Response Paper

The purpose of this assignment is to reflect more fully on the meaning of the summer reading book and convocation speech or the TAKING SIDES reading and librarian demonstration on research related to Is It Ethically Permissible to Clone Human Cells?. Choose one of these topics.

Convocation and the Summer Reading Book

Convocation is a day of celebration for the academy - it is the official opening of the school year. This is a moment when the entire campus and larger Boone community come together to reflect on the purpose and goals of Appalachian State University. This occasion recognizes outstanding achievement and focuses on ideas important to our entire community. The Convocation speaker is usually the author of the Summer Reading novel. Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian. By participating in the Summer Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. By participating in the Summer Reading Program, new students will enter Appalachian with at least one intellectual experience in common. Comparing ideas about the book will be one way for new students to begin conversations with other new students and to establish a common academic community. The reading and discussions will actively engage students in their first academic activity of their university career. In addition, this experience will reinforce communication skills and serve to remind students of how strongly Appalachian values the intellectual and academic development of its students. By completing the reading, students will be prepared for assignments they may have in one or more of their fall classes. The novel is chosen as a book that students will read without direction and guidance, a good book for multi-disciplinary discussion, a well-written book with important themes and issues that is approximately 300 pages, and an author that will capture students' attention and is available to come to campus and engage with readers at several events, including convocation.

Greg Mortenson

TAKING SIDES Top Choice Reading and Library Research

TAKING SIDES: Clashing Views in Science, Technology, and Society is described as a book that "presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills." The class voted on the issues and our top choice was Is It Ethically Permissible to Clone Human Cells? After reflecting on and discussing the pro and con positions, the facts and opinions, the credibility of the authors and logical errors, Martha Cutler introduced us to library research. There are many benefits of using the Belk library for research. The library offers a wide range of reference materials and online access to scholarly databases, librarians who are happy to help, computers, private rooms, and the Atrium and Wired Scholar Cyber Cafe. The library describes its mission as The Appalachian State University Library is a dynamic partner in the campus and distance learning communities, dedicated to the provision of full and equal access to information and the preservation of our intellectual and cultural heritage. Our collections, portals to information and text, services, and instruction contribute to the campus missions of learning, scholarship, engagement, and effectiveness. Our vision is to broaden the learning experience, to encourage creativity and scholarship at all levels, to deepen the campus engagement with the community and world, and to develop an effective organization that can meet current and future information needs. These areas of learning, scholarship, engagement, and effectiveness are our four strategic directions:
Learning Twenty-first century college graduates should be able to successfully navigate a world of media, information, and technology, and apply their learning in creative and thoughtful ways. The Library uses advanced pedagogical methods and practices to enable students to become active participants in the learning process by helping them think critically and creatively, communicate well, and employ effective strategies to collect and interpret information.
Scholarship Scholarship and creative work are key components of the Library's mission. We collaborate with others to raise the research profile of the campus and to support the highest level of faculty, staff, and student scholarship and creativity....

Martha Cutler helping out a student in the old Belk Library.


Choose one of the above topics. How can this experience and the lessons learned be useful to us in trying to succeed in college? You can use the issues above as well as our class discussions about connections to science and mathematics to help focus your ideas or you may think of your own benefits and applications. Do not simply summarize what happened in the book and at convocation or in the readings and at the library. Instead, apply the lessons learned to your success in college. In addition, be sure to reference specific page numbers and to also reference specific events at either convocation or the library (depending on your choice of topics). The paper should be an in depth exploration and it should flow well. Utilize the writing center. I suggest a length of 2-3 pages, single-spaced (use single spacing to save paper).