“Major” Paper

CRTW 201

Dr. Fike

Directions: Bring a large (8.5 by 11”) blue book to class (blue books are available at the bookstore). You will write your essay in a blue book, using a blue or black ballpoint pen. Do some preparation before class (any degree of preparation is okay as long as you fill out your blue book in class; bring books and notes to use in class). Use a blue or black ballpoint pen and write only on one side of each page in your blue book. Your handwriting needs to be big enough to read but not so big that there is no gap between the lines of text. Skip lines if you have huge handwriting (you may need 2 blue books in this case). Structure your essay by answering the following questions. Number your answers. Skip a line between answers. (Note to English majors: Nosich's analysis of the English major is not very good.) Regarding length: I'd like you to write at least a substantive paragraph (read: a page in your blue book) for each question. Some questions may need less; some may require more. A 1- or 2-sentence response will definitely not suffice. Finally, you are responsible for bringing a copy of this assignment sheet to class.

You may find inspiration here: Nosich chapter 3 handout.


Honors students: Your major paper is 5 points out of your final grade.

Question One:

Nosich 112: “A good first step toward taking on the perspective of the discipline is at least to identify its domain.” What is the “domain” of your discipline? What does it encompass? What are its subfields? See page 112ff. Your response should be a paragraph, not just one sentence.

Question Two:

Nosich 95: “Ultimately, we can display the logic of a field by analyzing it in terms of the elements of reasoning.” What is the “logic” of your discipline? See page 95ff. Note that you will need to apply the questions on page 68 in order to discuss the logic of your major. Try to be concise here: one or two sentences per element, not a whole par. per element. Underline the name of each element the first time you mention it. You must use all 10 elements here. And note that I am not asking you to analyze what it is like to be a major in ____ department, yourself, your future job, or what "some people" erroneously assume about your future job. Analyze your discipline—a body of academic material.

Question Three:

Nosich 101: Fundamental and powerful concepts “are the most central and useful ideas in the discipline.” What are the most fundamental and powerful concepts within your discipline? See pages 101ff. In other words, think of your response to #3 as a development of the concepts section of #2. What kind of conceptual connections (see page 112) emerge when you take a closer look at your major? Do an SEE-I for at least one FPC. But you must discuss more than that one concept. What FPCs did you learn in your courses?

Question Four:

Nosich 115: “background stories are strong impediments to critical thinking in all fields.” What FBIs, especially background stories, do you bring to your major? The grey box on page 91 is relevant here: what do you find easy/hard to believe in your major—and why do you find it so? Pages 114-16 are also relevant. (Question four is about what leads up to your thinking in your major.)

Question Five:

How do you see the world differently because you are a(n) _____ major? Do you “trust” your discipline? Have you “internalized” your field? The material on pages 112-14 and 118ff. may help you formulate an answer. (Question five is about the implications and consequences of your thinking in your major.)

Question Six:

Discuss how your disciplinary thinking intersects with Wilson and your presentation. Deploy some of the standards to evaluate how well your major and your chapter fit together (you should use at least three standards). Some reference can be made here to FPCs in question three.