What does friendship mean for Americans today


Writing and Inquiry

English 111

Guiding Inquiry—What does friendship mean for Americans today and how is this definition of friendship reflected in the central relationship between Bryson and Katz in A Walk in the Woods?

“Friendship theory: some philosophical and sociological themes” by Michele E. Doyle and Mark K. Smith

“America: Land of Loners?” by Daniel Akst

“Emeritus Friends” by Richard Brookhiser

“Just Friends” by John J. Conley, S. J.

“Freedom and Friendship” by James Poulos

“Introduction,” “Chapter 1,” and/or “Chapter 2” of Friendship : Development, Ecology, and Evolution of a Relationship by Daniel J. Hruschka

Inquiry Project 2—Multi-Source Essay

Task: Write a multi-source essay where you address the guiding inquiry prompt below. You will use at least three articles from the list below and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson to support your definition of friendship.

Audience: Your instructor and fellow students.

Format: Your essay should be four to five pages long following MLA style (double spaced, size 12 font, 1 inch margins etc.). Essays that are less than four pages long will be considered incomplete.

Extra Credit: In an interview on NPR, Here & Now’s Robin Young suggested that the movie version of A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte is akin to the buddy film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You may go see the movie and incorporate the movie version into your essay as an additional source (NOT AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ABOVE SOURCES) for five points of extra credit on your essay. Note that your discussion of the movie must focus on the friendship portrayed in the movie versus what is portrayed in the book and must have substantive discussion of the movie in relationship to the book. One sentence or two sentence treatment of the movie is not sufficient to earn five points of credit. Make sure that you are using the source material to support your point. Consider where this discussion of the movie will best help you to illustrate your definition of friendship and the friendship that is portrayed in the book.

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