Essay Instructions: Humanities 115: The American Multicultural Experience
Analytical Essay Assignment
Due: May 23, 2012
Goal: This assignment asks students to construct textual/visual analyses of several works of art, literature, music, or film, as well as to be able to place these works in their historical and cultural contexts.
Responding to the question “What use are the humanities?”, prominant humanities scholar Stanley Fish has argued that
...the only honest answer is none whatsoever. And it is an answer that brings honor to its subject. Justification, after all, confers value on an activity from a perspective outside its performance. An activity that cannot be justified is an activity that refuses to regard itself as instrumental to some larger good. The humanities are their own good.
(“Will the Humanities Save Us?” New York Times Opinionater Blog, January 6, 2008)
In a well-organized and original 700-1000 word essay, use Fish’s comments as a starting point to argue for your view of the value (or lack thereof) of the humanities.
Instructions and Notes:
1. In order to make your case, you should provide close analysis and interpretation of AT LEAST TWO pieces of art/literature/music/film that we have examined over the course of the term. You should use these analyses to support your main argument about the value of the humanities.
2. However, each of the pieces should come a different artistic type (i.e. verbal art, visual art, music, or film).
3. Also, you MUST use ONE piece from our final unit on Native American humanities.
a. For example, you could use an analysis of a work by the Chinese American painter Yun Gee and an analysis of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie to argue that the primary value of the humanities is to provide a better understanding of the historical experiences of different groups in society.
b. Alternatively, you could perform formal analyses of Lalo Guerrero’s “No Chicanos on TV” and the film “Smoke Signals” to argue that the value of humanities is to help us understand how to craft entertaining and informative messages for an audience.
4. Outside research is NOT required for this assignment; however, if you wish to incoporate outside sources or more than TWO sources from the class, that is allowed.
5. ALL sources that you use, no matter where they originate, should be cited in the essay text. The paper should also include a bibliography of these sources.
6. See you syllabus for the writing guidlines for the course.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Humanities
There have in recent years been controversies over the content of the curriculum in our public schools and universities. In the mid-1990s, for example, there was a flare-up over what would be taught in history classes in grades 1 through 12, but issues like this arise in all subject areas. In some cases decisions have been made to cut subjects altogether--art, for example. Imagine a situation where you are confronting a skeptical group of parents who are demanding to know why someone ought to study the various subjects taught in this course. What would you tell them? Include each of the disciplines you studied: art, poetry, philosophy, classical studies, history, religious studies, and history of science. Your final assessment should be well developed and convey your understanding of the readings and concepts. It should also adequately answer the question. Your paper should be organized, coherent, and unified; it should also be free of spelling and grammatical errors. If you need help in writing such a paper, take a look at The Writing Center: University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Humanities Research Paper Checklist
(that explicates the idea of the paper and hopefully intrigues the reader)
_____Clear thesis sentence (underlined)
_____Discusses an aspect of your topic and/or person’s work
_____Contains 2-4 Supporting ideas / evidence
_____Has clear transitions between paragraphs
(that restates the thesis in some way and reinforces or reminds the reader of
the supporting ideas, including one final, cohesive bit of information if possible)
_____All paragraphs have at least 5 sentences
(Each paragraph has a main idea that relates to the thesis)
_____Direct quotes and/or indirect quotes (at least 7 total with citations) 5 journals and 2 internet sources.
If 5 Journals cannot be found, then as many journals + hard copies + 2 internet sources.
_____Works Cited page
(with all works on the Works Cited page either directly quoted or referenced in the text of the paper)
_____Each source is introduced and given credibility the first time it is mentioned in
the text of the paper.
_____Formal essay format (there is no use of I, me, we, us, you, my, etc.)
_____MLA format throughout
_____Must be able to pass the scrutiny of Turnitin.com ( Instructor drops all her turned in work to this site.)
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: HUMANITIES 101 TERM PAPER INSTRUCTIONS (these are the requirements for my term paper requested by the instructor)
TYPE OF PAPER:
This paper is to be an analytical, interpretive ESSAY that will involve library research. The focus will be on PRIMARY SOURCE (literature or records from the culture and/or period being studied-though in English translation) materials related to the course, which is Humanities: The Origins of Western Culture. For instance, a primary source on Plato or Greek philosophy would be Plato`s Republic, or some segment of it. Secondary sources (later books about your topic, sources, or documents) must be used also. I will be expected to take a position (which will be my THESIS) on my topic. This thesis should be clear and supported by plausible argument from primary source material, secondary source material, and my own insight. When I say the paper is to be analytical and interpretive, that does NOT mean descriptive.
