I have a rhetoric&research writing course. If you good at it and have time to finish it. I’d like to share the whole semester assignment with you.
Please write a short—i.e, about a 500- or 600-word—introduction of yourself as a writer, reader, researcher, critical thinker, engaged citizen.
One possible place to start is to think about specific times in your life—at college or before college, in a class at school or in a non-academic context—when you’ve gotten excited about writing, reading, or researching something. Reflect a little on these moments of excitement (and again, they don’t have to be drawn from an academic context). What was it that made these moments more fun or interesting than other experiences you’ve had with writing, reading, and researching? Were there particular discoveries that you made about yourself as a writer, reader, or researcher during these moments? Can you quote a specific passage that you wrote or read—or can you describe in detail some research that you did—and explain what made it interesting/exciting for you?
Here’s another possible prompt: think about a time when you’ve been moved to learn more about (or even take action with regard to) a particular social or political issue. What was it that made you interested in this particular problem? How did you go about deepening your knowledge of it? Are there political/social issues that you’d like to learn more about or get more involved in right now? If so, why? How might you begin to do so?
Have there been moments in your life when you’ve felt like an “engaged citizen”? If not, why not? What does being engaged in political or civic life mean to you, if anything? Voting in elections? Being part of a club on campus? Volunteering at a soup kitchen? Fighting to expand the rights of immigrants in the US? Something else?
What does “critical thinking” mean to you? Can you give specific examples from your own experience of moments when you’ve “thought critically” about something? (Not “criticized” something—that’s not the same thing!) Again, feel free to think about examples that don’t come from an academic context….
You certainly don’t have to respond to all (or even any) of the questions/prompts above. But please try to give specific examples from your past as a writer, reader, researcher, critical thinker, and/or engaged citizen. And if you’d like to use “multi-modal” elements—for instance, audio clips, videos, graphics, screen captures, links, whatever you like—feel free to do so!
Here are a few more prompts, in case you weren’t taken with the questions/suggestions above:
When did you recognize a successful writing strategy in your own work, and how did you see it, finally, exemplified on the page? Explain, and give your best example.
Have you had success with particular organizing or outlining strategies, or other methods or writing?
What specific element of a past writing class do you most value or best remember? For instance, thesis development, appealing to an audience, understanding purpose, recognizing tone? Arguments constructed on logos, pathos or ethos?
What is an area you do well at in writing, and what is an area you’d like to improve in?
2. reading question
Read the Introduction (pp. 1-14) and Chapters 12-13 (pp. 291-323) of Temp, as well as the New York Times (Links to an external site.), LA Review of Books (Links to an external site.), The Nation (Links to an external site.), and Harvard Business Review (Links to an external site.) reviews of Hyman’s book. Make sure to annotate and take notes on the texts.
Now, do your best to answer the questions below in a few (i.e., 3-4) sentences. You’ll almost certainly need to re-read certain passages and look up certain terms in order to do this. Also, it will probably be a good idea to mark the passages and note down the page numbers where you found your answers.
1) In the Introduction of Temp, Hyman writes that the post-1970 transformation of the American workforce “was not a conspiracy of a few, but a consensus of the many” (5). What does he mean by this? What were some of the shifts that led to the transformation of work that Hyman is trying to explain?
2) What does Hyman mean by the “Second Industrious Revolution”? How does he compare the shifts that took place in 18th- and 19th-century capitalism to the organizational and technological shifts taking place today?
3) On p. 292 of Chapter 12, Hyman quotes Stephane Kasriel, the CEO of Upwork: “There is nothing new here. Firms have been subcontracting to other firms for decades.” This seems to confirm Hyman’s argument that technology hasn’t caused the “gig economy,” but simply reinforced it. Yet Hyman does seem to think that there is something genuinely new about recent online platforms like Upwork, Uber, Etsy, etc. What?
4) Describe the connection that Hyman makes between Virtual Reality (VR) technology and the “migration problem.”
5) In a few sentences (or perhaps even a short paragraph), do your best to describe (in your own words) the overall argument that Hyman will be making in this book.
First, read the Introduction (pp. 1-14) and Chapters 12-13 (pp. 291-323) of Temp, as well as the New York Times (Links to an external site.), LA Review of Books (Links to an external site.), The Nation (Links to an external site.), and Harvard Business Review (Links to an external site.) reviews of Hyman’s book. You might also browse the CQ Researcher article on “The Gig Economy.”
Now, I’d like you to write 2-3 sentences in which you define the 10 terms, laws, policies, and historical movements/moments/processes listed below. Please do not simply copy-and-paste the first few sentences of the Wikipedia article (though Wikipedia might be where you start your research). Try to go deeper. For a broad term like “Labor Union” or “Keynesianism,” think about how these terms relate to Temp. What is the most important thing for you to understand about these terms with regards to Hyman’s argument? For the more specific terms—e.g., “Great Recession of 2008” or “IRS Form 1099″—try to include a little background for these terms. For example, what are some of the causes and consequences of the “Great Recession”? How might this connect to changes in the way people work in the U.S.?
The point of this assignment is to begin building a vocabulary so that we can understand the context for the argument that Hyman is making in Temp. Building your vocabulary is part of research! The more fully you understand these terms now, the easier the reading (and your Contexts Project research, too) will become.
1) Temporary Agency
2) Management Consulting
3) The New Deal (mention the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938)
4) Labor Union
7) Great Recession of 2008
8) Income Inequality + Wealth Inequality (what’s the difference?)
9) IRS Form 1099 (vs. Form W-2)
10) Adjunct Faculty in higher education