We have been thinking about the San Francisco Bay Area as a place where diverse people come together in close proximity to share ideas and innovate. However, in a “contact zone” such as this, cultures, politics, and economic necessities often clash. This creates both opportunities and challenges for the residents of a city. Thinking as a critical and careful observer, how would you like to change your city?
For Essay 3, you will choose ONE issue to read about and research. You will then compose an essay that explains the problem and argues why it matters. Though you will be informing your reader about the issue, your purpose is to persuade the audience regarding the main reason this issue demands our attention.
To receive a passing grade, your essay must respond to the above prompt (in bold) and be:
Thesis-driven, and organized point-by-point
Supported by textual evidence (quote or paraphrase) from at least 5 sources + Glaeser. These five sources should include at least one audio/visual or multimedia source and at least one scholarly source (i.e., an academic journal article). You will be asked to submit an Annotated Bibliography (details to come) describing your source material in Week 9.
Formatted in MLA style, including MLA citations and a Works Cited page
4-5 pages of writing
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
The way you frame the issue for your reader in the introduction will make all the difference. Explain the situation, summarize the conversation, and explain the issue in your introduction, so that the reader interprets the problem the same way you do.
Your thesis should be the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, and it should put forth your main argument about why this issue deserves our attention.
When organizing your ideas, think about the CAUSES of your particular problem and the REASONS why it matters. These points will help your reader understand your main argument.
Your essay must cite Triumph of the City and connect to Glaeser’s ideas in Chapters 1-6 (not the Introduction!) in some way.
As Greene & Lidinsky advise in Chapter 1 of From Inquiry to Academic Writing, you should “seek and value complexity” (6). This means embracing the aspects of your topic that are confusing and/or difficult. Consider taking an historical view of the issue. It also means doing your best to understand and represent multiple points-of-view and counterarguments.