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BGSU Common Experience 2015-16: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Sample Assignments

A collection of resources about the 2015-16 Common Experience book selection "Behind the Beautiful Forevers"

Sample Assignment #1

Brainstorming Activity:

BGSU’s Common Reading Experience (2016): Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Directions: Think about the book’s tagline Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Under city. Boo describes several instances of each and how the circumstances surrounding these events define slum life. In groups of 2-3, locate several excerpts from the book that support each category. Then, examine each piece of evidence and determine as a group which excerpts most support each category.

Category

Event

Excerpt

Page

What does this evidence suggest?

Life

 

 

 

 

Death

 

 

 

 

Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Assignment #2

BGSU’s Common Reading Experience (2016): Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Assignment: Boo describes several instances of life, death and hope as a way to define slum life. Using your ideas from the brainstorming activity, choose one of the Annawadians in Boo’s book and evaluate the themes of life, death and hope as they pertain to that person and how they help define the slum experience.

Audience: Our audience will be the BGSU students, faculty, and administrators.  Remember this is a professional audience: maintain appropriate formality and tone, avoid slang, and unless using a relevant personal anecdote, compose in third person point of view. 

Format:  All papers must be double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, with 1 inch margins.  This paper must be 3 ½ - 4 full pages in length.

Essay Requirements:

  • An engaging introduction with an arguable thesis that clearly states your evaluation of which Annawadian defines the slum experience in terms of perceptions of life, death, and hope.
  • A well-organized argument with several key points, supported by specific examples and excerpts from the text (which need to be properly cited and documented on a Work Cited page).
  • Opposing point(s) and Rebuttal: At some point in your essay, you must make it clear that you can understand and respond to arguments against your position.
  • A conclusion that summarizes your main points and draws the paper together for readers.
  • Proper citation of sources and a Works Cited page.

Sample Assignment #3

Arguing a Position Essay Assignment:

In places where government priorities and market imperatives create a world so capricious that to help a neighbor is to risk your ability to feed your family, and sometimes even your own liberty, the idea of the mutually supportive poor community is demolished-Beyond the Beautiful Forevers.

Assignment: Boo provides us with instances of true generosity and instances of absolute selfishness within Annawadi. Consider the people and events in the book and take a position. Is Annawadi mostly a community of support or one of dissonance? Be sure to support your answer.

Audience: Our audience will be BGSU students, faculty, and administrators.  Remember this is a professional audience: maintain appropriate formality and tone, avoid slang, and unless using a relevant personal anecdote, compose in third person point of view. 

Format:  All papers must be double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, with 1 inch margins.  This paper must be 3 - 4 full pages in length.

Essay Requirements:

  • An engaging introduction with an arguable thesis that clearly states your position on whether or not Annawadi is a community of support or one of dissonance.
  • A well-organized argument with several key points, supported by specific examples and excerpts from the text (which need to be properly cited and documented on a Work Cited page).
  • Opposing point(s) and Rebuttal: At some point in your essay, you must make it clear that you can understand and respond to arguments against your position.
  • A conclusion that summarizes your main points and draws the paper together for readers.
  • Proper citation of sources and a Works Cited page.

Sample Assignment #4

Multimedia Presentation Assignment: America’s Slums, Ghettos, and Wastelands

BGSU’s Common Reading Experience (2016): Behind the Beautiful Forevers

“And another set of questions nagged, about profound and juxtaposed inequality-the signature fact of so many modern cities.”

-Katherine Boo

In her book, behind the beautiful forevers, Katherine Boo takes the reader into one of the many Mumbai slums juxtaposed against luxury hotels and modernized India. In the Author’s Note, Boo makes a similar comparison of such disparities in cities such as New York City and Washington D.C. Boo reminds us that poverty is a global problem.

The Assignment:  For this assignment, you will research and design a presentation advocating a need for immediate attention/reform in a slum, ghetto, or wasteland within the United States. Your presentation should be informative and persuasive, highlighting current scholarly research, expert testimonials, news stories, civic organizations, and any evidence from Behind the Beautiful Forevers that parallels your subject area. 

Audience: College students, BGSU faculty and staff, and the community at large.

Assignment Requirements: 

  • Conduct research on and create a multimedia presentation that presents an American slum, ghetto, or wasteland that needs attention/reform based on supporting evidence.
  • Use popular sources and scholarly sources to provide information and support for your claims.
  • Be sure to fairly represent any measures that are currently being taken to address the problem and capture any opposing claims in your presentation.
  • Properly cite sources in the presentation and in a Works Cited page at the end of the presentation.
  • Use a number of multimedia resources to design an appealing, informative, and persuasive presentation to a class of college students interested in adventure travel.