Area 1: Where do you want to go? How will you get there?

Your first assignment is to review the handbook, the graduate catalog, and the course rotation, and complete a degree plan. Write a statement on your goals and research interests. (Due to Blackboard by class time, 9/5).

Here are relevant forms and resources. Let’s brainstorm some questions that might help you with the accompanying document.


Things to think about:

  • Why are you taking this degree? Why here?
  • What do you want to do with your degree?
  • Part of this is to explain your choices in the degree plan. How will this plan benefit you in your future  plans (career, research, community work….etc.)?

A Revision Invitation (9/5)

Why am I asking you to revise this?

The purpose of the exercise was to invite you to make a map of your goals for the year, and to situate those goals in several contexts–the course, the program, the profession, and your life–in order to begin to think about building a professional identity as a scholar (and teacher?) of rhetoric and composition.

When I assigned this, we left it pretty open. I’d like to invite you now to add details (maybe?) and to continue thinking through and building on these ideas. Maybe this will help you find a bridge between this assignment and the next (the field-forum-audience analysis). I hope it will, over time, help you write (for the final portfolio) a research précis (a sort of statement of professional interests and philosophy. We’ll talk more about how to approach this if you know you want to use your education for alt-ac positions.)

Re-view. What else can you add?

Read over what you wrote. Try to think holistically in terms of tasks, attitudes, physical adjustments, engagement with (possibly) new bodies of knowledge, emotional well-being, etc. Remember, building a professional identity takes a great deal of managing the places where your “professional” life intersects with your “personal” life.

  • Which areas (course, program, profession, life) do you have more to say about?
  • Which areas did you just kind of taper off in writing about, because you can’t quite articulate that answer yet? Why not talk through it with us?
  • What steps do you need to take to actualize your goals?
  • What strengths do you bring with you to these tasks?
  • What resources do you require?
Comments coming!

I’ll be reading your responses this week, and will return them to you (via Blackboard) with comments ASAP. I hope you’ll continue to think through the ideas you’ve begun here, and build on them. I’ll continue adding to this prompt to assist you in doing so during our professional documents portfolio workshop times.

(You don’t have to have a revision of this done anytime soon. We are just going to see what this document turns into between now and the final portfolio.)