LNG1100 Language, Culture, and Society, Fall 2018 (D899)

LNG1100 Term paper #1 (10% of your total grade)

The purpose of the term paper is to encourage you to apply key concepts discussed in the readings and in class by finding your own examples and analyze data. Choose one of the following topics and write a 4-5 page paper.

Language Change

  1. Describe some examples of politically correct language that are popular in the United States. Discuss how such political language provides clues to changes in progress in your community. Provide arguments for and against the use of politically correct language.

Language Variation

  1. Many scholars have argued that dialect variation is a matter of difference, not deficit. Discuss how negative connotations and social labels are attributed to a specific dialect. Consider social and historical factors that cause a dialect or variety to be labeled deficit or disfavored. Be sure to give examples to illustrate your argument(s).  

Code-switching and code-mixing

  1. Choose a public figure. He/She can be a politician or a celebrity. In your paper, discuss how this public figure uses code-switching or code-mixing to his/her advantage. You will need to show evidence of how the public figure uses one style/dialect in one context and another style/dialect in a different context, and importantly, what motivates the switch(es). Feel free to include links of YouTube clips in your paper. Use the Alim and Smitherman (2012) chapter as your reference.

  2. If you are bilingual or bidialectal, or if you know someone who is, reflect on your or his/her own language use. When does code-switching happen, and for what reasons?

The paper should be 4-5 pages long, double-spaced. Please use Times New Roman and font size should be 12. Include your name, course number and section number in the paper.  You are encouraged to make an appointment with me to discuss questions that you have. Feel free to coauthor the paper with a classmate.

Grading Criteria

Your term paper will be graded on the following:

  • Clear understanding of the key concepts discussed in class and in readings
  • Quality, quantity, and originality of examples
  • Overall organization of your paper
  • Quality of your writing (e.g. grammar, sentence structures, style, citation, etc.)

Due day: Thur, Oct 18

I will not accept late papers. Please bring a printed copy of your paper to class.