Essay 1: Zero Draft

Great start on your summaries!

Objective: The goal of this exercise is to produce a very rough draft (a “zero draft”) of your first essay. This will help you find raw material (i.e. potential evidence and rough ideas) that can be refined and further developed in your formal draft.
Estimated time: 2-3 hours

Due at 11:59 p.m., February 12th (electronic submission)

  1. Review the guidelines for the Rhetorical Analysis Essay and the guidelines for essay submissions in the course syllabus.
  2. Include your revised one-paragraph summary of “The Question of Cultural Identity” (Exercise 1.3). Ensure that you include Hall’s thesis.

Note: This part of the draft should be very rough and messy. (If this is polished and free of grammatical errors, it means you did not follow my instructions.) You should explore potential paths of inquiry without necessarily knowing whether or not they will lead to fruitful conclusions. The point of this part is to think your ideas through, to explore your thoughts on paper. Do not “go back” to fix spelling or grammar errors, or to revise or change ideas; keep going forward! Allow your messy, nascent thoughts (and questions) to unfold and develop on the page. If you have a non-English first language, incorporate words and phrases from your first language as much as you want.

  1. Refine and revise your summary of Hall’s essay. (1 paragraph)
  2. In no more than two paragraphs, critically analyze how Hall’s three cultural identity subjects provide a framework for his analysis in “The Question of Cultural Identity.” Identify how you think they provide important clues to better understanding Hall’s argument about the “crisis of identity.” Be sure that you quote Hall to provide his definition of each of the three identity subjects that he includes in Section 1 and make connections to other sections in the essay and to include page citations for the quotes. (1 or 2 paragraphs)
  3. Select three of the rhetorical patterns we identified in class. For each of the rhetorical patterns you identify, write a paragraph in which you critically analyze  how identifying and understanding those patterns makes the essay easier to understand for a freshman reader. Be sure to include examples from the text in the form of quotes and include page citations for the quotes. (3 paragraphs)
  4. End your zero draft with one paragraph in which you attempt to state your hypothesis or tentative thesis. In other words, how would you describe Hall’s development of the concept of the “crisis of identity”?
  5. Include a one-paragraph self-evaluation on a separate page in which you briefly explain what challenges you are encountering as you attempt to develop a thesis, and how your understanding of Hall’s essay has been deepened and/or been complicated since the first time you read it.
  6. Format your paper according to MLA style. An MLA Sample Paper is available at this link to Purdue OWL.
  7. Name your final draft file according to the guidelines in the syllabus and using the following protocol:
    [Student Last Name][First Initial]_E1_ZeroDraft
    For example, a student named Frida Kahlo, would name her file:
  8. Submit your essay as a Word document or PDF (no Google docs or Pages files) to Dropbox by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, February 12th.

Please email me with any questions.

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