Writing Assignment 1


As we have learned this week, listening in a sociological way can be challenging, but has many benefits. If we wish to be agents of change, we must learn to listen to others mindfully. We practiced this in our discussion. 

In the book Writing Without Teachers, Peter Elbow introduces the concept of the “believing” and “doubting” games–complementary methods of approaching texts which he claims are both vital to the “intellectual enterprise” (145). While listening to others or reading content online, many of us automatically play the ‘doubting game.’ That is, we approach the conversation looking for errors and contradictions. On the other side, the ‘believing game’ is the practice of going into a conversation with the plan to believe what is being said. We can always look for errors later, but for the time we are *listening* we are trying to believe what we are hearing, even if goes against what we think we know. 

For this assignment, we are going to practice what is called “The Believing Game.” Remember, this means that we are going to approach what we read/hear as though these things are true. We are going to go into this without judgement or preconceived ideas as we learn more about food chain workers and related injustices.

First, read this list (Links to an external site.) of ‘ways to play the believing game.(http://blogs.shu.edu/english/playing-the-believing-and-doubting-games/)

Second, with that list in mind, watch the 4 minute video below entitled, “Voices of the Food Chain.” This video is a project of the Food Chain Workers Alliance and Real Food Media to capture and share stories of the country’s 20 million food workers in their own words. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-KuGfdBUPA&t=162s)

Third, read this article (Links to an external site.) entitled, “Things you don’t know about fast food employees.” Remember, we are playing the believing game. So go into it with the assumption that what you are reading is true. And ‘reading,’ according to our textbook author, can be a form of ‘listening. 


Lastly, answer the following questions in at least 4-5 sentences each. 

1) How did hearing the testimonies about food workers impact you?
2) What stood out to you as the most unbelievable in the article or video?
3) How does the experience of the food chain workers connect to our own experience?
4) After hearing the narratives and reading the article, is there anything you would do differently when it comes to food workers?

5) How could you benefit in your personal or professional life by ‘playing the believing game’ more often? (If you want more information on the academic nature of this ‘game,’ check out the citation below from Peter Elbow in 2008)


Answer each question above in 4-5 sentences each. Use proper writing (minimal spelling, grammar, etc errors). Double spaced and 12 point font. Use critical thinking – just answering these questions without viewing the required materials will not be sufficient to achieve this. Cite any sources you use (including the ones given to you).

If you are interested in more information about the movement for food chain workers rights, visit foodchainworkers.org.

Link (Links to an external site.)

Elbow, P. (2008, January). The Believing Game–Methodological Believing. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=eng_faculty_pubs

Elbow, Peter. Writing Without Teachers. New York: Oxford UP, 1973.

Huddleston, J. (2018, June 1). Things you don’t know about fast food employees. Retrieved from https://www.mashed.com/124676/things-dont-know-fast-food-employees/ (Links to an external site.)

Voices from the Food Chain. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://foodchainworkers.org/voices-from-the-food-chain/


Writing Assignment Rubric (2)Writing Assignment Rubric (2)CriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeContent Learning Outcome25 ptsExemplaryPaper shows a full and critical understanding of the topic.20 ptsAdequatePaper shows an understanding of the topic.12.5 ptsNeeds ImprovementPaper may only show a partial understanding of the topic or concepts.5 ptsInsufficientPaper is lacking in key areas of understanding.0 ptsNo Marks25 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeUse of Literature25 ptsExemplaryStudent cites several sources and uses research appropriately throughout paper.20 ptsAdequateStudent lists sources and mentions research.12.5 ptsNeeds ImprovementStudent vaguely mentions research.5 ptsInsufficientStudent does not appear to have mentioned research or completed necessary research.0 ptsNo Marks25 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWriting and Organization Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation, Sentence Structure, Overall Writing Mechanics25 ptsExemplaryStudent’s writing is exemplary with no errors.20 ptsAdequateStudent’s writing has few errors.12.5 ptsNeeds ImprovementStudent’s writing may be unorganized, have many errors, or is difficult to understand.5 ptsInsufficientComprehension is challenging due to errors.0 ptsNo Marks25 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeQualityWord Count/Paper Length, Addresses Topics, Shows Original Thought, Uses Critical Thinking25 ptsExemplaryStudent followed all guidelines for word length, formatting, critical thinking, and research.20 ptsAdequateStudent followed most guidelines for word length, formatting, critical thinking, and research.12.5 ptsNeeds ImprovementStudent followed some of the paper guidelines.5 ptsInsufficientMost of the guidelines are not met.0 ptsNo Marks25 pts
Total Points: 100 

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