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									                        INTERCULTURAL VIEWPOINT PAPERS

Each Viewpoint Paper counts 10% of your course grade. Papers are to be word
processed in academic format using APA or other standard academic style. Minimum
length is 3 pages; preferred maximum is 4 pages. You may write in first person, but
write well, edit carefully, and submit a finished document that looks nice, contains
excellent language, and expresses your best thoughts about communication and
culture. Submit your papers by e-mail attachment to

Important: Pay special attention to the accuracy of your writing, as errors in
language or punctuation will reduce your grade. Students who receive writing help
from tutors or friends must follow the guidelines posted on the class website. All
papers will be submitted to to verify original content. Plagiarism in
whole or in part will result in automatic failure of the course.


In this paper you will write about the culture groups that have helped shape you as a

Create a title and write an opening paragraph that identifies the multiple influences
that comprise your cultural heritage, such as ethnicity, national origin, socio-
economic background, geographical roots, gender/sex roles, religious or
philosophical influences, or any other cultural groups with which you identify. Select
one of these groups and write a strong paragraph discussing it in detail, including
positive/negative stereotypes and the degree to which these stereotypes hold true
for you as a member of that culture. You may write about the group’s attitudes,
beliefs, preferences, and behaviors, but give special emphasis to their
communicating styles or characteristics. Conclude your paper with a strong
paragraph that expresses how you feel about what you wrote. For example, are you
proud of your culture, a little embarrassed by it, resistant to certain influences,
seeking to change your cultural affiliation or identification?

This paper will be written during class. You will only write for one hour, so organize
your thoughts in advance and bring a single page with a short key-word outline from
which to work. You may not bring complete sentences into the classroom.

Note: This paper is not about individual people who mean a lot to you (parents,
family, etc.), but identifiable cultural groups such as those we discussed in class.


Because the predominant ethnic group in the United States is white (a.k.a. Euro-
American, Caucasian, Anglo), the culture of whiteness affects every resident and
visitor to the U.S. In this paper you will write about your perception of whiteness in
Select a title and describe the multiple aspects that make up stereotypical white
culture. You might use Chapter 2 to prompt your analysis, but write mostly from
your own observation of how white people think and act, what they value, and
especially how they communicate. Carefully organize your essay, and pack a lot of
information into a couple of pages. You may briefly describe characteristics such as
physical appearance, space and physical environment, daily routines and
preferences, values, and relationships. The main focus of your paper, however, is
communication in a predominately white culture -- e.g., spoken and written
language, verbal and nonverbal communication, interaction styles.

Space will not allow you to discuss all your ideas in detail, but use two or three
pages to draw a fairly complete profile of whiteness in America. Then conclude your
paper by writing a thoughtful and introspective paragraph that answers the following

    (If you are a white American) To what extent are you a product of the white
     culture into which you were born? How do you feel about your answer?

    (If you are not a white American) What aspects of white culture do you
     admire, and what aspects do you find irritating or unacceptable? Concerning
     their attitudes or behaviors, what advice or feedback would you give to all
     white Americans if you could?

Note: If this prompt duplicates much of what you wrote in the first viewpoint paper,
talk with Dr. Witt about an alternative topic involving white culture.


This experience and the paper that describes it count 10% of your course grade.
Minimum length is 4 pages; maximum is 5 pages. Otherwise follow the same
guidelines as for Viewpoint Papers.

In this paper you will describe a recent cross-cultural experience (during this
semester) in which you were the outsider and had to adapt to the communication
norms of another culture. You will attend an event or have a purposeful encounter
that pushes you beyond your usual cultural preferences and allows you to experience
authentic cross-cultural communication.

Write a brief description of the event itself (a page or less), and then analyze or
interpret the experience using some of the theoretical and practical concepts covered
in the course. You will be graded on the authenticity of the experience, as well as
your use of terminology and course concepts to describe what you learned about
your own culture and that of others.

Further guidelines for this assignment will be discussed in class.

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