Coming to Terms with Creativity

This short paper (500-700 words) asks you to focus on one of our “creativity” texts from Lessig, Lang, Johnson, McRobbie, and Lynch. Choose the text you are most interested in considering further in Paper 1. Your paper on this text should take up the questions and prompts that Harris offers in “Coming to Terms”:

Defining the writer’s project in your own terms

  • Aims: What is the author trying to achieve? What position do they want to argue? What issues or problems do they explore?
  • Methods: How does the author relate examples to ideas? How do they connect one claim to the next, build a sense of continuity and flow?
  • Materials: Where does the writer go for examples and evidence? What texts are cited and discussed? What experiences or events are described? (19)

Noting keywords or passages in the text

  • What aspects of this text stand out for you as a reader? (20)
  • Find opportunities to incorporate these specific words, phrases, and sentences into your paper by quoting them and explaining their significance. See Harris’s strategies for different types of quotations (29-31).

Assessing the uses and limits of the author’s approach

  • “[A]ny perspective on an issue (and there are often more than two) will have moments of both insight and blindness. A frame offers a view but also brackets something out. A point of view highlights certain aspects and obscures others” (24-25).
  • With these thoughts in mind, what aspects of the author’s thinking are most useful, helpful, persuasive, and insightful? What are the limitations of this perspective? What does this perspective overlook or leave out?
  • This is not a requirement, but you are welcome to turn to a brief example to further illustrate how the author’s perspective is helpful or limited.

Your paper should follow MLA guidelines for spacing, font, the first-page heading, and the header with last name and page number. Instead of a title, include a full MLA citation for the text you are addressing beneath the heading and before the paper proper begins.