Pick carefully, as this theme is your vehicle for demonstrating your comprehension of the course material.



– After reading one of the books listed in the document, I suggest you begin by crafting a question or thesis statement which requires you to build a compelling and convincing argument in approximately 4 pages. ▪
What will lead you to success with this paper is critical engagement with your topic, such that your capacity for using a theory, concept or theme from the course to frame your analysis is made evident through your work. ▪
The specific topic of your paper is your choice – although I’m available to assist with your selection. Pick something which compels you to deeper examination; one that captures your attention for further exploration. Pick carefully, as this theme is your vehicle for demonstrating your comprehension of the course material. There are many approaches you can take when narrowing down the main point of your paper. One route might be to ask yourself one of the many questions posed throughout the course (a great number of these you can find within the slides posted on Blackboard) and do some free writing to see how the book can help you with your examination of this question. ▪
Be creative, analytical and courageous in your thinking. ▪
Remember – this is not a book review. The book itself is not the main purpose for this paper. Rather, the book provides the raw material to use to construct and substantiate your argument. Make sure to avoid providing summaries, overviews, detailed descriptions or critiques of the text. This is also not a paper about your personal experience or opinions; avoid using the first person. ▪
The paper must clearly state your thesis upfront and continue to logically present a convincing argument throughout. I strongly suggest using an outline to structure your narrative, so that all that you include speaks directly to your argument. Feel free to run your thesis by me via email, if this will make you more confident when proceeding with the assignment. I am also available to review your outline, as long as these are not given to me at the last minute. ▪
Avoid informality. Pay attention to your writing, spelling, grammar and, most of all, your analysis. Throughout your paper, make sure to write clearly, present a well-organized argument and cut extraneous content – that which does little to substantiate your thesis or strengthens your argument. Make sure to conduct a thorough edit. I recommend reading your paper aloud to facilitate editing. ▪
Your submission should be in twelve point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and submitted via Turnitin (make sure to keep your Turnitin receipt in case the system is in a period of unreliability). Stick within the page requirements and review the note on cheating and plagiarism posted on Blackboard. If you use additional resources, make sure to include citations. Select a format (APA, ASA MLA) and use it consistently. ▪
I can’t emphasize enough that this assignment is an opportunity for you to critically approach an area of challenge, something provocative, controversial, unfamiliar, convoluted, etc. Start with the baseline idea that the themes from the course are often complex and unresolvable. Writing a paper that presents a tight package with no loose ends will, then, most likely be artificial or, at least, an uncomfortable fit. Let your primary challenge be how successfully you can think through your thesis and articulate a corresponding argument.

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