Hybrid Essay

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Read the reading “Our Secret” I uploaded.

Your next writing project begins with “Our Secret.” Griffin investigates the interconnections between many stories and themes, and thus students must choose and connect pieces of the text together. This is creative reading. How you choose text depends on what themes, ideas, and perspectives speak most to you. (don’t have to analyze the quotes)

1.Reread “Our Secret” and use these reference point or key to find least 5 pieces of text that help you sum up your unique reading. Instead of rereading slowly, you can scan through, stopping and paying close attention to only the pieces that matter to you. These 5 key distinct pieces, if not more, can be anything from quotes to paraphrases and even summaries of longer passages. This textual evidence must come from the entirety of “Our Secret,” not just the beginning, but also the middle and end of the text. These will be the first pieces of your own experimental “hybrid essay” that continues Griffin’s project, both in themes and in the way she structures her essay. They will guide you as you begin the next step of extending Griffin’s work with a writing project of your own.

2. Now that you have your pieces of the “Our Secret” ready, you have a strong foundation, and indeed a guide, to research and document any event of your choosing in history that connects to themes and/or your takeaways from “Our Secret.” This historical event might be made of a chain of smaller events. Please use a variety of evidence, including books, news articles, essays, documentaries, diary entries – anything that helps you understand this event and the historical and social context in which it took place.

In between each of pieces of “Our Secret” from step 1, you will document your findings of the event. The reader should be able to read between the lines to see all the connections you’ve made. Please feel free use “I” to discuss how you found and deciphered each source. For your detailed explanations of the event, make sure to engage the reader and provide as much detail as possible, as Griffin did. Many students attempt to plagiarize at this point, but I want to only read your words. Do not copy, paste, and just change a few things. Do not add details that will not engage the reader. Be creative and detailed. Immerse yourself and the reader in your investigation.

3. Your hybrid essay is beginning to come together. At this point, don’t be completely attached to any writing or the structure. That can be changed later. You will now take the step of adding specific people involved or affected by the event. You can write about them in a mix of 3rd person and in first person, as if you are them. For these parts of the essay, you will essentially be method acting. You do not need to announce the perspective change. Surprise your audience, disorient them even, as your “I” becomes the “I” of another person whose shoes you are walking in. Play with tenses as Griffin does (she talks about past events as if she were actually there in the present tense).

4. At certain points in “Our Secret,” Griffin stops to reflect, giving the reader profound universal statements that seem to try to tie everything together. At these moments, she is speaking to the reader about the significance of her findings to her own life. She is in essence providing a “mini-thesis” before she moves on with further research. Here you can see she takes on a poetic and philosophical tone. Please find 3 moments in your essay where you do the same, moments when you are speaking directly to the reader about the impact these events have on everyone, including yourself, whether or not one acknowledges or realizes it. These pieces of your essay might be whole paragraphs or just a few sentences. Place them carefully. They will act like “mini-theses” scattered throughout the essay. At this point your essay is really coming together

5. By hybrid, I mean to say that your essay is a hybrid of pieces belonging to different genres, with spaces between for the reader can make the connections themselves. You have created a puzzle. The final step to completing a full final draft is add extra pieces in between paragraphs that break the plane, as do Griffin’s RNA and missile metaphors. These final “puzzle pieces” to the spaces before, between, and after each paragraph and can be distinguished by using italics and even different colors. Here is a list of possibilities, which is not exhaustive: poetry/literature, extended metaphors, song lyrics, definitions, writing from any genre, including material from any other classes, magazines, comic books, etc., and written description of visual media, documentaries, movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, photographs, paints.

MLA Format

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