Examining a Sample Assignment

People often learn better through examples, and even better still if they are doing something active as they learn. So, for this section on reading, we’ll do both.

The example assignment below asks the student to read two texts and write an explanation of how the ideas of one text can be applied to the other. Note that the assignment is incomplete, without length or due date information. For the purposes of this textbook, we’re focusing on reading strategies, so such technical details are not important.

Your instructor will let you know if you will actually do this assignment in your class, but for our purposes, I will use the article by Nicholas Ensley Mitchell throughout this section to demonstrate the strategies that I’m discussing. Then, you can use one of the three articles (or some other reading you are working with) to practice these skills.

Example: An Assignment with Readings

In “The First Battle in the Culture Wars: The Quality of Diversity,” Nicholas Ensley Mitchell argues that we have two options for understanding the quality of diversity: “segregated coexistence” and “living in community.” Using Mitchell’s descriptions of these options, describe how the “quality of diversity” plays a role in the situation described in one of the following three articles:

Consider questions like the following:

  • How has segregated coexistence contributed to the problem described in the article you have chosen?
  • What must be done—either according to the author(s) or according to yourself—to change the situation in that article to a community-based quality of diversity?
  • What might be the outcomes or effects of choosing living in community in that situation?
  • Do you accept Mitchell’s framework (that there are two options: segregation and community)? Why or why not? If not, what alternative framework would you offer and how might that framework apply in this situation?

Finally, your paper must address the following questions:

Do you believe that the option of living in community is viable in the situation described in the article you have chosen? Why or why not? And what does your answer say about the quality of diversity in the United States?



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Reading and Writing Successfully in College: A Guide for Students Copyright © 2023 by Patricia Lynne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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