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English 370

Winter, 2020

Assignments and Updates

See also: Blackboard

Return to Main 370 page

This is the Assignments and Updates Page. All assignments and updates to earlier assignments will be posted here, beginning with the most recent first.

This is the most up-to-date information available on this website. Please check this page frequently throughout the quarter!!

The Final

You will have from 10:30a.m.-12:20 p.m. Today, March 18



1. Write your essay in any word processing program you'd like, and then

2. Block, Copy and Paste your essay into a standard email, and send it to me at no later than 12:20pm.

Late papers will be penalized at the rate of 1 point per minute!

I repeat: DO NOT SEND YOUR PAPER AS AN ATTACHMENT! BLOCK, COPY, AND PASTE it into a standard email addressed to!


Here is a link to the exam!!!!

(This link will NOT WORK until 10:30am, and you will need to reload the page!There should be a little circular arrow at the top of your page or something like that. If that doesn't work, then close and reopen your browser. I'll also send it out by email.)


The Linguistic Self-Profile Assignment Part II

Due via email by Thursday, March 11, at 11:30am

Part II of the Linguistic Self-Profile project asks you to reflect again upon your experience as a user of the English language and this time to construct a 4-6 page essay presenting several of the larger insights that you have gained over the course of the quarter. Your first step in this project came in week 1 of the quarter.  There I asked you for an introductory view of yourself as language user—knowing that few of you would have a lot of knowledge about the different dimensions of language study that linguistics offers you.  I really liked what you all wrote—your essays showed a laudable, often remarkable, self-awareness about yourselves as language users. 

Now, however, having over the past weeks surveyed with varying levels of attention a wide range of ways in which linguists and language philosophers understand how we use language, I’m asking you to rethink, extend, and develop (where appropriate) what you came up with for Part I. 

I want to be clear: I’m not asking for a rewrite of Part I. Indeed, Part I might now best be titled:  “My pre-370 Understanding of How I Use English,” and I want you to turn in Part I along with Part II at (or before) the date and time of the final exam

Coming as it does as the all-but-last piece of the course, you will in effect in this paper have the opportunity to demonstrate to me as well as to yourself a good chunk of how much you have learned in this course.

In researching your own language, be sure to begin by reviewing all that we’ve been reading and talking about for the past several weeks: your phonology and dialect status, your vocabulary, your ways with morphology, your particular style registers and anything else that has come up; think too about your own kinds of indirect speech, about your politeness profile, your own characteristic ways of participating in various sorts of conversational exchanges.  Or do you uptalk?  Always? If not when?  Why do you suppose you do? (To use your new understandings of phonetics to expand your analysis of your Northwestern idiolect, go to:  and )

Taking a page from the Speaker in the Text, you can also consult your writing as evidence of your language knowledge. Are there in the sorts of things you write particular variations that characterize your idiolect?

In Short:  Describe yourself as an English language user in terms as informed as possible by your work this quarter and documented with illustrations from your own particular idiolect.  

You can earn up to 100 points for the total project, Parts I and II combined (22.5% of your course grade). 

Grading Criteria

  • Extent of your survey: you can't talk about everything, but I would expect to see particular focus on three to four areas.
  • Accuracy and sufficiency of Documentation: i.e., clear and well-chosen examples that can document your claims.
  • Linguistic sophistication (within expectations set by this course): you have learned various modes of linguistic description—like phonemic transcription—and I will expect you to use it appropriately.
  • Effective presentation skills. Readable, reasonably grammatical, well-organized, coherent.

(This assignment is based on an assignment designed by Professor Colette Moore.)


On a different subject:

I returned the second midterms on Thursday; I also advised those who did not score 85 or higher that they could repair their exams and be credited with up to 85 points. If you were not in class you can email me and be told your score. There were two 100 point scores in the class; passing would be 70+; there were 10-12 at 90 or better.


Thursday, March 5:

Reading: C and A: World English, Chapter 14, pp. 467-484 and the stylistics passage below.

