Comments to English 104 Students: Research Project

English 104 students,

Your grade in this writing assignment is based on your ability to address the following writing task:

Multi-draft Writing Project: Differences in Men’s and Women’s Talk

You will critically read and respond to “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers” by Deborah Tannen on pages 199-209 of your textbook. During the course of your response, you will compare her article about men’s and women’s talk with your own experience and that of your peers. To accomplish this, you should address the following:

1. Write two paragraphs defining what Deborah Tannen calls “metamessages:”

a. In the first, use “academic discourse”––the language of the article itself.

b. In the second, use “colloquial discourse”––the language of the dorm or street, which you use to talk to your friends (especially same-sex friends) about dating and courtship.

2. In about a page, summarize Tannen’s article about men’s and women’s talk , quoting its most salient phrases.

3. Decide whether or not Tannen’s article about men’s and women’s talk is fair to both genders. Is her language entirely objective, or is she pushing a political or gender-biased agenda? Illustrate your answer with two examples quoted from the passage.

4. Decide to what extent you agree with Tannen’s article about men’s and women’s talk. Test her ideas against your own personal experience and the experience of at least six of your peers. For this, you should interview six or more student “subjects,” explaining Tannen’s ideas about men’s and women’s talk (see 2 above) and recording their responses.

Your essay should be 5-7 pages.

Write this in narrative form, not bulleted, and coherently organize your ideas around a central theme.


(Superior): 90-100

1 addresses the topic clearly and responds effectively to all aspects of the task;

2 explores the issues thoughtfully and in depth;

3 is coherently and logically organized, with ideas supported by apt reasons and well-chosen examples;

4 is generally free from errors in mechanics, usage, and sentence structure.

(Strong): 80-89

1 clearly addresses the topic, but may respond to some aspects of the task more effectively than others;

2 shows some depth and complexity of thought;

3 is well-organized and developed with appropriate reasons and examples;

4 displays syntactic variety and facility in the use of language;

5 may have a few errors in mechanics, usage, and sentence structure.

(Adequate): 70-79

1 addresses the topic, but may slight some aspects of the task;

2 may treat the topic simplistically or repetitively;

3 is adequately organized and developed, generally supporting ideas with reasons and examples;

4 displays adequate facility with syntax and language;

5 may have some errors, but generally demonstrates control of mechanics, usage, and sentence structure.

(Inadequate): 60-69 An essay in this category reveals one or more of the following weaknesses:

1 distorts or neglects aspects of the task

2 includes an incomplete portolio, missing some of the following: draft one and self-assessment notes, draft two and peer reviews (two readers), and draft three and editing notes;

3 lacks focus, or demonstrates confused or simplistic thinking;

4 is poorly organized or developed;

5 does not provide adequate or appropriate details to support generalizations, or provides details without generalizations;

6 has problems with or avoids syntactic variety;

7 has an accumulation of errors in mechanics, usage, and sentence structure.

(Incoherent): 50-59 An essay in this category reveals one or more of the following weaknesses:

1 indicates confusion about the topic or neglects important aspects of the task;

2 includes an incomplete portolio, missing some of the following: draft one and self-assessment notes, draft two and peer reviews (two readers), and draft three and editing notes;

3 lacks focus and coherence, or often fails to communicate its ideas;

4 has very weak organization, too little development;

5 provides simplistic generalizations without support;

6 has inadequate sentence control and a limited vocabulary;

7 has numerous errors in mechanics, usage, and sentence structure.

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