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This assignment deploys place-based pedagogy in a basic writing course, and enacts it through first-person research in the form of a walking tour of a university campus. Students first read and discuss two texts about their campus: an article analyzing campus architecture and a philosophical treatise about the campus park. Students then marshal evidence gathered through a walking tour to argue with one of these texts. In addition to bolstering students’ confidence for contesting claims advanced by authorities, this assignment encourages students and teachers alike to cultivate a more deliberate awareness of their surroundings. Because this assignment is meant to be grounded in a specific locale, instructors adapting this prompt are encouraged to seek out texts addressing their own institutional settings.
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