Monday, January 31, 2011

First Prompt - for Gross, due 2/4/11

Once again, the way this will work: Read the article. Read this blog entry/prompt. At some point before class, write your response on your OWN blog, the address of which, if you've forgotten it, can be found somewhere in the list of links to the right. I'll use your posts to figure out what people would like to address or what they still have questions about during class discussion. Everyone profits.

The article in question for this round is Beverly Gross' "Bitch," found on pages 76-84 of the course reader. By the time we meet for Monday's class, you should have read the article and given me two short paragraphs on it in your blog post: one short summary of her main point, and one short personal response. Think of this as a very, very scaled-down version of what you've already done with Jamaica Kincaid's piece. First paragraph should be objective, concise, etc. Second paragraph can be pretty off-the-cuff - respond to any part of the article you like. It can be just one sentence you were interested in, or the whole thing, if you like. If you hated it, that's fine, you can say that, but at least say why. "This was good" or "this was bad" don't cut it by themselves.

Issues you might think about for the first paragraph, beyond, "What's Gross' main point?": Does she have more than one point? Who is her intended audience? What kinds of evidence does she present to back up her position? What's the relationship between her different kinds of evidence - the dictionary definitions, for example, versus how "bitch" has been used in real life?

Issues you might think about for the second paragraph: Is this dated (it's almost as old as you are)? Is it convincing? Is she too obsessed with gender/sex? What's your relationship to profanity, inappropriate language, insults, or obscenity? How do we talk about it responsibly?

Note that all of these are merely things you might think about as you start writing; you don't have to answer any of them except for, "What's Gross' main point?" They're meant to be helpful prods along the way.

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