HUMA 1300 RESEARCH ESSAY
HUMA 1300 RESEARCH ESSAY
DEFINING THE TOPIC: The readings assigned in this course between January 9 and February 27 raise important questions about the representations of people of African descent in popular culture, and the constructions of gender and sexuality in North America and the Caribbean. This research assignment requires you to define your own research topic based on one of the broad themes discussed in these weeks. You may choose to discuss, for example, one of the following areas: • The ways blackness is represented in popular culture such as film or TV • The role of musics in constructing black identities • The school-to-prison pipeline • Black women and feminism/womanism • Intersections of gender, ‘race,’ class, and/or sexuality in stereotypes about black men or women This is hardly an exhaustive list! We want you to focus on a topic that is of interest to you. Once you have chosen a broad area, you will still need to narrow it down and refine it to identify the specific topic you wish to explore, the questions you will examine, or the argument you wish to make. Please consult your tutorial leader or one of the course directors if you have problems formulating and developing a topic.
THE ASSIGMENT: The assignment is divided into two sections: a proposal and bibliography worth 5% and a formal research essay worth 15%. The two components are described below. Part 1: Proposal and Annotated Bibliography Value: 5% Due: February 27, 2019 Total Length: approx. 3 pages (750 words) You will need to submit a paper proposal of roughly 250-350 words (approx. 1 page). Your paper proposal should briefly explain: • Your narrowed-down TOPIC • The current state of the conversation about your topic (scholarly conversation, or also popular conversations, depending on the nature of your topic) • The main QUESTION you bring to this research (the answer to this question will become the foundation for the thesis of your final essay) • How you will engage with your research question (for example, your methodology or approach, the themes or issues you want to examine further, the aspects of your topic you particularly wish to explore) You will also need to include an annotated bibliography of the resources you plan to use (approx. 2 pages). Each entry in the bibliography should consist of the full reference for the source cited in MLA format, and a paragraph of 4-5 sentences summarizing the source and stating how it will contribute to the essay. The bibliography should include at a minimum the following sources: • 2 sources (which may include films) assigned in the second term of the course • 2 external scholarly secondary sources that are not on the syllabus, which you have found through independent research • If you plan to use any creative texts as primary sources of analysis (films, TV shows, an album, song lyrics, a music video, etc.) you must also list these in your annotated bibliography as well. Explain which aspects of these texts you plan to analyze and why. Part 2: Research Essay Value: 15% Due: March 20, 2019 Length: 7-8 pages (approx. 2000 words) The research essay is the main part of the assignment. In the essay you need to develop your argument(s) clearly and provide evidence to support your discussion, and demonstrate the ability to analyze and use sources critically. You are expected to take into account the suggestions made on your outline and bibliography. You are also required to include a copy of your graded outline with your research assignment. If you change your research topic after feedback from your tutorial leader, please submit copies of both the original and new outlines. Purpose: This assignment will help you develop your critical reading and analytical skills, engage cross-textual analysis, and develop library and other research skills. Format: The assignment should be typed, doubled-spaced and have numbered pages. A cover page should include the title of your assignment, your name, and your tutorial leader’s name. Choose a title carefully that will suggest the main ideas of your paper. Your assignment should also include carefully cited references within the body of the text and a works cited page at the end using the MLA style guide. Criteria of Evaluation: Review this checklist of evaluation criteria as you prepare your essay: Content and Comprehension • Does your essay demonstrate comprehension of course texts and concepts? • Does your essay demonstrate the ability to assess critically your subject texts? • Does your work demonstrate the ability to apply course material and concepts in a broader context? Argumentation and Development • Does your essay have a clear thesis, or argument, that is consistent throughout the paper? • Does the body of your essay support your thesis with evidence drawn from the relevant texts (quotations, examples)? • Have you avoided unfounded generalizations in your argument? Style and Structure • Does your essay have a consistent and organized style? • Are your sentences and paragraphs coherent and well structured? • Do you avoid words or phrases that are repetitive, wordy, or vague? Presentation • Is your essay polished and professionally presented in format and appearance? • Did you proofread your work for punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors? • Have you included and properly formatted all necessary citations using MLA format? Originality • Does your work show evidence of critical, creative thinking? • Are you demonstrating your own ideas?