What have been some of the major accomplishments?

ENGL302: Summer 2011
Mini-Biography of Disciplinary Expert
Objective: To identify an expert in your field of study
Purpose: To develop writing skills for profiling people
Format: Essay
Length: Minimum of 750 words of text not including title or references (c. 3 pages double-spaced
Audience: Someone in the discipline who may not know the person
Value: 10% of the course grade

Every discipline has its experts, people who shape and move the discipline. These people develop new paradigms, ideas, argue with other experts and scholars, stake their claims–but what is common is that they live for their discipline or field of expertise.

In this assignment, you should identify and profile an expert in your discipline. This expert can be a scholar or a practitioner, but s/he should be someone who is noted in the field for his or her expertise. Caveat: Do not pick someone widely know, such as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates in the computer science field. Do a little research into what you find fascinating or interesting in your field, and find out who is doing research on that. That’s the person you want to know more about.

For this assignment, you will have to dig deeply to find some biographical information, but also look for information regarding what the person has accomplished professionally. Maybe you can find some information about the person’s early life that made them interested in the field. What were some experiences? What have been some of the major accomplishments? What failures or obstacles did the person encounter?

For example, in my field of English, specifically computers and writing, I might want to profile Cynthia Selfe, who is one of the prominent scholars of computers and writing. Put "Cynthia Selfe" in a Google search, and on the first page, you will find the following: her Ohio State web page, examples from her classes, an interview with her, her Facebook page, a talk she gave, links to publications, and a keynote speech she delivered. From those links alone, one learns a great deal about Cynthia Selfe, and from that, we can write a profile.

I want you, by writing this, to understand how someone in your field identifies him- or herself as a scholar or professional, and to learn about someone in the field whom you did not know about before writing this paper.

Grades will be based on the following criteria:
Content: Includes an overview of the person’s contributions to the discipline and how that person came to the discipline
Content: Includes a unique title which clearly indicates what the essay is about.
Content: Meets minimum length of 750 words not including title and reference information.
Style: Engages the reader with diction and syntax at an appropriate level
Format: The essay is word processed in 12 point font, using standard U.S. spelling, sentence structure and punctuation.
Format: The essay is written in paragraph form and includes at least two graphical images.

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