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Project One: Brooke Notes and Proposal
Your first project in WRTG121 combines a series of Brooke Notes with a research proposal. The Brooke Notes are familiar to you by now in that they guide you through systematic annotation of a source. The proposal you will write encompasses the Brooke Notes, while also sketching out a probable shape for the work you will do in Project Two. That is, the proposal makes sense of some of what you've been reading and annotating, and it also says, in effect, "here's what I will do next" and "here's why."

Remember as you begin to develop the proposal that the over-arching course theme (or super-theme) is environmental justice--the ways that environmental problems are felt unevenly due to inequality and socio-economic conditions. Within the course theme, you and your group will be deciding on a sub-theme among the following: local food deserts, microplastics, fly tipping (illegal dumping), technological waste, and water rights. We will, as a class, discuss adjustments to these sub-topics early in the semester. One advantage of choosing a sub-theme for your group is that you can, if you wish, include Brooke Notes from others in your own proposal.

The proposal will be at least 800 words, not including Brooke Notes. It will be structured as follows:

1. Opening Section
General introduction to environmental justice and to your sub-topic
Account for your take; what's your interest in or curiosity as relates to this, generally
How are specific readings informing your questions?

Here are a couple of setup lines to help you think about how the opening section might work:

In the context of environmental justice, broadly, and the topic of _______, more specifically, I have been reading__________________________. [This will introduce the sources you have read so far and bring to light the details you find important, interesting, and relevant in relationship to your topic and emerging research question(s).]

2. Brooke Notes (2+; at least two Brooke Notes should be your own)

3. Methods Plan and Emerging Question(s)
In the final section of the proposal, you will lay out a plan for what you will do for Project Two. Include a discussion of the method or methods you will use. Your choices are (as will be emphasized again very soon via a handout in class) memory work, word work, site work, interview, and data work. Next, list at least two emerging questions, stated as questions. Finally, discuss the audiences you think will benefit from this work, and acknowledge any challenges you forsee as you get the project underway.

I am interested in learning more about this topic by reading _____________________ [go on to discuss what you will read and why]. I have also chosen _____________ as the research method to go along with source work. [go on to discuss what you will do and why]

It may be useful to you to think of the proposal as a document where you invent ideas for your research project. Feel free to visit the University Writing Center to discuss your ideas with a consultant, or for response, feedback, and advice on a draft.

A draft of Project One (800 words plus Brooke Notes) is due on Monday, January 29. Bring a copy with you to class, on paper or electronically. The completed project is due on Wednesday, January 31.

Assessment Criteria
Your project will be assessed for its strengths in the following five areas.

Evaluation Criteria

Each criterion listed above will be evaluated on the following scale:


EX: Exceptional. The writer has applied the criterion with distinction.
AC: Acceptable/meets expectations. The writer has applied the criterion to a satisfactory degree.
NI: Needs improvement. The writer has minimally applied the criterion in the project.
NA: Not applied. The writer has not applied the criterion in the project.

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2019 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"Let's say you were from somewhere else, seeing this Earth from space for the first time. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be satisfied with that view; I'd want to get closer, walk around on it, even get down on my hands and knees. That's how I prefer to see the Earth." —Wendell Berry, Interview with Jordan Fisher-Smith

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