Sunday, May 2, 2010

Essay #3 Outline

For your last essay, you'll have a chance to go a bit more in-depth, explore your interests in a more open ended way, and do a little of your own research - this means seeking out or creating sources as well as using the ones we've been discussing in class.

Because this essay is a little longer, it's broken down into steps. Your grade on the essay will depend on your work on each of the steps, not just the final product. All the steps except the final essay will take place on the blog. So it's especially important that you check in. Read your colleague's blogs and leave comments and suggestions. I'm working to arrange some lab time so we can use some class time to work with these essays.

There are two main options for the final essay. With option one, you'll interview someone of about their experiences with work. Your final essay will include the notes or transcript from the interview, and edited version, and your reflections drawing connections between the interview, your own experiences, and our course text and themes.

With option two, you'll use your reading of the archive interviews and those from Terkel to select a work-related topic that's of interest to you. Then you'll do research using periodical databases to find current articles that discuss the state of this issue today. With this option, you'll do more of a traditional essay than with option one, but you will also have the opportunity to draw on your own experiences.

Step one: (Due on May 5th or 6th): Archive Blog Post (see below.)
Step two: (Due on May 10th or 11th): Select two interviews from Terkel that interest you. In a blog post of at least 250 words, discuss the issues that these interviews raise. What do they tell us about the factors that shape the experience of work? What questions does it lead you to? Draw connections to other course texts and to your own experiences. Then select a central research question you'd like to know more about.
Step three: (Due on May 17th or 18th): For option one: Select your interview subject and post your list of interview questions. Draw on the archive interviews, Terkel, and the link to the Spring 2009 blog for ideas. For option two: Find at least two outside sources from periodical databases that address the current state of your topic. Some good options: articles from the New York Times, The Daily News, or New York. In your blog post, do an annotated bibliography of your sources, which should include at least two course texts and two outside sources.
Step four: (Due May 24th or 25th) Draft of Essay. For essay one, conduct your interview and write the edited version and your reflections. For essay two, use your course and outside texts to write a text-based essay of at least 1200 words. Respond to at least two colleague's drafts by May 26th/27th.
Final Essays Due on Friday, June 4th, 5PM in my mailbox.

Post your questions in the comments!


  1. For option one: Select your interview subject and post your list of interview questions.
    Quick question, does the interview subject have to be related to anything or is it just anything you are interested to know about.

  2. Hi Shadyboi - Yes, it should be an interview about someone's work life, but within that the questions can be far- reaching. Think about the interviews in Terkel - he interviews people from all walks of life - blue collar, white collar, unemployed, 'just a housewife,' and so on, but we see a lot of connections between them.

    Look forward to reading your interview questions.

  3. Miss! I'm really having trouble where to start with this essay. I've selected option 1, interviewing a person and blah. I interviewed them and wrote the questions down. Now, what do I do next!?!?!?!

  4. what are some questions I can ask to write my essay on?
    I'm interested in immigrant work life.
    The person I'm interviewing relates to this topic.

  5. Tatiana -First - post your interview questions and responses on your blog! This will help a lot in figuring out where to go next.

    You find to find a questoin that works for you - think about the topic of immigrants -start with the interview - what light did it shed on the topic? Then think about course texts that might have connections to these.

    Please also update me on the other work you owe me, since time is running out. We can make arrangmeents for you to make that up during set periods if need be.