practices have helped you as a writer and what has held you back. In short, for this essay, your goal is to reflect on the habits and practices you conduct as a writer, and to explain your unique process for composing works. Your essay should be no less than 2 pages typed, standard MLA format.


How to Record Your Writing Process: As you write the Portrait of a Writer essay, record yourself with video and audio every time that you work on itthis includes even times when you are thinking and planning for it, or when you are revising. You may not always be near your recording device when you are planning, so keep a log in which you note your thoughts about the assignment.

When you sit down to type the paper, think out loud the entire time. Try to externalize everything that youre thinking even if you dont believe that its on topic. While thinking out loud may feel strange at first, it is pivotal that you externalize your thoughts so that you have plenty to reflect on when you watch your video at a later date. To document your working process, you will use your computer to record yourself in a manner that is similar to if you were video chatting with a friendyou will face your computer, the camera will point at YOU, and your actions and commentary will be the focus of your recording. Aside from recording your actions and the environment you are writing in, the video will also document your commentary you provide about your work and thought process. Please remember: If you choose stay quiet during your video session and do not narrate your working process and your thought process, you may not gain much from the film when you have to analyze it at a later date. In short, record everything you do and comment as much as you can. VI. Due Dates: Your Portrait of a Writer essay (AKA Part 1 of this project) as well as your video recordings (submitted on CD, DVD, USB, or digital hyperlink) are due on the following date: If you have our class on Tues/Thurs: October 4th (10/4/11) If you have our class on Wed/Fri: October 5th (10/5/11)

Once you have submitted part 1 of your auto-ethnography, we will then begin part 2 (For now, dont even worry about part 2).