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PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to help you understand genre differences and audience, as well as allow you to explore how your use of language affects your identity.

PROMPT: Writing a Personal Language Profile

Part I: Make a list of the various types of languages you use and in what contexts you use them. That is, describe the various languages you use on any given day. Then consider how your use of language changes given the context. That is, how do you adapt your language to your situation (e.g. using slang with a friend rather than with a professor)? What words are specific to your language? How do you know when to modify your use of language? Then consider how your unique assemblage of languages shapes your identity. How are your languages perceived by others? Which language do you feel more comfortable using? How has college made you more (or less) aware of the language you use?

Part II: Choose the language you 1) most identify with, 2) that you feel most expresses who you are, nd/or 3) that you use the most often. Choose a genre to write in that best reflects the language and then, in that genre, demonstrate the language for your audience. That is, if you consider yourself to be a poet, you would probably want to write a poem to convey your poetic language to your reader. If your preferred language is the slang you use with friends, you might want to write a dialogue that features this slang. Other genres might include: a dating profile, a journal entry, a commencement address, a grocery list, an academic essay, a short story, a Buzzfeed article. The possibilities are endless!

Part III: In your last page, reflect on the language you chose for Part II of our exercise. In your response, explain to an academic audience what your language is, in what context it is used, and why it is significant. You will also address how you would describe your identity after looking at your identity profile.

LOGISTICS: Follow these guidelines to earn a “Complete” and receive written feedback. “Incomplete” papers will not receive written feedback and cannot be among the papers you revise for your Portfolio.

  • Your rhetorical situation: You are writing for an academic audience
  • Your paper should: a) have a unique Title b) be 2 full pages double-spaced c) use 1-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman
  • Your paper should have three distinct, clearly-labeled parts
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