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Concluding Essay on Culture

Most important: answer all the questions below using your own words, briefly citing/quoting module materials as needed – but most of the writing should be in your own words.

This assignment requires you to know materials from MO1-MO6, so start this assignment only after you have finished MO6
Write 700-1000 of your own words about the topic description located below these instructions (you may go over by a few hundred words if you want and not be penalized, but if possible try to edit longer essays down to not much more than 1000 words). Your name, titles, date and page numbers do not count for your total word count.

Submit your document in the “Concluding essay” dropbox located in the “Concluding Essay” section of our course “Contents” tab (it is also accessible via the “Dropbox” section located inside the “Assessments” tab of d2l).
Document should be MS Word, Plain Text, or PDF format only; *otherwise, we will ask you to resubmit the essay and deduct five points from your grade* (so if you use something like iWork Pages, please export the document into one of those formats. Also note that the title of the document being uploaded to d2l can only contain numbers and letters; please call the d2l help line if you are having problems or have questions about uploading your document).

There is no right or wrong answer, the only wrong answer is if you do not follow the directions or answer the questions coherently, or if the essay does not reflect adequate learning in this course. We will deduct points if your essay falls below the word count, so use the word count function in your word processor to check this.

You should be able to see a Turnitin score for your essay once you turn in your essay. That lets you know the degree to which the Turnitin system sees your essay as “original” by comparing it to other online student work. If you see a problem with this, please revise your essay accordingly or email us.
Also you should be able to see a rubric for this essay (at the bottom of this page).

We use this rubric to help us grade your essay. Usually this rubric is used as is, but occasionally, we may deviate a bit from the rubric if needed to give you a grade that more accurately reflects the quality of your work.
Due Date: Please check the syllabus for due date details and whether we can accept “late” work on this particular assignment.
If you have any questions or concerns about the assignment, please do not hesitate to email your TA for this course (contact information listed in syllabus).

Concluding essay topic
For your concluding essay, think about the most likely or significant area of your life where you think you will have some form of intercultural interactions (example: doing business, travel, in the workplace, charity work, relations with people where you live, friendships, etc.). Then, select and write about the two most important topics (concept, exercise, an article, an image or video) from this course that will have a positive impact on those future intercultural interactions.

You must structure your essay as follows and include the part numbers/letters in your essay:

Part 1- In one short introductory paragraph, describe the circumstance where you anticipate you will have those intercultural interactions, characterize what type of cultural difference you expect to encounter, and describe what potential challenges you might encounter (stereotypes, communication issues, etc.) and why you selected that particular circumstance.

Note: If you anticipate encountering intercultural difference in several areas of life, focus on just one area. If you already encounter this scenario (for example, if you travel a lot already) you can use that scenario if you anticipate that you will continue encountering this scenario in the future. If you seriously do not anticipate having intercultural encounters or really have no plans to come into contact with culturally different people, then you could write about coming into contact with another culture on a dream vacation that you win as a prize and that would take you to any desired location in the world.

Part 2- Briefly introduce and describe the two very specific topics from this course that you chose to write about here and why you chose them. Important suggestion: Although there is no right or wrong topic, in most cases, try to strike a balance between too general (e.g. choosing a general concept like “culture” or “stereotype”) or too specific (e.g. simply describing the “video about saying no in Japan” without explaining its broader significance to your situation).

Examples of appropriately specific topics might be things like, “Bennett’s stages of intercultural awareness”, or “rules for forming accurate generalizations rather than stereotypes”. Focus on picking topics that you can clearly see yourself using as tools to improve your intercultural interactions. This can include topics that improve your intercultural understandings, attitudes, or behaviors. You may have to select a variety of topics, and start writing a bit before you decide what your best two choices are.

Part 3 – For the first of the two topics you select, write a paragraph or two with the following structure:
Part 3A. Number and name the topic using all capital letters (e.g. “1. LEVELS OF CULTURE”) and cite its source (example: “Module 3: Part 1: Definitions of Culture“, section subtitled ”Levels of Culture”). In most cases, you will write a better essay if you do not pick something too general such as “culture” or “stereotypes” instead, you’d want “levels of culture” or “media based stereotypes”. Or instead of choosing “cautions about culture” which refers to a long list, say “culture is contextual” which is one of the cautions about culture we mentioned.

Part 3B. Write a 2 to 3 sentence summary or description of what this topic is about and say whether the topic is explained with text, audio, video or images in the module.
Part 3C. The rest of the paragraph explains how this concept relates to the intercultural interaction scenario you anticipate encountering.
Part 4: Do the same thing as describe above in Part 3 but for your second topic. Remember to include part 4A, 4B, and 4C.

Part 5: After you’ve done the above for the two topics, write one concluding paragraph where you summarize what you wrote about and its significance, and whether you would change/improve how you teach about these topics (for example, if the module covered the topic using text and you feel a short video clip would be better).

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