Stories of the University

Paper Assignment #1

Please review the prompts below. All papers in this course must conform to MLA format and guidelines. A brief guide is attached to your syllabus. If you need further information on the format, you may visit or

Note the deadlines: February 16-19 to submit:

Thesis Statements and Outlines to be posted on the established Discussion Forum for Paper 1. The 19th is the final date to submit, and if you use research, you must include your works cited.

Final 4-5 page paper deadline is March 3 – 5th with the 5th the absolute final deadline.

You have several prompts to choose from for your first writing assignment.

You are to work with the short readings, which include essays, stories, and poems.

I want to call your attention to the addition of one more story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker that I have uploaded to the readings folder. Select works that interest you and you feel comfortable writing on. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I will also address paper questions during the Check-in session scheduled for Wednesday, February 3rd.

Prompt #1: How does gender impact an individual’s place in the university? Using any one or two of the assigned readings in the course and your own personal experience, write an argument essay that takes a position on the difficulty for a man or woman to handle the same and different pressures faced in courses (be specific) and during his or her academic journey. Define the pressures and cite textual and personal examples that support your position.

Prompt #2: James Thurber’s story “University Days” deals with ways of learning and understanding. One of his central metaphors is “seeing.” How does he use this metaphor throughout the story to reveal the difficulties in the ability to “see”? While some classes are considered difficult and others less so, how does Thurber show the learning curve in each contributing to the whole academic experience?

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