Sample FYC Assignment

(E)dentities: Accessing Academic Writing

Through Personal Experience

First Writing Assignment
English 100
Fall 2012
Rough Draft due in class September 28.
Final Draft due in class October 5.


Over the last few weeks we’ve been reading selections from the (E)dentity reader dealing with the impact that our electronic age has had on our personal identities and interpersonal communications. We read about the new generation of “Digital Natives” in the Palfrey/Gasser and Johnson articles; analyzed Munroe’s Maps of Online Communities; examined Puente’s discussion of the composition of status updates on social networks; debated Kiesow, Gladwell, and Rott’s descriptions of the impact of Twitter and other social media on politics; and through Turkle examined the boundaries between our identities and the technologies that shape them.
The purpose of this exercise is to open up avenues for you to connect your personal experience with academic discourse through analyzing and connecting your experiences to the experiences and topics presented in the course readings. Thus, for this assignment you will be creating both visual and written elements detailing some of the ways in which your identity has been influenced by your interactions with technology.
This exercise is designed to hone skills and work with the following course objectives:

  • focus a topic and develop it
  • organize ideas logically and coherently
  • paraphrase and summarize a writer’s apparent meaning and point of view accurately and objectively
  • quote judiciously from texts, provide context for quotations, and document sources using appropriate form
  • create a Works Cited or Reference page using appropriate form
  • recognize and correct grammar, punctuation, and usage errors


Visual Element:
Utilizing Munroe’s Maps as an example, create your own visual map of the technologies and digital media that have influenced your identity both on and offline.

  • This map can take any visual form (collage, drawing on paper, digital drawing, word map, video, sculpture, etc.).
  • Have fun with this part of the project and be creative with your map! This is your chance to visually organize some of your thoughts before you begin the written aspect of the assignment.
  • Keep in mind that it is only a small part of your grade for this project so budget your time accordingly.

Written Element:
Compose a 750 word (approximately 3 pages) essay in MLA format to work alongside your map to critically analyze and explain the ways in which two technologies (ideally the two most influential to your concept of self) and your interactions with them have shaped your identity.

  • This assignment is intended to be a critical analysis and discussion of the concepts put forth in the reading and while it will utilize your personal experience and detail aspects of your own (e)dentity, it must be analytical in tone and purpose, follow a logical pattern of organization, and argue your point with a clear thesis statement.
  • Ground your argument in Vie’s introduction to the reader (pages 1-4) and use at least one other article in the collection and at least one outside source (news article, blog, video, meme, etc.) to contextualize your discussion.
  • You must provide quotes and paraphrases from the text sources you reference and all sources must be properly contextualized and cited in MLA format and be properly documented in a MLA formatted works cited page.
  • Help with MLA formatting and citations can be found at: Purdue Online Writing Lab


Grading will be based on the standard CSU Long Beach First Year Composition Rubric and thus your essay must:

  • have an interesting title
  • have a clear thesis and remain focused on that thesis throughout, supported by thought out, logical, and convincing evidence in the form of carefully selected quotations and paraphrases
  • be sensitive to its audience, guiding them through the essay and anticipating audience questions or objections
  • be edited so that grammatical errors do not impede an understanding of the content