You can write your paper on any popular music genre of your choice — the task is to craft a thesis around your chosen music that deals with one of the social issues/processes, those issues include appropriation, politics of identity (race, class, gender, age, etc.), globalization, technology, and nationalism. To do this, you need to focus your paper topic and narrow in on a specific argument/point that you will make in the limited space of the paper. (Tips: pick a specific artist or even specific album to use as a case study — this is much more powerful (and ultimately a more manageable project) than trying to write a broad statement about an entire genre, and it helps you avoid making problematic generalizations.) Times New Roman 12. Double spaced.
You must cite at least two sources from the reading and two additional outside academic sources. I also encourage you to use additional online media such as YouTube, Rolling Stone, and any other source of popular culture you can think of. In total, you should cite at least six sources. You must include a References Cited list (bibliography) at the end of your essay.
Your paper must have a clear topic and thesis statement. Your paper must contain descriptive, cultural, historical detail. Your paper must also contain cogent, thoughtful analysis. Some questions you might address include: Does this music or artist(s) repeat any trend(s) we have covered in this course? What issues addressed in this course apply to this music or artist(s) in some way and how? What does it have in common with other genres of music we have studied—Tin Pan Alley, minstrelsy, rhythm & blues, rock ‘n’ roll, protest music, subculture or subcultural scenes, heavy metal, etc.?
1. Introduces genre/musician
2. Introduces course concept
3. Includes thesis
1. Includes a course concept (a specific identity category, authenticity, etc.)
2. Specifies what type of music is involved
3. Makes a claim that connects your specific musical case to your course concept
1. Does each topic sentence connect to the thesis
2. Does each body paragraph have a main point
3. Uses specific examples
1. Uses at least four scholarly sources (two sources from the reading and two outside academic sources)
2. Uses six sources total
3. Non-scholarly sources reputable (ex: NY Times, not Wikipedia or random website)
1. Restates thesis in topic sentence
2. Does some summarizing of the rest of paper
3. Addresses “so what?” question – why this topic matters
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