What is an Authentic Voice and How can I and others develop an Authentic Voice?

How can I effect (make, engender) positive change in the world using my “authentic voice”?

Driving Question for Essay 1:

What is an Authentic Voice and How can I and others develop an Authentic Voice?
Requirements for Essay 1:

2-3 page summary+synthesis essay, typed, double-spaced in MLA Format
Include a Works Cited page with the readings listed
Summary of Pipher’s chapter and King’s essay should be part of the overall essay
Quotes or reference to the other essays should be used as evidence to define “Authentic voice” and support how to develop an “authentic voice”

Developing Your Own Thesis and Narrowed topic:

The driving question for this essay topic is an investigative question that invites you to develop your own ideas about “authentic voice” and how authentic voice is developed, constructed, impacted by life experiences, texts, academic and educational experiences, culture, identity and more. Pipher does’t use the term “Authentic Voice,” she uses the term “Change writer,” so put these together and develop your definition. Your goal for this paper is to narrow the driving question into a topic and thesis statement interesting to and important to you. There are many possible ways for you to explore this idea of “authentic voice.”

As you’re developing your focused and narrowed topic, begin first with response writing to our texts for this unit. How do/would the authors and writers we’ve read (and watched) define “authentic voice”? How do you know? You might pull meaningful quotes from the texts and readings and respond to those, or you might compare and contrast what different writers have to say about this notion of “authentic voice” and how to develop an authentic voice. As further inquiry, you might then do some initial drafting about some of the practices we’ve explored so far, like freewriting or critical reading, and reflect on how these practices can harm or hinder (or develop and strengthen) a person’s authentic voice.

Once you have this initial reflective “draft” of notes and response writing, you can review and narrow down your topic (or turn this in as your Essay 1 — remember, you get an A if you turn it in on time!)

There are many possibilities for how to develop, construct, and narrow the topic; that makes the assignment exciting because you can follow your own interests and passions, but it also makes the assignment complex because it requires you to be the captain of the ship, charting your own path as a writer. That’s the fun of it! You want to Synthesize the ideas from our texts, classroom discussions, and your personal experiences or the experiences of others that you have researched in order to develop a new and deeper understanding of the subject-matter.

Tips on Expanding your Essay and Your Ideas:

There are ways to expand:

Think about your options in terms of organization
Examine your use and number of examples.
Talk about some of your ideas with another person or a small group and integrate these ideas into your essay.
Visit a tutor (smarthinking tutoring, the Learning Assistance Center, The Writing Center, peers in your study groups or classes, etc.

Tips on Organization and Style:

Remember: “argumentative synthesis, like all types of argumentative writing, presents a

claim which reasonable people might agree or disagree. The challenge is to formulate

your synthesis in such a way that convinces or persuades your audience with your

assessment and basic viewpoint” (Muller 147).

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