english quiz on narrative 3 questions

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Read what I gave you down below, watch the 2 youtube videos and answer the 3 questions.

1. Define a “narrative” as we’re using it in this class.

2. What is the danger of a single story, according to Adichie? For this response, quote from the video, and explain in your own words. Be sure to use a signal phrase and accurately formatted in-text citation for quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.

3. In a short paragraph each, identify and explain two narratives that Ross refers to in his video. In each paragraph, quote from the video, and explain in your own words. Be sure to use a signal phrase and accurately formatted in-text citation for quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.

On Narratives

You’ve probably heard of the narrative form of writing, which is a story form (factual or imagined) that is told as things happen. “Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.”

Now, we’re going to start talking about narratives in a broader way.

For our purposes, narratives are interpretations of the big, wide world in front of us. Narratives assemble facts, occurrences, and competing scholarly positions, for example, into cohesive forms that others can understand. Narratives are powerful in this way. They can help to change laws and public policy. They can fuel stereotypes or help to break them down.

We must remember that narratives are informed or biased by the people telling them. They then go on to inform and bias listeners who are persuaded by them.

Recall that biases aren’t inherently bad. Chances are you are strongly biased against stealing, for example. This is a matter of principle that has likely biased you. While biases aren’t necessarily “bad,” we have to be aware of our own biases and those of others and, when needed, work to “set the record straight” through our arguments, the evidence we choose, and our reasoning.

Our arguments then become new contributions to ongoing narratives, that can then shape our ethics, attitudes, laws, and public policy, for example.

To help us understand narratives as powerful interpretations of the world, think about how the media portrays different groups.

Does it seem like we hear the same story about some groups over and over? Are there new truths to be told? New understandings to gain?

I’m a member of maybe four or five categories often disparaged by the media. For example, I’m a middle-aged single woman with a cat. (CAT LADY!) It doesn’t really matter that I have my doctorate or live my life the way I want. There’s a narrative about people “like me” that reduces everyone in this category to a negative stereotype. I think we need more informed narratives about awesome single, independent women of a certain age lucky enough to have a cat in their lives.

Now, let’s turn this over to you: have you ever heard a narrative about some aspect of your life that you know is wrong and should be challenged? Do you know of any laws that exist simply because a negative narrative about a group has been accepted? How does that narrative need to change? How do we go about changing narratives?

Well, in part, we do this by writing and making strong arguments against them.

With these thoughts in mind, watch the following two videos.

Ask: What are the dangers of a single story? How can narratives affect public policy and laws? How do the instances discussed by Ross impact our society? Then, think back to Postman: how do our words (our narratives) shape our worlds?


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