Describe a public space from two different angles of vision and then analyze the writerly processes you engaged in your descriptions

1. Pre-writing activities: Observe a public space for 30 minutes. Be sure to write down what time of day you visit and where your public space is located.

Take notes on your initial impressions, reactions, and emotional response to that space.

List details about how you experience the place physically—sounds, sights (colors, light, shadow), textures, smells, etc. How is the space arranged or laid out? What objects occupy that space? You might what to imagine and describe it as if it were empty (to pick up on visuals, textures, and smells)

Who created that space? What is its intended purpose? How does the way it was built encourage or restrict its use?

Watch how people use the space.
Who is in this space? Are they all human?
How many are there? If the space is empty, what shows that it is used at all?
What draws people to this place? What do they do there?
How do they enter the space? How do they interact with or move through the space?
How do they interact with each other within that space, (if they do interact with each other)? What facilitates interaction or non-interaction?
How much time do they spend there?
What signs of use are left behind?
Do the people use the space as intended? Do they use it in additional ways? Do they mis-use or abuse the space? How is use regulated or controlled?
What are the various roles that people play or assume in this space?

2. Descriptions (Part I): Write opposing accounts of the space you observed. To do this, you will create two different angles of vision: one describing the place in positive, favorable light and one describing its negative, unfavorable aspects. In the positive account, you will want to make the reader see that your space is pleasant, attractive or important place to visit. In the negative account, you will do the opposite—make the reader understand that your public place is unattractive and unpleasant. Include only factual details! Don’t lie or create fabrications to make your public space seem worse or better than it is.

In each account, you will want to have one paragraph that pertains to physical description of the space and one paragraph that describes how people use the space. You will have four paragraphs total, each about 75 to 100 words in length.

3. Rhetorical analysis (Part II): You will attach to your descriptions a rhetorical analysis of your positive and negative accounts. In 4-5 paragraphs you will explain what you did and what you learned in this assignment.

Consider the following:
What did you learn about yourself by observing and thinking about a public space?
How did your values and beliefs, previous knowledge, or ethics shape the space you chose to observe? How did they influence the way you observed your space? Did they influence what you considered good or bad about the place? Did they influence what you considered proper use or mis-use of the space?

What did you learn about writing?
What rhetorical strategies did you use to construct your different angles of vision? Why did you choose that method?
Did one technique lend itself to one account and not the other?
Did one technique seem to work better for you personally?

An outline of your essay might look like this:

I. Identify public space (one to two sentences)

II. Part 1: Angles of Vision
A. Positive Angle of Vision
i. Physical description
ii. How people use the space
B. Negative Angle of Vision
iii. Physical description
iv. How people use the space

III. Part 2: Rhetorical Analysis
A. Thinking about public spaces
B. Rhetorical Strategies used in Angles of Vision
i. strategy
ii. strategy
iii. strategy
C. Thinking about Angles of Vision as a writer

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