Writing: Here is a letter to the Advice column often called "Letters from the Love-lorn," but it's not about love, but friendship trouble:

Dear Carolyn: For Thanksgiving, I stayed with long-term friends and their family. They had a FULL house, with host and hostess sleeping on recliners in their den. I offered to bring my own air bed. The host insisted on providing an airbed from her daughter.

On the third of four nights, the airbed developed a leak. No jumping, no roughhousing, no sharp objects, no second person on the bed. I refilled it every few hours.

Several days later, my long-term friend advised me she had purchased a new replacement airbed, expecting me to reimburse her for the $300 cost. My suggestion of paying a prorated amount if the bed was not new and under warranty was viewed as rude and insensitive.

Needless to say, my suggestion for the family to send me the leaking bed if I paid for the replacement — since I could possibly patch the leak — was also viewed as rude and insensitive.

If the situation were reversed, I'd feel terrible the bed I provided failed. I'd consider how long I'd owned the airbed and figure out a prorated amount, or just chalk it up to wear and tear.

What to do? D.

Your job here is to analyze Carolyn's answer (which follows below....).

Start off, as usual, with three to five adjectives describing the voice and then go on to analyzing the style to explain how the language choices you can identify work to create the particular voice "Carolyn" projects.

Dear D.: Pay the $300 and drop the request for the deflated bed. As in, grab the smallest loss in a no-win situation.

The temptation is great to suggest you also find better friends, because the stoopage to billing anyone for the failure of a non-abused air mattress is so low that I struggle to imagine any kind person who’d do that. Air mattresses eventually fail! All the time. Even the fancy, expensive, guaranteed no-fail ones, even under boring one-sleeping-person use, I can painfully attest to myself.

This is just the pettiest host behavior in my recent memory — at least. Not even four nights in a recliner amid floors “FULL” of holiday houseguests, which gives me an eye twitch just thinking about it, suffices to explain your friend’s astonishing lack of grace.

But new friends take time, and maybe you still have hope for these old ones . . . though it could easily be misplaced.

So: Pay this problem away and put some time and effort into nurturing this friendship (if you still value it) and into cultivating others; try not to be a houseguest anywhere past a second night, at least not when your hosts are in the den and can’t escape from you behind their own closed doors; and always, always, from now on, hostly adamance be damned, bring your own inflatable bed.



All of this asks you to review and even relearn what we have talked about with respect to Style and the use of language. Here is a Style Checklist to help you remember, and we'll refresh your acquaintance with it in class tomorrow and next week. The ability to analyze language will be the key to success on your final.

Here is a Style Checklist covering the various ways we have looked at style passages so for in the course (Remember Dickens and Salinger, Ecclesiastes and Hemingway, Academic Planning--and we'll review all of this next week, too)

Style Checklist

Diction, or Words

From what level of diction are the writer’s words drawn? Are they simple, and often common, monosyllabic? Or are they “dictionary” words, long, polysyllabic? Are they abstruse or recondite (whether polysyllabic or not?) Formal? Conversational? Do you notice any other peculiarities of diction? Does the writer make up new words? Does s/he use slang? If the speaker uses slang, HOW are the words slangy? Is it the slang of dialect? is it an aggressive slang? is it obscene? Does s/he use old-fashioned language? Jargon? Are words used out of their proper contexts (are levels of diction mixed)? or are they borrowed from other languages?

Syntax, or Sentence Structure

a) Simple sentences? Compound? Complex?

b) Are the sentences Loose? Periodic?

c) What conjunctions does s/he use? simple ones like “and,” “or,” or the simple dash or semi-colon? Or more complicated ones like “if-then,” “in order to,” “although,” or “because”?

d) Sentence length: short, medium or long? And when medium or long, how does the writer manage to create such sentences? (See a, b and e.) Is there variation?

e) Parallel structures? What elements are in parallel? How often? Is there antithesis?

f) Active voice? Or passive?

Special Effects: Figures of Form, Metaphors, Images

First, for form--does the writer use patterns? Are sounds repeated? Is there Alliteration, for example, or Assonance? Are there rhythmic patterns? Or does the writer repeat words or structures to create patterns of words or sentences?