My professor highly recommends that the paper be comparative: compare different cultural patterns or values by analyzing primary sources from each culture; compare different philosophers on a limited number of issues but do so without championing or demonizing any one belief system and make certain you compare them to support your argument. The essay must have a clear, genuine, and argumentative thesis statement.
Contrasting Views of Classical Athens: Pericles and Plato
The term paper MUST be a minimum of five (5) full typed pages (not counting the required separate title page or any source listing at the end). The maximum length is SEVEN pages. Graphics of any sort do not count toward the page total.
I must use MS-Word. The paper must have a separate title page (see below). The paper must be 5-8 pages (5 full pages minimum) doubled-spaced using 12 point Times New Roman type--5-8 pages of typed text, not counting the title page, graphics, or any list of sources or notes at the end.
The top, bottom, left, and right margins should be 1 inch. Do not justify the text.
Please have a separate title page (not numbered) which has the following: title (Contrasting Views of Classical Athens: Pericles and Plato), my name, Humanities 101, Averett University, Instructor: Professor Baker. Include the “certification” pledge:
CERTIFICATION OF AUTHORSHIP: I certify that I am the author of this paper and that any assistance received in its presentation is acknowledged and disclosed in the paper (with both in-text citations and a Works Cited sheet at the end of the essay). I have also cited any sources from which I used data, ideas, or words, either quoted, paraphrased, or summarized. I also certify that this paper was prepared specifically for this course and has not been used for another course (and will not be) either in whole or substantial part.
Center all of the information just described on the title page. Start the essay itself on the next page.
I must cite all sources in APA format and I must cite them properly; this is an extremely important part of this project.
NOTE: On this assignment there is a required minimum of FIVE sources. The sources that I use must be of an appropriate academic seriousness and credibility. For example, Cliff’s Notes or The Idiot’s Guide to Philosophy simply would not do. Dictionaries and encyclopedias do not count as secondary sources. I may use them if I must, but they will not count toward the total.
NOTE: I must incorporate at least twenty (20) citations into my essay from the secondary sources (hardly a daunting task: If you use an average of four (4) citations per page in a five-page essay, you will fulfill this obligation).
Please understand that my instructor, in an effort to safeguard both academic integrity and the integrity of your work, will use the technological resources available to all instructors to screen every student essay for plagiarism.
This is a very important part of my project. I should develop a working thesis---a position on my topic. This position should respond to a question about the topic. The overall thrust of my paper is to demonstrate the validity of my thesis.
ORGANIZATION: This essay must have an introduction, body and conclusion. (Do not use an abstract and do not break the essay in separate sections, each with its own heading. Strive for unity and coherence.) Think through different ways to organize the paper. Since this assignment requires a comparative paper, I am advised to cover and compare aspects of each belief system in each part of the paper. For instance, compare/contrast Plato and Pericles about their views of democratic classical Athens, do the comparison throughout the paper instead of using the first half of the paper to deal with Pericles and the second half to deal with Plato—the latter approach too often ends up being two descriptive “mini” essays instead of an integrated analysis that effectively compares.
In this type of paper, make each paragraph coherent around one theme or issue. Avoid excessively long paragraphs---those close to a page or more in length are too long! Avoid short paragraphs of just one or two sentences. Once again, the paper should have an introductory paragraph that clearly states my thesis, a body of paragraphs supporting the thesis, and a strong, resonant conclusion.
NOTE: Remember, the paper is partly informative and mostly analytical and persuasive---I do not have to review and describe an entire belief system at length before getting into your thesis and analysis. Use the primary and secondary sources judiciously, so that I support my argument with examples and evidence but do not clutter the paper with quotes. The thesis should give unity to the paper.
The textbook I'm using is:
Culture & Values: A SURVEY OF THE HUMANITIES, volume one/sixth edition, by Lawrence S. Cunningham and John J. Reich.
Library of Congress Control Number: 3
Student Edition: ISBN 0-534-58228-1
Instructor's Edition: ISBN 0-495-00850-8
Excerpt From Essay:
I really do appreciate HelpMyEssay.com. I'm not a good writer and the service really gets me going in the right direction. The staff gets back to me quickly with any concerns that I might have and they are always on time.
I have had all positive experiences with HelpMyEssay.com. I will recommend your service to everyone I know. Thank you!
I am finished with school thanks to HelpMyEssay.com. They really did help me graduate college..