Comparative Paper Assignment

Your complete draft of this assignment is due by the end of the due date listed on our calendar. This is one of our key theoretical papers and will be included in your Final Portfolio.

The draft of the paper should be about 2000 words in length in response to this question: How does interdisciplinary work compare with intercultural work? (What are some intersecting features, aims, practices, concerns, etc.?) A good starting point involves thinking of ways disciplines function like cultures and thinking about what’s involved in the kinds of border crossings and bilingual efforts that attend both interdisciplinary and intercultural work. In short, this is a compare and contrast essay.

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As far as the writing process is concerned, I suggest scanning over past readings and thinking about ways the texts on interdisciplinary work might just as well be talking about intercultural works, and vice versa. (Repko et al. talk about interdisciplinary work in terms of bilingualism, for instance. That’s a clear comparison.) Also, as part of your writing process (but not necessarily the paper itself) you might make a list with two columns, one that lists everything you know about what interdisciplinary scholars do and think about and one that lists everything people who do intercultural work do and think about. From that point, you might look at ways to group these items into similar categories and then draft a paper that speaks to ways intercultural work is similar to interdisciplinary work.

Off the top of my head, they each attempt to create new knowledge/solve problems and each has to think about the role of bias. If the project goes well, your considerations here will help you develop a more detailed and nuanced understanding of both intercultural and interdisciplinary work.

Use at least 5 course readings/videos we’ve discussed thus far to help you identify key intersections and use the sources to help you support your arguments and don’t forget to document these sources accordingly through in-text citations and a bibliography. Full bibliography entries for our course readings are posted in our Canvas Files (BIS 305 Readings Bib


You might not sit down with a clear answer to this question in your head, but plow on through, make some wild guesses. You’ll have a chance to collaborate with others as you develop and refine your ideas toward the Final Portfolio. For now, you’re only being graded for engaging with this module’s pertinent issues and with other students through peer review (reviews are due two days later, as listed on our calendar). That is, I will ask the following:

Did you address the assignment appropriately?
Do you understand the readings enough to create your own argument?
Do you have enough analysis that warrants an analytical paper?
Are you developing ideas with enough support?
Are you engaging with the major concepts of the assignment?

I have included the rubric to help you gauge where you should be when you submit the revision for the final portfolio. The comments on the rubric should help you determine the stage of the current draft.

You’ll be assigned two other class member’s papers to review. Provide feedback that engages with their ideas. Also, don’t mess with the rubric: your own voice will do more to help the author; engaging with others’ ideas can also help you refine your own thinking.

In short, for this module, if you just try real hard to answer the paper’s prompt and try real hard to help out others in class, your grade for this exercise should be good. The paper itself doesn’t have to be great until you hand it in as part of your Final Portfolio; it just has to show involved thinking that may miss the mark, at least this time.

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