As for metaphors, does the writer use them at all? If so, are they new and imaginative, or dead or dying? are they clichés? From what sort of background are they drawn? Barnyards? Banquets? The sky and the heavens? (If they ARE drawn from special areas, what does that say about the speaker? If they are from barnyards, for example, what sort of speaker would know about barnyards? If they are computer talk, who knows that?)

Then, for images (metaphoric and not), are there any? If so, to what senses do they appeal? (Sound, sight, taste, touch, smell, movement?) What kind of awareness do these images suggest the speaker has?


Tuesday, March 3:

Reading: C and A: Language Variation and Dialect, Chapter 12 pp.377-82; 391-412.

Writing: Pick three "factoids" from the pages you will have read and write for each a description of what they allege, and why you find it worth noticing. I ask this because dialect is in many ways a very personal thing, but it's all a very public thing since (in addition of clothing) it is the most physical way any one person makes theirself known to another--and vice-versa.

One of my factoids is that Spanish lacks the / ʃ / phoneme. I think of all the English words that use that phoneme, and I start making a list in my head--words that you could know perfectly but still be unable to even notice that your version of that phoneme is potentially a stumbling block either in using or in recognizing what others say. And because some speakers may not have the phonological skills to recognize and then learn the new sound (the book offers the word "shop" as one example--and I can think of others), that simple shift of the tongue towards the palate is enough make the speaker seem to many something lesser that a native speaker.

Or, view the first ten minutes of this TV show from the past. Describe the speakers' dialect as fully as you can, noting shifts in pronunciations and grammatical shifts as well. We can then talk about whether this show should ever have been made! This is an episode of All in the Family, a hugely successful sit-com that dominated TV for several years and yielded spin-offs when the Bunker family lost some of its attraction. At the time it was a hugely effective expositor of a dozen subjects that at the time were not a part of the public conversations.

As the Wikipedia article describes it: "The show broke ground in its depiction of issues previously considered unsuitable for a U.S. network television comedy, such as racism, antisemitism, infidelity, homosexuality[1], women's liberation, rape, religion, miscarriages, abortion, breast cancer, the Vietnam War, menopause, and impotence. Through depicting these controversial issues, the series became arguably one of television's most influential comedic programs, as it injected the sitcom format with more dramatic moments and realistic, topical conflicts."

Meanwhile, it also provided America an opportunity to hear a dialect of English they had never known--and got to experience their own reactions to it, though that didn't get as much critical attention.

See you on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 27: Midterm #2

Remember that you can bring your most recent copy of Ye Newe Mini-Grammar (you can copy and paste from the Blackboard if you can't find your copy.) And you can write whatever you'd like on the back of that sheet.

Tuesday, February 25

Review for second Midterm

Here are seven sentences like the sentences you will be given on Thursday's Midterm taking place on Thursday the 27. We'll go over them in class on Tuesday in the first hour, and then hold a workshop in the second hour for anyone who still wants to work with sentences before the exam. And if these still seem challenging to parse, then it may help to reread the pages on syntax at: How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure.

1.The puppy had grown until she could pull a sled across the snowy road.

2.After he had taken a bath, Jeff headed to the kitchen because the roast was done.

3. Jeff’s playing his guitar before a large audience showed that he had great self-confidence.

4. Ellen wanted for the valet to park her car.

5. Ellen wanted the valet to park her car.

6. For Ellen to leave the room when Toby arrived meant that she was angry about the mistake that he had made.

7. Before my need for chocolate overcame me, I had thought erroneously that my diet had finally succeeded.

Thursday, February 20

Reading and Writing: Here is a new passage to look at: write a paragraph about its style. Start, again, with 3-4 adjectives that seem to capture the voice, and then point to the word and sentence choices that create the effects your adjectives define.

Anonymous, from Faculty Career Planning

The change from a period of rapid growth to a period of stability may create serious problems in faculty career planning both for the individual faculty member and for colleges and universities. Administrators must be aware of the implications for faculty and for the institutional units for which they hold responsibility. Every effort should be exerted to develop guidelines for faculty career planning which will optimize the well-being of individual faculty members in a manner consistent with the institutional well-being of the university and its several sub-units.

