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ENGH 302-B63 | Fall 2020 | Mini-project 1: Defining Your Sub-discipline Assignment Guidelines | 1
Mini-Project #1: Defining Your Sub- discipline Assignment Guidelines Advanced Composition-Business | ENGH 302-B63 | Fall 2020
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• Peer-feedback draft due: 7:00 PM, Wednesday, 9 September (post to Eli Review) • Peer-feedback due: Noon, Monday, 14 September (using Eli Review) • Submission draft due: Noon, Friday, 18 September (via Blackboard)
For this assignment, you will draw upon your Worksheet #3 data and the Graves and Graves reading “Defining, Describing, and Explaining” to write a 250 to 400-word extended definition of your chosen sub-discipline.
After completing this assignment, you should have a better understanding of and experience with the following course learning goals:
• Use writing as a tool for exploration and reflection in addressing advanced problems, as well as for exposition and persuasion.
• Gather and evaluate evidence appropriate to the inquiry. • Employ strategies for writing as a recursive process of inventing, investigating,
shaping, drafting, revising, and editing to meet a range of advanced academic and professional expectations.
• Identify, evaluate, and use research sources. • Employ a range of appropriate technologies to support researching, reading, writing,
and thinking. • Produce writing that is appropriate for a range of rhetorical situations within your
academic disciplines and possible future workplaces.
Using your collected data and the definitional strategies listed in Graves and Graves, “Defining, Describing, and Explaining,” write a 250 to 400-word stand-alone extended definition of your chosen sub-discipline for an audience of students much like yourself.
As should be clear from the examples in the Graves and Graves reading, think of this stand-alone extended definition as something you might read or for an encyclopedia, for a
ENGH 302-B63 | Fall 2020 | Mini-project 1: Defining Your Sub-discipline Assignment Guidelines | 2
professional organization’s website, or for your major’s departmental website or handout they give to students.
Your extended definition should draw from a number of definitional strategies, including:
• Categorical definitions • Operational definitions • Negative definitions • Description of parts • History/background • Etymology • Examples • Cause and effect • Analogy/comparison
The exact number of definitional strategies you use is up to you, as is the order in which you deploy them. In some cases, a particular strategy might exist within a paragraph using multiple strategies. For instance, a paragraph describing the historical emergence of the sub-discipline and how it is a distinct sub-discipline, a paragraph might include etymology, history/background, cause and effect, and negative definitional strategies. On the other hand, as we can see from the examples in Graves and Graves, a particular definitional strategy might require multiple paragraphs. Some of the key challenges of this assignment are:
• Sifting through and selecting the data/information you wish to use, and continually evaluating those decisions as you draft and revise your extended definition.
• Developing an organizational strategy that suits your needs based upon the data you’ve collected. This may require you to do additional research as you draft and revise your definition.
• Weaving together multiple rhetorical/definitional strategies to create a unified extended definition.
Form/Structure Take a look at some encyclopedia and handbook entries — use the resources described in Worksheet #3 even if you’re not using any of those sources as part of your definition. Even when those entries don’t use headers, they tend to follow a similar pattern: An introduction that gives us a synopsis of the topic followed by a series of paragraphs arranged using some organizational structure. One thing they all do is move from the more general to the more specific.
While there is no one way to write such a definition, I offer here a couple of organizational patterns as possible models. Do not feel like you must use one of these models; instead, develop your own organizational pattern that works for you. And, again, remember, these elements do not represent paragraphs. One element might consist of multiple paragraphs while a number of elements might exist in one paragraph in another context.
ENGH 302-B63 | Fall 2020 | Mini-project 1: Defining Your Sub-discipline Assignment Guidelines | 3
Example Structure 1 1. An introduction 2. A section that uses history/background, etymology, cause and effect, and negative
definition to explain where the sub-discipline comes from and how it is a distinct sub-discipline, and how it differs from some related sub-disciplines.
Example Structure 2
1. An introduction, including a categorical definition and a brief bit of history/background to identify when the sub-discipline emerged
2. An operational definition 3. A description of parts 4. One or more examples
Example Structure 3
1. An introduction, including a categorical definition 2. An explanation of why the sub-discipline emerged, drawing upon both negative
definitions and cause and effect 3. One or more examples detailing the kind of work they produce or research topics
they undertake, using negative definition and comparison to differentiate the sub- discipline’s work from the work of related sub-disciplines.
Formatting/Citation This is a formal written assignment and so it should be formatted according to a specific citation style. I recommend using a system you either know well or is commonly used in your discipline. For some of you this will mean using APA, Chicago, or MLA; however, if your discipline uses IEEE, CSE/CBE, the Bluebook, or some other citation system and you are comfortable with that style, by all means use it.)
Title Make sure you give your extended definition a descriptive title. “Definition” is not descriptive. At the very least, a descriptive title will be the name of the sub-discipline. Depending upon the context you imagine you’re writing your extended definition for, a descriptive title might be “What Is Digital Curation?” or “Economics Engineering Explained.”
Citation/Works Cited Cite your sources using either parenthetical citation or footnotes, depending upon the citation system you choose to use. Also include a Works Cited/Works Referenced section, again following the appropriate style based on your chosen citation system.
Deliverables There are two for this project: The peer-feedback draft to be uploaded to Eli Review and your submission draft.
Peer-review Draft Using Eli Review, please post a draft of your extended definition for peer-feedback.
ENGH 302-B63 | Fall 2020 | Mini-project 1: Defining Your Sub-discipline Assignment Guidelines | 4
Ideally, this draft will be a complete, full draft that you have revised, edited, and proof-read. The more complete and thorough a draft you can submit, the more substantial and useful feedback you can get from your peers. That said, never not submit a partial draft by the deadline simply because it’s a partial draft. Some feedback is usually better than no feedback. After the peer-feedback draft deadline, I will assign you to a peer-review group. The peer- review task will include peer-review criteria.
Late submissions: I try to accommodate late submissions by creating new peer-review groups on a rolling basis, however, this depends upon availability — a peer-review group of one doesn’t work.
Final Version Once you’ve received your peer feedback, please revise your project to submit it for instructor feedback. This submission draft should be a complete, revised, and edited draft of your project.