Single Story Essay

 When writing, it is important to consider rhetoric. Depending upon who we ask, rhetoric may have different meanings. For the purpose of this course, rhetoric will mean the art of effective or persuasive writing, using figures of speech and specific modes, including narration, description, comparison/contrast, analysis, argumentation, exemplification, and cause/effect.
THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY UNIT (100 points)
Writing Prompt
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
GUIDELINES
Length: 3-4 pages (3 full pages– minimum, 5 pages– maximum) Format: MLA -Typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font
BACKGROUND
As part of the human race, it is helpful to explore the hidden and overt dangers of stereotyping.
There are cultural myths that often lead to the creation of dangerous and uninformed stereotypes, which ultimately lead to fixed and oversimplified ideas about various groups of people. The effects of these myths can shape our cultural ideas, values, and beliefs, often affecting our own thinking and the ways in which we navigate the world. None of us is immune from the dangerous stereotypes that are created as a direct result of these myths.
ASSIGNMENT
1. For this assignment, you will identify and write about a “single story” that has impacted you and has affected the way in which you navigate the world. Before you even start this assignment, you will want to watch The Danger of a Single Story
AUDIENCE
Your audience is someone who is not familiar with the term “single story” so you will need to define it in your own words before using this term. You are not required to use the term “single story”. You can also simply call it what it is and say “stereotyping” or “judging”.
 Original Prompt by Stacey Pelton (Sonoma State)

PROMPT
Start by identifying “single stories” that have impacted you. It is important to brainstorm many single stories that others have created about you. Some of the most prevalent stereotypes that result from single stories are related to issues of disability, age, religion, socioeconomic status, race, sexual orientation, gender, general appearance, etc.
Once you have identified single stories others have created about you, choose ONE “single story,” that you feel comfortable writing about, consider specific examples (more than one) that illustrate moments when you have been stereotyped, or viewed through this “single story” lens. These examples will be your supporting body paragraphs. Give specific, vivid, detailed examples. What did you see, hear, say, and how did you feel when you were stereotyped? It is important to choose one single stereotype (perhaps if you were stereotyped because of your age) and then give more than one example of times that you were stereotyped because of your age.
Now, consider the possibility that you have also stereotyped or viewed someone else through a “single story” lens. Identify and write about a time when this has occurred (give at least one example). This or these examples will also be part of the body of your essay.
Your conclusion is where you will connect your “single stories” to the larger conversation about stereotyping. Describe the impact that being viewed through a “single story” lens has had or continues to have on you. What have you done in the past or continue to do to protect yourself? If you have just recently discovered that you have been the victim of a “single story,” how might you proceed from here? Finally, what have you learned by making this observation? In making this observation, what larger implications are there to viewing people through a “single story” lens, or stereotyping them? You may also want to consider these questions from the perspective of the person who did the stereotyping.
You must include a direct quote (properly cited in MLA format) from any of the resources we have used to build up to this essay.
A strong essay will include the following:
o An introduction that draws the reader’s attention and includes your main topic/thesis no later than the second paragraph.
o Clear and well-developed examples of times you have been confronted with your chosen “single story.”
o Vivid descriptions of people and places that include detailing of their color, shape, size, texture, sound, and other relevant qualities.
o Logical organization of main points.
o Paragraphs that include at least 4 to 6 thoughtful sentences that are focused on a single
idea, follow the Tell Me, Show Me, So What? format, and include transitional sentences
that lead the reader naturally to the next paragraph.
o A direct quote (properly cited in MLA format) from any of the sources in this unit.
o A memorable conclusion that connects your narrative to a larger conversation and details
the impact that this “single story” has had on you and potentially the lives of others.
Original Prompt by Stacey Pelton (Sonoma State)