From the institutional point of view, the planning objective should be to maintain maximum structural flexibility to accommodate shifts of enrollments among disciplines. Although it is by no means possible to predict specific shifts with a high degree of precision, a review of past enrollment patterns suggests that shifts do occur on a more of less continuing basis.

Sentence practice:

1. She opened the door quietly as she left the house.

2. After the TV had been stolen Roger depended on his radio for entertainment.

See you tomorrow....

Tuesday, February 18

Reading: In class last time I introduced stylistics, the study of how writers create particular voices in their texts, and why they make the language choices they do. Today we'll take that farther. So to help you build your stylistics muscle, first read the early sections of A Matter of Style: The Speaker in the Text --up through the four items on The Speaker Checklist.

Writing: Then look at two passages below and try to answer as best you can those 4 questions as they apply to the passages. The passages are contrastive, just as were the two paragraphs we read in class last Thursday. There we were comparing the opening of Dickens' novel Oliver Twist with the opening of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, and you could hardly find more contrastive voices/styles. One is formal, educated, organized, under full control; the other is slangy, disorganized, resistant, in parts angry and afraid. One is of a mature man, the other is that of a teenager. One is perfectly proper and ironic, the other is emotional, resistant--indeed, a voice almost the opposite of Dickens' character.

Now look at the passages below and do the same kind of analysis. First find adjectives that describe each passage and then second, look for the elements of style in the paragraphs that create those effects. You will be new to this, so don't worry about being right, but do your best to see how these pieces create their speakers' voices and how they differ. (To know what sort of an "essay" I want, here are the relevant descriptions from the Course Syllabus)

What do I want: Engaged Critical Intelligence (ECI) : My criterion for the daily exercise/response papers is “engaged critical intelligence,” or ECI. You don’t have to be “right,” and you don’t have to be polished. You don’t even have to solve entirely whatever problem I give you. But I do want to see real effort, even if it’s only to narrate for me the difficulties you are having as you try to come to grips with the assignment.

How Much Time Should You Spend Writing? In the past some students have spent more time and anxiety on these responses than is necessary. Please understand: although I genuinely do want you to take these exercises seriously, I’m not asking for finished "English Papers." I call them “response papers” to suggest that their purpose is to be responding with an Engaged Critical Intelligence both to the reading and to my question(s) about it—NOT writing a series of "papers."

In specific terms that means: I expect from you either TWO typed pages, or ONE FULLY ENGAGED HOUR of writing. If you want to spend more time than that—fine. Just don’t go over two pages, or, when posting on line, over the word-limit.

Ecclesiastes, from the Bible, King James Version

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever. The sun also riseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing which hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.


Ernest Hemingway, from “Big Two-Hearted River”

Nick looked at the burned-over stretch of hillside, where he had expected to find the scattered houses of the town, and then walked down the railroad track to the bridge over the river. The river was there. It swirled against the log piles of the bridge. Nick looked down into the clear, brown water, colored from the pebbly bottom, and watched the trout keeping themselves steady in the current with wavering fins. As he watched them they changed their positions by quick angles, only to hold steady in the fast water again. Nick watched them a long time.

He watched them holding themselves with their noses into the current, many trout in deep, fast moving water, slightly distorted as he watched far down through the glassy convex surface of the pool, its surface pushing and swelling smooth against the resistance of the log-driven piles of the bridge. At the bottom of the pool were the big trout. Nick did not see them at first. Then he saw them at the bottom of the pool, big trout looking to hold themselves on the gravel bottom in a varying mist of gravel and sand, raised in spurts by the current.


Thursday, February 13

Reading: Read How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure (Read Part V on the Passive Voice).

Writing: Create a tree diagram for each of the sentences below. (These are to practice adverbials--what didn't work well on Tuesday. So in hour one we are redoing Tuesday. So between what we did explain on Tuesday and a set of sentences that are less complicated, you ought to be able to sort out ways to diagram the sentences below.)

Be sure to list the transformational changes that need to be made, and if none, note that "none are necessay".

