Summer 2008 Projects, English 111-01

Since we have a short, eight-week summer term, we will significantly compress the schedule for the semester, and, at the same time, will do what we all would really like to be doing: enjoying the summer.  You will write four papers, do an "experts team" project, build a web folio in which to publish the papers on the Internet, and do four other graded projects related to development of the major papers.  From the Richmond area through south Hampton Roads, there is a lot going on during the summer and lots of things to do. All but one of the papers will be at least 500 words in length (two full pages) but no more than 750 words in length (three full pages), and at least two projects will include information from other published sources, which will be documented correctly, according to MLA conventions.  To allow for flexibility in the schedule to conduct the "experiential research" necessary to complete the writing projects, papers 3 and 4 may be turned in out of order; however, on the due dates assigned, a paper will be turned in. 

For starters, let's get to know each other by playing "Survivor
Survival Paper: This is a one- to two-page paper. Write it with the members of your base group. (If you did not make it to class today, write this paper on your own.) Using what you know from our discussions and your research on the survival scenario, write a story about how you and the members of your base group (those present today, at least) made it out of the situation successfully. Tell it as a story: who brought which items and why, how did you decide what to do, what did you do with the items, and what was the outcome of your adventure? Additionally, include the information about each member of your group from the grid that you wrote on Monday and discussed today.

Paper length: 300 to 600 words.

Essay assignment #1: A "Hidden Treasure" or "Minor" Attraction
While we live in a major tourist area which attracts thousands of visitors every year, there are many enjoyable places that aren't necessarily widely known.  One of these may be your favorite fishing spot, a quiet family park in your neighborhood, a crafts shop where you go to work on your hobby, an island with sandy beaches in the middle of a local river, the Watermen's Museum in Yorktown, Bluebird Gap Farm, War Memorial Stadium, a fishing charter, the Casemate Museum, a favorite golf course, or, or, or...  Write an essay describing such a place that is special to you, for whatever reason, but a place that someone reading your web folio might also be able to enjoy.

Guide sheet for production and evalution of the minor attraction paper.

Essay assignment: A Restaurant Review
Where do you go when you go out to eat?  What places do you recommend to friends who ask about a good meal?  What is your favorite restaurant?  Have you ever read a review of your favorite restaurant or of a restaurant which you had recently visited for the first time?  Did you agree with the reviewer or disagree?  I think we are all restaurant reviewers because, at one time or another, we have all recommended or advised against going to eat at a certain place based on our experiences of it.  So here is some very difficult homework to do: Go eat at a local restaurant.  Then, having done your experiential research, write a review of the place.

Guide sheet for production and evalution of the restaurant review.

Essay assignment: An Entertainment Review
There are a lot of entertainment venues to visit during the Summer months, so participate in one and then write a review of it: a play, a concert, a dance performance, a festival of some sort, etc.

Guide sheet for production and evalution of the entertainment event paper.

Final Paper

Option 1:  "What We Really Need Around Here Is..."
This summer we have focused on how to enjoy life during the warm months, and that's exactly what we should do for the rest of the season. But before we do, think about what is lacking, what we still need in this area, or in your community, or in your neighborhood, to improve the quality of life or to  expand the opportunites for recreation, leisure, or entertainment.  Research what it would take to make this thing a reality (the costs, location, etc.), target the audience which is in a position to implement your suggestion, and convince that person or group to take action.

Option 2:  An independent project related to our theme
Our theme for the term is "fun in the summer."  You can either choose to write the above persuasive/argumentive topic, or you can pitch an idea to me for my approval.  I will approve it if it relates to the summer fun theme, if it is substantive, and if it is not a repeat of a previous project.

Option 3:  A Major Attraction in this Area
People come to this area from all over because they love to go to the Mariners Museum, Nauticus, the Air and Space Center, the major beaches, Bush Gardens, Jamestown, the James River Plantations, Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, the Virginia Marine Science Museum, whew! I'm just getting started!  What major attractions do you enjoy, or would you advise against?  Write a paper about a major attraction in this area; however, you may not write this paper from memory. You have to attend the attraction this summer with the purpose in mind of writing about it.

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