          EN100 – Danger of a Single Story Grading Rubric
          Criteria
Needs Improvement
Meets Expectations
Exceeds Expectations
Points
            Introduction/ Thesis
10 points
0-6 points
Introduction doesn’t draw the reader’s attention and lacks the thesis.
7-8 points
An introduction that draws the reader’s attention but lacks the thesis no later than the second paragraph.
9-10 points
An introduction that draws the reader’s attention and includes your thesis no later than the second paragraph.
            Single Story 20 points
0-13 points
Unclear and undeveloped examples of times you have been confronted with your chosen “single story”.
14-17 points
Clear and well-developed examples of one time you have been confronted with your chosen “single story”.
18-20 points
Clear and well-developed examples of times you have been confronted with your chosen “single story”.
            Reflection 10 points
0-6 points
Missing the time in which you have “single storied” others and your reflection on that experience.
7-8 points
Missing the time in which you have “single storied” others or your reflection on that experience.
9-10 points
Includes the time in which you have “single storied” others and your reflection on that experience.
            Description 10 points
0-6 points
Underdeveloped descriptions of people and places that include detailing of their color, shape, size, texture, sound, and other relevant qualities.
7-8 points
Basic descriptions of people and places that include detailing of their color, shape, size, texture, sound, and other relevant qualities.
9-10 points
Vivid descriptions of people and places that include detailing of their color, shape, size, texture, sound, and other relevant qualities.
            Organization 10 points
0-6 points
Illogical organization of paragraphs using Tell Me, Show Me, and So What? Paragraphs are less than 4 sentences and are focused on too many points.
7-8 points
Logical organization of paragraphs using Tell Me, Show Me, and So What? Paragraphs are less than 6 thoughtful sentences and are focused on a single point.
9-10 points
Logical organization of paragraphs using Tell Me, Show Me, and So What? Paragraphs are at least 4-6 thoughtful sentences and are focused on a single point.
            Conclusion 15 points
0-10 points
A commonplace conclusion that lacks connection of your narrative to a larger conversation of why stereotyping can be dangerous. Omits details the impact this “single story” has had on you and potentially on the lives of others.
11-13 points
A commonplace conclusion that connects your narrative to a larger conversation of why stereotyping can be dangerous. Some details of the impact this “single story” has had on you and potentially on the lives of others.
14-15 points
A memorable conclusion that connects your narrative to a larger conversation of why stereotyping can be dangerous. And details the impact this “single story” has had on you and potentially on the lives of others.
            Mechanics 15 points
0-10 points
MLA format is not followed and no transitions are used. Major errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling which need to be addressed.
11-13 points
MLA format is followed and some transitions are used. Two or three minor errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling which need to be addressed.
14-15 points
MLA format is followed and transitions are used. Essay is free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors; absent of fragments, comma splices, and run-ons.
      Word Count 10 points
             Instructor Comments:
Total Points:
    0-6 points 7-8 points 9-10 points
Word count is less than 600 words. Word count is 700 to 800 words. Word count is over 800 words.
Original Prompt by Stacey Pelton (Sonoma State)

The following sources should help you understand what stereotypes are and how dangerous they can be. Although you are not required to formally respond to each one of these, it is expected that you watch and read all of them. Some of the resources will be most helpful in understanding and spotting the rhetorical devices used in argument. Others will also help you think more deeply as you go through the writing process.
A. Read Just Walk on By by Brent Staples.
 1. 2.
3.
B. C.
How does Staples describe himself? How is he sometimes seen by others?
Staples begins his essay by discussing the effect of his presence on another person.
However, others’ reactions to his presence affect him in return, and he spends much of the essay explaining the emotional and practical effects he experiences as a consequence of his interactions. How is the complication and paradox of these situations expressed by the last sentence about Staples’ whistling classical music being the “equivalent of the cowbell that hikers wear when they know they are in bear country” (paragraph 12)?
The person with whom you find yourself identifying in a story sometimes depends on
your own identity. With whom did you identify at the start of Staples’ essay, and how did
it affect your reading of the full piece?
Read Some Thoughts on Mercy by Ross Gay. Print out a copy, write notes and highlight on it (also known as annotating).
Listen to the podcast “Playing With Perceptions”.
  make? In this hour, TED speakers examine the consequences of stereotypes. Playing with
D. ReadTheMeMeMeGeneration.pdf
Look for stereotypes and the authors’ use of rhetorical appeals.
E. Watch this video of Simon Sinek talking about Millennials in the workplace. It’s 15 minutes long. Millennials in the Workplace
•  What stereotypes of Millennials are used in this video?
•  How true do you think they are?
•  How do you think Millennials could respond to these accusations?
•  In what aspects are millennials tough to manage?
•  Would you agree that the issue of millennials is caused by “poor parenting strategy”?
•  Who is responsible for the millennials feeling confused, unhappy and entitled?
•  Can we blame social media for the incapability to form deep-meaning relationships?
•  How addictive social media can be? What are the side-effects of such addiction?
F. Watch All that we share video—a beautiful reminder
All That We Share
G. Watch We are America—love has no labels
Love Has No Labels
Where do stereotypes come from?
 Why do some perceptions persist, and is there any truth or value to the assumptions we
   Perceptions
     Original Prompt by Stacey Pelton (Sonoma State)