Posted: December 10th, 2022
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Essay (2000 – 3000 words)
Write a reader-friendly essay that helps your reader see depths they haven’t yet seen. The paper should incorporate the perspective, or some angle, revealed by the materials and lectures.
Option A. Looking Deeply at a Social Problem
Pinpoint a systemic problem that you once saw in shallow ways. This may a problem you experienced or witnessed others experiencing. Write a letter to your past self to help them see the problem in deeper ways. Draw from the course to give your past self a view that redirects your misdirected blame, anger, or ill will.
Use these as guidelines if you need help building your essay
1. Recount the problem as you experienced or witnessed it.
2. Meet yourself where you were in that moment by acknowledging your shallow view of the problem. Help them to see ideologies or patterns of thinking that contribute to the shallow view.
3. Reveal the deeper story: What social conditions give rise to the problem? What history helps us understand the problem?
4. Reveal possible path(s) forward: What can your younger self do now that he or she has a deeper understanding of the problem?
Option B. Constellation Essay
Write a short memoir that uses several scenes from your life story to reveal the perspective we explored this quarter. Use vivid details, dialogue, and present tense to bring the reader into these scenes. Use your imagination to recreate scenes that took place before your birth. Offer commentary between scenes to help readers see the context and deeper meaning behind the scenes.
PRINCIPLE 1. ACTOR/ACTION
We build good sentences around a clearly designated actor that our reader can envision doing the action.
When reading, we look for:
An actor (usually at the beginning of the sentence, i.e. the subject position)
An action (usually following and linked to the subject, i.e. the predicate position)
PRINCIPLE 2. CONCISION
Our thoughts, even our deepest ones, are best communicated in concise sentences. Cut out unnecessary words.
PRINCIPLE 3. COHESION
We create cohesion between our sentences by beginning a new sentence where the last sentence ended.You may need to sacrifice the actor/action principle when you are trying to create flow. If you make this decision, make it deliberately.
Integrate evidence in a way that advances (or builds) your original claim. You can do so in three ways: (1)Quoting (2) Paraphrasing (3) Summarizing
When we use a person’s actual words to advance our ideas. Put quotation marks around the words.
Use quotations sparingly. Ask yourself: is the person’s actual wording necessary to advance my claim? If not use paraphrases or summary
When we rephrase a particular part of a source in our own words
Paraphrased text is often more reader-friendly than quoted material
When we sum up the main points of a text or someone else’s perspective
The benefit of summary is that we can condense entire texts into a reader-friendly piece of data or evidence that we can use to advance our claims.
You don’t always have to quote evidence word-for-word. Sometimes it’s more reader-friendly to paraphrase or summarize other people’s perspectives. Make sure to cite even when paraphrasing or summarizing from source material. If summarizing a person or group’s perspective be careful not to oversimplify. Use MLA Citation Guidelines.
The paper should incorporate the perspective, or some angle, revealed by the materials and lectures. If you’re drawing from particular materials, lectures, or outside sources make it known with a citation or link. This will help the reader follow the thread back to sources that could teach them more.
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