THE ASSIGNMENT In five to eight pages you will explore a topic of your choice through a specific example or set of examples, using theoretical ideas and approaches from four different course readings to critically analyze your example(s). Draw your example from any form of media or direct observation. Identify the specific example that you will be analyzing and also think about the broader context. If you need to do some background research, plan for that. Make sure you have REFERENCE for your example. If it is from direct observation, write it down or document it, and make a specific note of that observation (date, time, and method). ON LOGISTICS You must submit a topic for comments, and then an annotated bibliography for feedback before you can submit anything else. All students must participate in a peer editing exercise (post your draft– in whatever form it is– by 11/25), and only after that, submit a draft of your paper and get individual instructor feedback (due 12/04). Final papers must be submitted on Blackboard no later than the end of the day on 12/16. ON STYLE Use MLA style. A comprehensive guide can be found here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/ml a_formatting_and_style_guide.html Make sure to have a bibliographic reference for every course reading AND your example (unless it is a direct observation you made, in which case you should be clear and state that in the paper), and for any other supporting documents you used to write your paper (blogs, advertisements, articles, facebook comments, television listings, twitter feeds, etc). Personal communication can also be in your bibliography. Your paper should have a title, but a title page is not necessary. Papers should use a 12 point font, normal margins, double spaced, and formatted in a standard way (do not switch fonts, keep your paragraph styles the same, etc). You do not need to use endnotes or footnotes (unless you absolutely want to do that to give supplemental information), but instead should use in-text parenthetical citations per MLA. Do not use “relates to”, “speaks of”, “talks about” or “mentions” to introduce concepts from the theoretical readings. All students are encouraged to use the writing center as a resource for editing your papers, but if your feedback from the first two papers was that there were problems with grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation, or basic organization than you must build in time for that. Papers will be marked down if they contain persistent errors of these types. Use the resources available to you to fix that before you turn the work in. TIPS FOR WRITING THE ACTUAL BODY OF YOUR PAPER Introduction: describe your example. Give some of the broader context. Use this time to draw the reader’s attention to the specific things that you will later analyze. Suggestions: write your description before you begin to write the rest of your paper, understanding that you will come back and adjust it later. Next, re-read each of the four course readings that you plan to use. For each one, summarize the relevant ideas from this reading that you are using in your analysis. Then, use it as a “lens” to make a claim of your own about your example. DO NOT use extensive direct quotes in your paper, and do not summarize the entire argument of the author. Instead, be efficient about how you draw from the theoretical readings. Put the author in context, and then highlight the ways their theories and insights are useful for analyzing your example. After you have written this out, take a little break, then re-read what you have written. Is there a “flow” to how your analysis develops? Does the order of your paper make sense? Move things around until you are happy with the order. You don’t need to necessarily have explicit transitions between each section, but make sure that it will be clear to your reader what you are talking about at each point in the paper. NOW, go back and re-read your introduction. Do you need to adjust it? Did you really introduce the things you ended up writing about? Be smart about your introduction, and make sure that you get right to describing exactly what your example is, and what those aspects of it are that you ended up analyzing. Make sure you have actually introduced what you go on to write about. It is not necessary to explain the whole of human history here. Finally, write the conclusion. Don’t over generalize or write platitudes. Stop and think about what you learned or noticed in this process. Ask yourself some questions: What did you learn? What does this suggest to you for further study? What questions can be answered, and what cannot? Do you have a new understanding of this example after doing this analysis? Why does this matter? Then, go ahead and make some larger conclusions about your topic. Remember when using Butler you can take her observations about the performativity of identity and think about that more broadly than gender– and racial identity is even more obviously (or should be!) both socially created and very real. 4 READING SOURCES ARE ATTACHED ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY IS ATTACHED AS WELL
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