Process Narrative Project

For this project, you will write up a narrative, using the Counter-Coulter article as your model text and guide. As you can see, the Counter-Coulter article, while a narrative, also contains analysis, critique, and reflection. (This is not at all unusual for a narrative, by the way.) And, like any good narrative, rather than including every single thing that was done, it focuses on the steps that mean the most to the narrative. It includes the following:

  • Background information
  • The rhetorical situation
  • Goals & Objectives
  • A continual monitoring of how the document achieved those goals.
  • Painfully honest critiques of how well each draft met the goals.
  • Examples from the text to “show” readers what they are talking about
  • Uses “I” and “we”
  • Is a bit chatty

[to be continued, perhaps]

You will do the same. You will

  • Discuss your background (as it relates to the target position)
  • Discuss the job announcement
  • Discuss briefly the company and its values (no more than a paragraph)
  • Discuss how you meet the requirements and qualifications of the position
  • Discuss how you don’t meet the requirements and qualifications
  • Discuss how your values align and don’t align with the company’s
  • Discuss what you will emphasize and deemphasize in your CL and resume
    • For instance, some of you applied to a position where you lacked a requirement. How did you bury that information or what did you do to compensate?
    • The company description and mission statement might be areas for you to align yourself with the company. Did you do this? Why? Why not?
    • The desired qualifications and the duties section could offer you opportunities to further align yourself with the company. For instance, perhaps neither the requirements nor the desired qualifications mentions being a good team worker, but the duties section mentions working in teams. It might be a good idea, right?, to mention how well you work in teams.
  • Discuss how you will meet challenges–the things you might lack
  • Discuss your pesona (closely related to ethos)
  • Discuss your drafting and revision process
    • Discuss your goals, how the all of the preceding points will play out in your final drafts–what you want to convey to the readers.
    • Discuss the conventions of resumes and cover letters
      • the constraints
      • the affordances–areas where you might be able to exert your own preferences and personality.
    • Discuss how each draft met or did not meet those goals.
      • Provide examples and critique them
    • Discuss what you did to come closer to your goals
      • Provide examples and critique them
  • How successful were the final documents?
    • Keep in mind that your rhetorical purpose here is not to convince your target audience (Bill) of how successful or good the final documents are but to show how honest you are and how aware you are of the rhetorical situation and how well the documents met expectations. 
      • You may simply lack the experiences and qualifications of an ideal candidate.
      • Your awareness, analysis, critical thinking, and honesty and the ability to express them in English writing are under scrutiny here, not the success of your final drafts of the resume and CL.

Your final draft will contain the following:

  • Around 2000 words of narration, reflection, and critique.
  • Examples from the texts–the resume, CL, job announcement, company info.(optional) 
  • Headings
  • An Appendix with the following
    • Job Announcement
    • Resume
    • Cover Letter

By the way, do not say, “As can be seen on Page X/in the cover letter/in the appendix.” Quote the passage and critique it.

Ethos can be a bit confusing here. We use it in rhetoric to indicate credibility because that is what it comes down to: Do you establish a person in your writing that your audience can trust?

But the more common definition is “character,” as this passage from Merriam Webster’s online dictionary points out:

Ethos means “custom” or “character” in Greek. As originally used by Aristotle, it referred to a man’s character or personality, especially in its balance between passion and caution. Today ethos is used to refer to the practices or values that distinguish one person, organization, or society from others. So we often hear of the ethos of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency on the American frontier in the 19th century; and a critic might complain about, for example, the ethos of violence in the inner cities or the ethos of permissiveness in the suburbs.

So what’s the point in including these definitions? The authors of “Counter-Coulter” seem to use ethos as a combination of both definitions. They are concerned about the identity they project, and they want to project an identity acceptable to a hostile audience. In the end, they project an identity that is credible and appealing to some audience members, at least.  

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