Becoming an Effective E-Detective

Word Salad? is a term composition instructors use to describe text they receive that appears to be a random
jumble of words, as if the writer had no ability to order their thoughts or words.

The following word salad came to my VCU email over the summer 2010. I?ve never heard of the sender. Certainly
the author has never been a VCU student. Using only the Internet, your own powers of logic, deduction and
inference, figure out what you can about the author and her strange story.
Make at least ten specific claims about this person and the details of his or her bizarre story (where the
author is from, is it fact or fiction, etc?). Support each of your claims with a line of reasoning (why you
think what you think) and a hyperlink to a source that supports your claim. It should look something like
Claim #1: The author?s family is from the Caribbean.
Line of Reasoning: The author says his/her grandmother ?played voodoo off her rocker.? Voodoo is practiced in
the Caribbean.

After at least ten of these claims, write one paragraph that brings it all together, a summary of what you
found that will make sense to a reader who has never read the original ?word salad.?



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