For this assignment, you will interview someone (a friend or acquaintance) who comes from a culture that is different from your own about a social, political, economic, or cultural issue of your choice. The goal for this assignment is to conduct an intimate inquiry into how one’s cultural background shapes one’s perspectives and worldviews. Your interview will be semi-structured: You will develop a series of formal questions that will help you gain deep insight into your interviewee’s background and perspectives. Following your interview, you will compose 500-750 word profile that:
- describes and analyzes your informant’s cultural background and viewpoints and
- reflects on the similarities and differences between his or her experiences and your own.
Your essay should not be just a summary of your informant’s responses, but rather an analysis of how your informant’s culture influences his or her worldviews that compares and contrasts their perspective with your own. You are encouraged (but not required) to incorporate outside primary or secondary sources to create a broader view of your informant.
Sample Essays (Fall 2019)
Throughout the writing process, you will engage in a series of short writing assignments designed to help you hone your research and writing skills while examining the behaviors of others.
- INFORMANT DESCRIPTION
- Provide a brief description (250-500 words) of the individual you intend to interview that includes his/her gender, approximate age, cultural background, and viewpoint on your chosen topic. Be sure to use a pseudonym (a made-up name) to protect the privacy of your interviewee unless he/she gave you written permission to share his or her identity.
- INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Draft 8-10 interview questions to guide your discussion with your subject. Be sure to include a combination of both closed and open questions in order to gather background information and elicit your subject’s perspective.
- INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
- You are expected to have a voice recorder and notebook/pen with you during the interview. Record the whole interview and transcribe it word for word. Note: Your subject must grant consent for you to record. Be sure to include the statement below at the top of your transcription: I have permission from my interviewee to record the interview. The following is an exact transcript of the interview recording.
- Along with your final draft, you will submit a short reflection (250-500 words) in which you address several questions about your experience conducting this interview including (but not limited to):
- Were there any gender, class, race, or age differences that may have affected the way you approached your subject?
- How did you try to either acknowledge or erase these differences and to what extent were you successful?
- How did your interactions change over time in talking with and understanding your subject and his/her worldview?
500-750 words; Size 12 font, Times New Roman, standard margins, double-spaced
Cite all sources in proper APA format. You must include a Works Cited page with your essay. *Note: Works Cited page does not count toward the word count.
You will submit both print and digital copies of this essay. Hard copies are due at the beginning of class on the designated assignment due date. Digital copies should be uploaded online via Blackboard before class.
||REVIEW ESSAY #1 ASSIGNMENT
||INFORMANT DESCRIPTION DUE
||INTERVIEW QUESTIONS DUE
||INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT DUE
||ESSAY #1 FIRST DRAFT DUE
||PEER REVIEW COMMENTS DUE
||ESSAY #1 FINAL DRAFT + REFLECTION DUE
Headline/Lead – 10%
- Is your headline original and catchy? Does it entice the reader to jump right into the story?
- Are your opening paragraphs intriguing and memorable? Do they capture the essence of the story? Do they draw the reader in and make them want to read more?
Content – 30%
- Does your essay provide a compelling analysis of how your subject’s culture influences his/her perspective and how these experiences compare to your own?
- Do you effectively implement the ethnographic perspective by adopting multiple different perspectives in your writing including : (1) your own first-person point of view, (2) the points of view of your informants as you gathered them through interviews (3) a third-person outsider point of view to report on background information and to present events as readers might see them?
Development – 25%
- Does your essay paint a portrait of your informant that is rich with description (character, setting, etc.), contains illustrative (carefully selected) quotes, and thoughtful (but spare) commentary?
- Do you effectively render your data into a thick description of your informant? Do you provide contextual detail when describing and interpreting the social meaning of your data?
Organization – 20%
- Does your essay have a coherent structure?
- Are your ideas united and logically organized in a way that leads to a thought-provoking conclusion?
- Are your paragraphs focused on distinct units of thought, controlled by specific and detailed topic sentences?
- Do you implement appropriate, clear, and smooth transitions?
Style – 10%
- Are the sentences well-worded and well-constructed? Should some sentences be combined for clarity? Should others be broken into two or more sentences, so ideas receive proper emphasis?
- Do you use quotations and APA citations effectively?
Grammar & Mechanics – 5%
- Have you proofread and edited your piece for grammatical and punctuation errors?
|Essay #1: Feature Profile