In a short essay, (4-5 pages), respond in full to the topic below. All papers must be double-spaced. Be sure to use proper citation formatting as explained in the guide to writing the term paper posted on the iLearn site along with this assignment. Plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated and will result in a failing grade. Use only the assigned readings as source material for this assignment.
Read the Prompt: Of course you are going to read the prompt, but do so carefully! Be sure to respond directly and completely to the key issues outlined in the prompt. Essays that veer off topic or fail to address these key issues will receive low grades. If you have any questions about what the prompt is asking, be sure to consult the professor or your TA.
Have a Thesis: Your thesis is the most important element of your paper. A thesis is an argument synthesized through careful analysis of the evidence that directly addresses the issues outlined in the prompt. Your thesis statement should be clear, assertive, and deeply analytical. It should be presented in the first paragraph of the essay and establish the analytical direction your paper will strictly follow. Imagine your thesis as a clothes line, a cord that stretches across the scope of your essay upon which you will attach your evidence. An observation such as, “The individuals we read about this quarter each had unique challenges in life.” is not a thesis. This is akin to telling me the sky is blue. Your thesis must articulate the significance of the analysis you make and exhibit an integrated and analytical assessment of the evidence. A paper without a clear thesis is not a good paper.
Support Your Thesis: After your thesis is stated, you must support it. You do this by providing specific evidence from your sources. Along with providing this evidence, show why these particular details support your overall argument. Does your evidence support your thesis? If not, you may have to modify your thesis. When you use evidence, provide proper citations. However, use direct quotes sparingly. Do not use block quotes! Only two or three quotes per page. Your paper should center on your analysis rather than being merely a collection of quotations from the readings. Below is an example of a footnote:
1. Randy Roberts, Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes. (New York: The Free Press, 1983), 67.
Use “Ibid” for subsequent citations of the same text. Note: footnotes go in smaller font size than the text of your paper.
Or you may use internal citations: ex. (Roberts, 67).
Failure to cite sources is plagiarism, a form of intellectual theft that may result in a failing grade. In addition to the trained, sharp eye of your TA, your paper will be run through SafeAssign.
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