Assignment 1: Analyzing DALN Literacy Narratives

Assignment 1:  Analyzing DALN Literacy Narratives (5-7 pages, ds)

Finding Narratives.
You will begin your work on this assignment by browsing and searching a subset of the DALN—the  Literacy Narratives of Black Columbus (LNBC) collection—looking for narratives related by characteristics that interest you—the literacy practices or values involved, the circumstances of the story or storyteller, and so on. We will go over the DALN’s browsing and searching tools in class. Your collection of four narratives should include at least two audio and/or video narratives. As you browse and search the DALN, you will need to keep records of your work: browse links, search terms and results, descriptions of narratives reviewed. You will use those records to contextualize the small collection of narratives that you analyze and characterize the “sample” with which you work. Again, we will review in class how to collect those records.

Conducting Your Analysis.
Your analysis will describe and analyze commonalities and differences among the narratives, address how and why certain patterns exist in a narrator’s literacy narrative, discuss the impact of the commonalities and differences, and raise questions for further research. We will employ an approach called “grounded theory,” which identifies themes that emerge from your reading of the sources rather than beginning with preconceived theories.

Writing Your Analysis. 
Your written analysis should be guided by the strategies suggested in the two chapters on writing analysis essays on Carmen.  Your written analysis will
describe the rationale for your choice of narratives (Were there others like them in the LNBC? Why did you choose to focus on these four?); describe the themes you discovered as you analyzed the narratives and the evidence that supports your analysis, contextualizing those themes through reference to the readings and film, your reading in Catching Stories, and/or Selfe’s discussion of ways to read literacy narratives through the lens of narrative theory; and pose questions for further investigation.

Evaluative Criteria.

  • a title that clearly indicates both your topic and thesis (i.e., what you write about, and what you say about it)
  • clear explanation of the rationale for analyzing the narratives as a “cohort,” including evidence from the narratives and their associated metadata;
  • detailed discussion of the themes you discovered and the evidence supporting your identification of those themes; supporting, contextualizing references to the background reading assigned in class;
  • appropriate and clearly revealed organization of your analysis around the themes you discovered in the narratives;
  • carefully composed and edited prose that reflects the stylistic “moves” for reporting qualitative research and that is free of misspellings, typos, and grammatical miscues;
  •  a list of works cited (MLA or APA format), including the narratives from the DALN.

Due Dates.
September 17:  Draft for in-class peer review
September 24:  Final Draft