In reviewing what I’ve developed for Project 2, it seems that my thoughts have, in typical fashion, carried me away from my original idea. As such, I’ve decided to refocus my ideas and develop this “Proposal 2.0.”
I originally planned to write a series of “snapshot” profiles on immigration with the goal of contrasting the beliefs and practices of immigrants to the United States. My vision was originally to see how our differences define us in this nation and how immigration plays into what I’ve termed “cultural drift”.
However, after taking my Professor T’s suggestion to limit to just one personal profile, I felt that this no longer fit. Specifically, I’ve decided to profile my maternal grandfather, who emigrated from Romania to Israel, and then from Israel to the United States. In the process of changing my focus, I realized that I am far more interested in similarities (or lack thereof) than in differences among Americans. Specifically, my writing has caused my project to evolve towards the questions of ‘What is American-ness?’ and ‘Is assimilation a myth?’
My “new and improved” Project 2 is still going to be a mid-length profile on my grandfather focusing on his experience as an immigrant. However, rather than focus on differences in political and social attitudes, the focus is now more centered on the concept of American-ness and becoming an American.
For this newly oriented piece, I’ve come up with two sets of goals. The first set is research goals, which are the main areas in which I hope to “stretch” my writing expertise through research. These goals are as follows:
- What is a “profile”?
- What does writing about immigration typically look for/include?
- What is entelechy?
- Historical background research.
The second set is thematic goals, which encompass the main ideas I hope to include in the profile. These goals are as follows:
- What is “American-ness”? Is assimilation a myth?
- How are Americans similar and different? Discuss “cultural drift”
- Balance of “personal” and “systematic” in immigration/assimilation
- Does entelechy apply to culture?
By focusing on these specific goals, I hope to create a profile that is both in line with “profile” genre conventions, as well as powerful in content.
My target audience will remain the same: readers of a high-profile, notably cultural, and often controversial magazine, much like The New Yorker. It will follow the genre conventions of a “profile,” much like this one or this one. These profiles both tell the stories of individuals in the context of a specific accomplishment/occupation/characteristic, while keeping a tone that is both investigative and personal; they really tell you who the profiled individual is and how they are, beyond what a biography of the individual would provide.
In thinking about this new idea, I realized that this is an theme that I am strongly connected to and that features in various ways in multiple pieces of writing I’ve done in the past; this topic is rather central to the paper on generational entelechy I settled on for this repurposing project, but it is also strongly related to another piece I considered stretching for this project (the one discussed third in my blog post).
Clearly this has been a lengthy process for me, but I think I’ve finally figured out exactly what kind of a statement I want to make with this project. I strongly believe that the changes I’ve made to my Project 2 will make it more rewarding and impactful both to write and to read.