1. Caesar conquered Rome because he was an ambitious man.

2. With great care, the cat stepped across the threshold.

3. The crook said that he robbed the bank because he needed the money.

4. Because he had lost his key, Alex broke the lock.

5. When the package arrived, Consuela congratulated herself since she had ordered the right size.

Tuesday, February 11

Reading: Read How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure (Read Part IV on Relative Clauses).

Writing: Create a tree diagram for each of the sentences below. Be sure to list any transformational changes that need to be made, and if none, note that none are needed.

1. Caesar conquered Rome because he was an ambitious man.

2. With great care, the cat stepped across the threshold.

3. The crook said that he robbed the bank because he needed the money.

4. Because he had lost his key, Alex broke the lock.

5. When the package arrived, Consuela was happy.

Thursday, February 6

Reading: Read How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure (Read Part III on Adverbials).


Create a tree diagram for each of the sentences below. Be sure to list any transformational changes that need to be made, and if none, note that none are needed.

1. Melissa unlocked the door because her friends had arrived.

2. The charming man said wonderful things while he was stashing the silverware into his pockets.

3. Although no one thought that it was possible, I had hidden a chocolate bar in my pocket.

4. His leaving the room signaled his great unhappiness.

5. Because I had received a bonus, I could pay my bills on time.


Tuesday, February 4

Reading: Read How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure (Read Part I and Part II). Prepare for a quiz on the material covered.

Writing: None for today.

Thursday, January 30

First Midterm.

Tuesday, January 28

Reading: Reread the Phonological Rule material on the Blackboard at Phonological Rules and at Morphology . Those, along with the IPA symbols and the ability to describe their articulatory characteristics (in C and A), are the keys to success with the first midterm.

Writing: For the four sentences below:

A. Give a phonemic and a morphemic transcription for each of the three sentences below.

B. Then give a phonetic transcription using the shortest possible (but still fully understandable), indicating stress, and along with a listing of the phonological rules required.

1. Shakespeare should have written an English people could read.

2.Did you want to call your mom before she leaves the house?

3. Why did you want to accept the prize the school offered?

4. He left the house late for the golf tournament.

Remember the sample midterm I handed out. (If you had to miss class, send me an email and I'll send it out to you.)

Thursday, January 23

Reading: Here we return for a supplement to the Morphology chapter which you read for last time. To access it click on: Morphology: that will take you to the Blackboard page. Read that essay with care--It describes exactly what I want you to have taken from your reading of the Morphology chapter, as well as adding just a little bit of new information as well.

Writing: Practice Sentences for Midterm 1 on phonology and morphology:

For the three sentences below give a complete phonological analysis (so both phonemic and phonetic), along with a morphological analysis that uses all of the categories described in today's reading (your best friend here may be a good dictionary.)

1. Morphology tends to require attention to etymologies.

2. Dictionaries can be extraordinarily helpful when researching how different words were formed.

3. The newborn cats wrestled with unrelenting efforts.

Tuesday, January 21

Reading: Read in the Morphology chapter pp 98-108, and pp 118-122.

Writing: 1. Do exercise 4.1 at the end of the Morphology chapter.

2. The summary of the phone/phoneme difference is on the Blackboard page. Follow the link, and then give a phonemic transcription of the first eight lines of the sonnet below. Remember that a phonemic transcription record does not include allophones. So "I want to love you" (Valentine's day is coming!) is /ai want tu luv yu/ in a phonemic transcription, but [ai wa᷉n'nǝ᷉ luv' yǝ] in a phonetic transcription, where the transcription shows the nasalizations, the deletions, and the actual speech symbols the ear of your listener will take in. For help on this go to the summary of the phone/phoneme difference and how much you will need to know for the midterm by clicking on the following link to the Blackboard .

We'll move on to a phonetic transcription for Thursday.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments; Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

Oh, no! It is an ever-fixèd mark,

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Thursday, January 16

Reading: C&A pp. 73-82 (end of the paragraphs on Metathesis), and 86-89.

Writing: Exercises 2, 3a, b, c, 3.4.4, 3.6, a,b,f,g,h. (end of chapter, pp.92ff.)

Tuesday, January 14

Writing: DUE: Part 1 of your Language Self-Portrait. The assignment is still below (see below!). We talked about this on Tuesday; now your job is to write Step 1. Please print this out in hard copy to be submitted on Tuesday the 14th.

