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The Assignment is written with one central belief that humans have an essential urge to express themselves and that students, given the proper foundation and inspiration, will gladly convey that inclination through their writings. To lay this foundation the authors have chosen readings that present myths regarding the origins of language from cultures around the world. These selections reveal the invention of language as central to every culture, and in a sense, so enveloped in mystery that every society has developed a legend to give substance to this discovery. And just as students are asked to explore why language was invented, they are also asked to ponder why they are writing this essay. Answering this question will help students develop their thesis and understand that when they care, they write better essays.