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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 turnitin.com to verify original content. Plagiarism in whole or in part will result in automatic failure of the course. VIEWPOINT PAPER 1: In this paper you will write about the culture groups that have helped shape you as a person. 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. VIEWPOINT PAPER 2: 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 America. 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 question: (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. VIEWPOINT PAPER 3: CROSS-CULTURAL REPORT 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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