Length: 4-5 pages, double-spaced Citation Format: MLA
Document Format: Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Times New Roman font, size 12pt
In their introduction to Keywords for American Cultural Studies, editors Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler call upon the reader to build upon and improve their text: “to revise, reject, and respond to the essays that do—and do not—appear in this publication, to create new clusters of meaning among them, and to develop deeper and richer discussions of what a given term does and can mean when used in specific local and global contexts” (15).
With this call for collaboration in mind, your goal in our first graded essay is the following:
Come up with a keyword that isn’t included in Keywords for American Cultural Studies, but which you think should be included
Compose a researched essay about that keyword in the style of the keyword essays found in Burgett and Hendler’s book
Ethos=The essays contained in Keywords for American Cultural Studies contain both primary and secondary sources. Likewise, in order to demonstrate credibility on your chosen keyword, you too should be working with primary and secondary sources. Integrate at least two primary sources and at least four secondary sources into your essay, and cite them correctly in MLA format. We’ll talk about both kinds of sources (and how to cite them) in class.
Logos=The essay should be logically organized and should develop in a way that supports the initial claim made about the keyword at the beginning of the essay. Each new paragraph should be clearly identified by a topic sentence that builds upon and/or transitions logically from the topic of the previous paragraph.
Exigence and Audience: =Your basic exigence in this essay is that you need to convince your target audience—Burgett and Hendler, as well as other scholars of American culture—that your keyword is important enough to include in the book. It is in this sense that the essay is an argumentative one with a specific rhetorical situation. Accordingly, you need to make the case that your keyword is one worth thinking deeply about in the first place. One strategy for doing this is to pick a keyword whose definition most people tend to take as self-evident, but then to show that definition to be debatable, contested over, or unsettled in some important fashion. We’ll look at this strategy (and others) while discussing our class readings from Keywords for American Cultural Studies.
Grammar/proofreading=The essay should be clearly written, proofread, and free of grammatical and spelling errors.
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