Read Farm: A Multi:Modal Reader:
“Through a Child’s Eyes,” pp 226-30
“Farms and Film,” pp 287-90
“List of Literature with Farm Themes,” pp 373-5.
“Evaluative writing is an enormously practical form, relevant in all sorts of situations in and out of school. Quite simply, we turn to it when we are asked to make a judgment of value, and then develop that judgment into something that goes beyond a gut reaction and unstated assumptions” (Bruce Ballenger, Curious Writer).
Choose a book or film that focuses on farm as a major theme. Write an academic review of the book or film positioning it in a scholarly debate about farm literature and culture. Provide:
Important production information
Short plot summary
NOTE: YOU MAY PROPOSE A TITLE NOT INCLUDED ON THE LISTS IF YOU MAKE A GOOD ARGUMENT FOR IT
Analyze text through the lens of agriculture
Identify agricultural and literary themes that cut across human history and culture
Practice evaluation as a method of inquiry
Articulate your knowledge of agriculture that could create or join a conversation about your chosen book or film.
NOTE: Reviews for an academic audience are different than, say, the film review you read in a newspaper or Rotten Tomatoes. Your review should be thesis driven.
Read and compare the following reviews about the same book, Weeds: A Farm Daughter’s Lament. The review by Tyler Nickl is considered an academic review because it is thesis driven.
Conference with Writing Fellow after your first draft
Chosen book must be at least 250 pages in length. If you choose children’s literature, you might read a series to meet the page requirements. A film must be at least 90 minutes running time.
Propose your chosen text at least two week before the deadline for the final review
If other sources are used, include references at the bottom of the page in MLA format
You must state your thesis with an eye toward farming and defend your claims about the book or film
You will be graded on the following:
Clarity and focus
Identifying the specific elements that you are judging
Effective and appropriate use of criteria to measure your evaluation of the element
Use of specific evidence from the text to support your claims
Inclusion of a clear, informed, and balanced judgment, as opposed to a biased gut reaction
Adherence to the scoring standard found in the grading rubric
Steps for writing:
Choose a text that you are interested in and want to analyze and explicate further.
Read or view with a pencil (take notes)
Identify the elements you are judging and establish the criteria to measure them by
Read the reviews supplied in the book and on Canvas
Reread or rewind to specific parts you want to analyze
Draft. Don’t limit yourself to just two drafts. Good writing and, by extension, good thinking takes time and effort.
Polish your draft and post to your blog.
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