Locks & Keys

For the core readings in Unit I, you will create a “lock” and a “key” and post them to your blog.  These are not actual locks and keys (I once had a student email me saying that he couldn’t get a padlock in time for class).  Here are my friend and colleague Dr. Coats’s descriptions of each:

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A “Lock”: an interpretive question about a text for which you do not know the answer. That means you have a pretty good idea that your question is important to anybody’s larger understanding of what the text means, and you couldn’t answer it by simply looking it up somewhere in a reputable source or asking your partner. Locks are metaphors for that which intrigues us about a text and which we think will lead to either more and better questions or the ultimate answers to our inquiries. They are also specific, and come from sophisticated inquiry regarding the text’s meaning.

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A “Key”:  A statement that sums up one good interpretation of a text. It should resemble an argumentative claim and justify itself with reasons that can be supported by evidence from the text. They are also specific, and come from a sophisticated stance on the interpreted meaning of a text.

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These should not be long (1-2 sentences).  Also, make sure that the key you create does not open your own lock.  Once you have written them, select one of them and provide (1) the direct quotation from the text influencing your creation of either the lock or key (whichever you select), and (2) a brief explanation (a couple of sentences) about why you think it’s an important question or idea (either the lock or key) given what’s going on in the reading.

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We’ll use these in class to discuss the readings and valuable ideas within them so you can make use of their core warrants when thinking about the Unit I major assignments.  So, please make them as significant as possible to you as you think about the texts’ larger importance and implications

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EXAMPLE/Â

LOCK: Do you think the “we built this city” t-shirt distributed by VCU student organization was simply claiming  Richmond would be like any other city that doesn’t have a urban campus. In other words the t-shirt didn’t suggest that VCU physically built the city but attracts young people who in turn make the city more interesting and culturally diverse?

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KEY: The author highlights a major problems that is not usually addressed but affects many cities in America, the role of African slaves in shaping present day America. We as a country usually forget that contribution of slave labor to the America’s economy did not end when slavery was abolished. The events that occurred in the past both good and bad are responsible for shaping today’s Richmond and America.

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“The achievements of [slaves] are routinely forgotten……as a matter of convenient ignorance.”

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“History lives and acts upon us ; even though we cannot see it, it influences us, changes us, exalts us, vilifies and defines us.Â

here is the link for this homework file:///Users/alsedais/Desktop/Hershey-_Back-to-Old-School_.pdf

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