Writing|Doing and Writing|Participation and Presentation

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

 

Ethnic History is due on the third class day: Type a three page personal ethnic history. This paper should
describe your ethnic identity. For example, what kind of jokes does your family tell or spurn? What kinds of foods do you eat, especially at certain times of the year? What are your family expectations about education? Who lives with your family or who do you visit often? What is the role of language within your family? Do you have an accent? How does the region of the country you are from affect you.These are not limiting, but are rather suggestions about topics to think about when writing your history. These papers will be read aloud during class so that everyone has the opportunity to learn about everyone else.

The purpose of this assignment is to allow students to get to know each other in new ways. A bonding occurs when we know more about individuals' backgrounds because we are more aware of unique perspectives garnered from their families or origin.

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Research Proiect: Each of you individually will write a paper that addresses your group topic. Your research project will be in the same general area as your class discussion group. You will be able to learn to think critically about a psychological topic that personally intrigues you. You will be able to be more skeptical about research, understand how biasing occurs, and develop alternate hypotheses. You will also learn to appreciate diversity and understand how the very nature of diversity can limit (or enhance) individuals' potential. I also hope that you will become fascinated with the world of research. Early in the semester the class will visit the library electronically and learn how to conduct background research for your paper. The nature of the past research will help you to determine what kind of paper you want to write as well as what areas have already been investigated.

Types of papers (and examples): (from Margaret Matlin)


A. Archival Analysis. A quantified inspection of magazines, books, and other media or documents. This means that you will use these documents to gather your own data. For example you might determine how often national news magazines include information about groups that are not Caucasian. Select a sufficiently narrow topic so that the information is manageable. This could be an paper that uses the Internet if that is a place that you are skilled!

"Gender stereotyping of leisure activities as portrayed in travel brochures"

"How gender influences Talk Show Interviews"

B. Questionnaires. Devise your own questionnaire and distribute to an appropriate sample of respondents. The questions need to examine interests, activities, and beliefs. Attach all data.

"Level of job satisfaction at UR across staff positions"

"Perceptions of second generation Europeans concerning the demise of Communism"

"Admission standards to universities: Should they change in order to guarantee diversity?"


C. Naturalistic observation. Record behavior in a natural setting. This can include non-verbal as well as verbal behavior. You could also make a video and provide your own commentary.


"Dancing patterns of Afro-Americans in all black or predominately white settings"


"Common activities of blue collar workers on a Saturday afternoon"


It is important that regardless of what you choose to do that you follow APA ethical guidelines. This means that you need to guarantee anonymity for participants, keep all information confidential, not invade personal privacy without informed consent, and not cause any psychological or physical harm, not offend others. Informed consent is difficult to obtain in observations, so we can ask other students and faculty whether they believe that the research falls within ethical guidelines. If you choose to complete a questionnaire study, then you need to have your proposal reviewed by the Institutional Review Board. This permission is not difficult to obtain, but there are forms to complete and the process takes about a week. You will need to plan ahead.

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Journals. Because this is a class that may provide you with information that conflict with what you believe and may challenge some of your values, it is important that you have the opportunity to express yourself, especially to each other. You also may find that class time won't always allow "finishing" a topic. As a result we will have group journals using the computer bulletin board. The rules for the journal are that

f. Grading will be based on completion of the assignment as described - 10 substantive entries spread throughout the semester. 10 points per entry.

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Diversity Awareness. It is essential to become more personally aware of the complexity of diversity issues through experiences that you have. You need to find a way to experience cultures that are different from your own. Attend lectures, see documentaries, visit churches, attend social events, participate in volunteer activities [See Marci Bozeman, coordinator of LINCS]. (Fortunately, the University of Richmond has made a good effort to provide you with a lot of these opportunities. Take advantage of them. Also,there are many ethnic festivals in the city of Richmond. Class differences are obvious within the university environment. Try to find a place where you will be the minority person.

Write a maximum3 page paper about your experience. What was the general nature of what you did or read? What did you observe? What did you learn? What kind of biases do or do not exist that you noticed?

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Class Discussions: The class will be arbitrarily separated into four sections: gender; race; class,and ethnicity/religion; and gay, lesbian, bisexual . Each of you will select one of these groups for the core articles! Feel free to be original in your presentation -- fish bowls, skits, transparencies, etc. Be sure to stress THREE points from each of the core articles that you think are critical to the authors' point. Build your discussion around those 3 points. Remember that you are TEACHING this material. What you don't want to do is lose your audience. If there is something you would like your fellow students to have prepared before your presentation be sure to give them advance notice. (If anyone who is not a member of a particular group wishes to read the core readings, they will be available outside my office.)

The reading group will know "extra" material that would normally be the basis for lectures on the topic. Each member of the group will be responsible for ALL of the material. You should be able to discuss all the articles, interact with each other about similarities and differences and show how "extra" articles either support or disconfirm information you have learned. We present evidence in order to persuade and in order to illuminate. When you present information for the rest of the class, keep your points in mind. You may even want to provide an outline. Note that active listeners learn more than passive listeners. Feel free to use multi -media equipment with which you are familiar. As you prepare this information, realize that you may entertain if you wish but entertainment should enhance the points that you are making rather than be your sole purpose. Remember, too, that you need to work cooperatively. You are not merely having a conversation with your classmates but are TEACHING them information that only your group has mastered.


Group presentation grading will be based on the ability of both you as an individual and your group to present the evidence in the articles; to show thorough knowledge of all of the articles; to disseminate the information in an engaging manner; to be clear and correct in your explications; to be able to answer questions from the class; to gather information that goes beyond the "required" readings; and to include your analysis of the methods used.

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Book Discussions: Your professor will lead the discussions on all of the books, but your assistance will be needed.

A. For each day of class book discussion you must write two questions you would like to have addressed. You will meet in small groups before each class and choose the best question from your group, which, in turn, will be discussed. These questions should be substantive, addressing the important aspects of the materials, they may not be "yes-no", and they may be creative calling on discussants to examine the nature of particular statements or imagine similar situations. All of the questions will be collected at the end of the class. Be sure that your questions focus on important points not just things that intrigue you. [Use this method for Bigotry, prejucdice and Hatred, Even the Rat was white, Families on the Fault Line]

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B. Keep a page of notes. On this page record at least five complete thoughts, ideas, reflections, or ideas about that reading that you will be willing to discuss in class. Examples might include

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