How have you been shaped as a person within your larger community by this activity?

Writing Project 1: Autoethnography – First Draft Background and Overview So far in our course, you have started to see that you belong to a set of communities, and these communities—their rituals, practices, and various phenomena—are closely tied to your identity. This relationship naturally raises various questions: How do you experience your community? What communal rituals, practices, traditions, behaviors, and/or objects have influenced your understanding of your identity? What does it mean to define your identity through your relationship to these phenomena? To explore these questions and others related to them, you will compose your first major writing assignment—an autoethnography. To write this autoethnography, you will select a specific habit, ritual, or behavior (what we are calling a “cultural phenomenon”) you practice and investigate it. Doing so will help you discover what this activity says about you, your personal experiences, and the ways those personal experiences connect to the experiences of others. The autoethnography is both an easy and a difficult form of writing. It is easy because, we are writing about what we know: ourselves. It is difficult because we must communicate the significance of our experience to our audience, making a connection between our own experiences and those of our readers. We must confront the hard truth that an event is not significant just because “it happened to me.” The event must offer some take-away value, and the writer who writes about the event must be able to answer the question “so what?” The answer to this question is the primary insight of the autoethnography, or the ultimate point that you are trying to make. Autoethnographies are not just chronological narrations of events; they communicate the events meaning and leave readers with a dominant impression of what it might have been like to experience it themselves. For example, you might explore ● your methods of transportation. Do you walk, ride a bike, drive, or take a train to work/school? Why? What might your routine say about your identity or culture? ● your preferences for certain types of food. What do your choices say about your beliefs? ● your reading habits. Do you read the newspaper over coffee? Do you read before bed? What do you read? Why? What might these habits convey about your age, class, or social group? Requirements and Deliverables 1. In your essay, you should select one habit, ritual, practice, or behavior and reflect upon this “phenomenon,” articulating why and how it has been significant for you. How have you been shaped as a person within your larger community by this activity? 2. Whatever your topic habit, ritual, practice, or behavior, your essay should be informed by close observation and provide a level of detail through example, anecdote, and explanation, which enables a reader to relate to your understanding of the action and its significance. It should provide significant insight into what has made/makes you who you are by including detailed descriptions of places and events while explaining the significance of these events to the formation of your own beliefs and behaviors. 3. Your essay should be written with an audience in mind: it should be organized in such a way that a reader can follow your thinking and reasoning from paragraph to paragraph and within each paragraph. This organization should lead your reader to your primary insight or ultimate point in a clear manner; in other words, your primary insight should help structure your paper. 4. Your essay needs to include and integrate at least one multimodal element. You could include pictures, sounds, or even hyperlinks to other resources, but you must make sure that your reader understands why you are including these elements and why including them enriches your piece of writing. Consider what media beyond text might reinforce your main idea to readers, convey in another way the significance of your autoethnography, and/or appeal to your readers from a different register. 5. Your completed essay should have a title and be at least 1200-1500 words in length.