Common Reading Assignment
Due in your first General Studies Writing class session
New, first-time students: If you are not enrolled in a GSW class this fall, please email your paper to Donna Nelson-Beene, Common Reading Chair, no later than August 26: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Transfer students : If you are enrolled in a GSW class this fall, you are required to complete the Common Reading assignment; if you are not enrolled in a GSW class, you are encouraged-but not required-to complete the assignment.
What is the "Common Reading Experience"? As is customary at many colleges and universities, all new first-year students who enter BGSU each fall are asked to read a book in common during the summer prior to arriving on campus. They will work with the book in General Studies Writing, and may also use it in other courses during the fall semester. As well, students are encouraged to attend a variety of programming activities which relate to the book, scheduled during the fall.
What book was chosen for this year's incoming students? BGSU's Common Reading selection for Fall 2013 is BORN TO RUN: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall. The book is available in paperback and e-book editions. As you read the book, it is strongly recommended that you jot down especially important events and details so you can refer to them as you write your paper.
What homework must be completed? After reading Born to Run, students are required to write a one- to two-page paper which must be submitted to their General Studies Writing instructor on the first day of class. Students who are not enrolled in a GSW class should email their paper to Donna Nelson-Beene, Common Reading Chair ( email@example.com), by August 26. Students are required to respond to ONE of the three writing prompts which appear below.
We hope that you will use what you know from reading the book, along with your imagination and creativity, as you write your paper. Please note the following directions:
- have fun with the writing,
- do not refer to sources other than the book you were asked to read, unless the prompt directs you to do so,
- be sure to include your name on your paper, and
- bring a hard copy of your paper to your first General Studies Writing class or email it to Donna Nelson-Beene if you are not in a GSW class.
You will receive feedback on the paper from your GSW instructor or from Dr. Nelson-Beene.
Choice 1) Watch one of the many videos available on YouTube about the Tarahumara Indians or Caballo Blanco. State the name of the video you select and provide its internet address. Then write a one- to two-page paper which compares the video to what you learned about the Tarahumara Indians or Caballo Blanco from reading the book. Focus on similarities between the video and information provided in the book-as well as on what surprises you in the video.
Choice 2) Think about the various outstanding runners that are described in Born to Run and then write a one- to two-page paper which describes the personal characteristics they tend to have in common. In other words, based upon the information provided in the book, what attitudes, interests, and/or physical qualities seem to be shared by those who are "born to run"?
Choice 3) As noted on the book cover, Christopher McDougall sets out to discover the secrets of the Tarahumara Indians and in the process "takes his readers to science labs at Harvard, to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America's best ultra-runners against the tribe." In a one- to two-page paper, explain why you think such a book was selected as this year's required reading for all of BGSU's first-year students. Please relate your answer to specific details in the book.