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 Critical Thinking
 Critical Thinking
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Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, Second Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Writing Projects
Chapter 6: A Narrative Showing the Effect of a Perception

Write a narrative telling about an experience that you had in which another person's perception had an effect on you. The perception should be about a social issue such as concerns about ethnicity, gender, age, education, or job status. You may have been treated in a certain way because of the person's perception about this issue and your connection to it. What impact did this treatment have on you? Do you understand why the other person has (or had) this perception? Describe and tell about the perception and its effects as clearly as you can.

As part of your preparation for writing your essay, find a magazine or newspaper article dealing with the perception and quote from it at least once in your essay. Document the quoted material according to your instructor's directions. Follow MLA or APA guidelines as required.


Purpose: You will be relating yourself to a larger social issue, perhaps a commonly held stereotype. You will also be developing your research skills, and practicing the craft of integrating research into your own work. Integrating research is a valuable skill for academic writing.

Audience: Those who have been affected by the same perception as the one you choose to deal with will likely be interested in what you have to say.

If you know of other people or groups who may have been in the same situation, consider them your possible audience and list them here.

Subject: Your subject is both personal (yourself) and public (a general issue or perception). Be sure to develop both and to connect them clearly.

Write here how your paper will show both the personal and the public. Will they be integrated, or will they be separate parts of the paper?

Writer: Give sufficient background and detail, particularly as you recount your personal experience, so that readers will understand your position in the narrative.

As you start thinking about the paper, you may want to list some of the key details here.

Generating Ideas: It may prove easiest to work backwards a bit by thinking first of a personal experience, and then to consider what sorts of perceptions and issues were involved, instead of trying to pick an issue of general concern and then work out how (or if) you've been affected by it.

Make some notes for that working-backwards approach in this space.

Define a Focus: Your thesis should be clear about the connection between your experience and the perception you plan to write about.

Define that focus in one or two sentences.

Organizing Ideas: Consider that you could either narrate your experience in its entirety and then reflect back on it as you explore perceptions. Or you could intersperse commentary which links your experience with perceptions as you narrate the experience itself. Be sure to organize paragraphs effectively in either case.

How about writing a brief outline here based on one of the options above? (Note: Tabbed indents are not available in the textbox below.)

Drafting: Be sure that you've narrated your experience in enough detail such that your readers will understand what has happened. Also, do not be afraid to probe deeply into all aspects of the experience as you consider how other's perceptions affected you.

Revising: Ask yourself, and your peer reviewers, if the connections you make between other's perceptions and your experience are stated clearly and developed fully.

Editing and Proofreading: For this assignment, be careful to check that you've quoted accurately and documented your research sources correctly (in addition to proofreading for spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.).

Submit your answers
Either print your answers out for submission or email them to your instructor.