Remember, this is your best shot at describing yourself as an speaker of English as this course begins. You won't yet know all that much about linguistics, but I want to learn from you your best description of yourself as an English user now--before you've gotten very far into the course.

Reading: Chapter 3, from pp.62 to the end of the top paragraph on p.77.

These pages describe the physical system we human beings use to produce speech sounds--otherwise known as "phones." For this I want you to do two things.

1. Read to familiarize yourself with the material, and then

2. see how well you can do with a "phonetic transcription" of the first 4 lines of the short poem below: Don't try to type your transcription--you will spend a lot of time trying to find the proper characters and it's not worth it. Write your transcription out by hand--and don't worry about how "correct" your transcription is. At this point I just want you to familiarize yourself with the material.

Looking Ahead: An Easter Poem

I asked a rabbit that I knew
To lay an Easter egg for you.
The air was filled with freezing frost;
The rabbit said to me, “Get lost!”

This Easter egg stuff is for the funnies,
We rabbits just have little bunnies. 
This information spoiled my day,
But Happy Easter anyway! 

This may confuse you--don't worry if it does. Just read through and get as much as you can! Then on Tuesday we will go over all of this material in class.

Thursday, January 9

Reading: HEW: pp 1-13; 18-20; 23-27, and the Syllabus--with a Perfect Quiz on the readings (including the syllabus).

Writing: First thoughts about Your Language Self-Profile (LSP)

LSP Step 1: Background

You will be working over the next 10 weeks through a series of ways of thinking about how people use the English language. Technically, we’ll survey its history, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, and then we’ll go on to look at its pragmatics, or, language in use—particularly the ways in which utterances can be meaningful in extra-literal ways.

You won't yet know a lot about yourself as an English user, but by the end of the course you will know a lot more. Your ultimate job in this assignment is to create a profile of yourself as a speaker that describes the ways in which your idiolect (a word that means "the version of English that is distinctive to you") is like and is unlike that of other speakers. As much uniformity as there is among speakers of any language, there is also a huge range of differences. At the end of the quarter you will be relating your idiolect to general American Northwest English—the basic dialect of English we will be using in this classroom.

In all that you write, please believe that I’m truly interested in what you actually do when you speak English. I don’t care whether the differences you find between the way you speak and others speak are huge or small, but I do want you to sort through what you do as a speaker and writer of English and locate a set of identifying characteristics of YOUR idiolect.

The Writing: Step 1

Step 1 of the Language Self-Profile asks you to write a 2-3 page description of yourself as a user of English. Due next week on January 14, this will be your first step towards making yourself a “case study” for this quarter-long project. You won't yet know a lot about linguistics, but you are nevertheless already the best authority there is (although an unconscious one!) on your particular idiolect. You are thus the insider here, and your job is to give me the best verbal snapshot of your linguistic self you can. In the next few paragraphs I suggest things you can write about:

Start your linguistic life with the beginning of your linguistic life: is English your first language? do you always speak English? or do you speak another language in your daily life? If you are a native speaker what do you see as your strengths? what are your challenges as a user of English? What "accent" do you think you have? What are your favorite words? Why? If you are a Multi-language speaker, think about your strengths as an English user, and about what you want to do better. What problems crop up in your efforts to speak with or write to others? like classmates or professors? Can you tell a story that illustrates these issues?

Other questions you might address: What is the richest part of your vocabulary? What kind of writer are you? What are your strengths? What are your challenges?

In Short: Think of yourself in your role as user of English, and describe and illustrate as best you can your own particular idiolect.

Ultimately, a good essay for this assignment would be well-focused, equipped with well-selected detail/example, as complete as the assigned length would allow, and written in an engaging, colloquial English. But since you only have a couple days to do Step One, and most of you don't yet know a lot about how linguists describe the ways we use language, the criterion for this first effort is simply ECI: Engaged Critical Intelligence.

In 10 weeks' time you'll know a lot more and you'll be able write about more dimensions of your use of English--and that will be the end of course project.

(This assignment is based on an assignment first designed by Professor Colette Moore.)