Write a 5+-page academic essay where you analyze multiple perspectives about mass incarceration and identify where specific authors have common ground and where they have divergent viewpoints.
Paragraph 1 (and possibly 2): Introduction
Your introduction will introduce the main issue(s) at hand. It will then introduce the readings and authors whose perspectives you are comparing/contrasting. Lastly, it will include a thesis statement arguing where common ground exists, and where it doesn’t, between the authors you’ve chosen.
Paragraphs 2-8 (you will likely have anywhere from 5-8 body paragraphs): Body Paragraphs
Your body paragraphs will each begin with a topic sentence indicating which readings you are comparing/contrasting in that paragraph, and how they relate to one another. You will then provide a quote from the first reading you want to discuss. You will follow the quote with 2-4 sentences of analysis. Each analysis sentence will tell the reader how they should understand the quote in relation to your thesis, topic sentence, and/or the issues at hand. You will then provide a quote from the second reading you want to discuss. You will follow the quote with 2-4 sentences of analysis. Each analysis sentence will explain the relationship of the second quote to the first: do they have common ground or not? How so? Why or why not? You will end the paragraph re-affirming how the two quotes relate and transition to the next paragraph.
As you proceed through your body paragraphs, you should make clear how all your points add up to an argument about where common ground exists, and where it doesn’t, between your chosen authors.
Final Paragraph: Conclusion
Your final paragraph will be your conclusion. Your first sentence will indicate that you are concluding (“In conclusion” or “In closing” is simple way to indicate that). The first sentence will also re-affirm the main point of your body section/thesis. Each of your conclusion paragraphs will re-state a main point you made in your paper.
First, you will do our readings for Unit 1 and take notes/highlight extensively. You will complete your quote sheets and summaries for each reading. You will participate in our discussion boards where we think about the different perspectives given to us on the issue.
Second, you will engage in some kind of pre-writing. This could include one or more of the following: freewriting, doodling, mapping, clustering, journaling, etc. In this phase, you are trying to find where common ground exists, and where it doesn’t, between various authors.
Third, you will select 2-3 readings to focus on.
Fourth, you will begin outlining. In particular, you will review your pre-writing and quote sheets, then begin building possible body paragraphs around areas of common ground and areas of disagreement. I highly recommend outlining and drafting the body paragraphs before worrying about the introduction.
Fifth, you will fill in your outline to include possible analysis sentences and areas of focus, including possible topic sentences.
Sixth, you will outline your introductory paragraph, especially your thesis. Your thesis will tell the reader where authors come together, and where they diverge.
Seventh, you will draft the paper, taking the structure you outlined and building sentences into it. You will try to craft sentences that clearly explain your points, each sentence doing something specific and essential in the essay. Tip: quotes matter most. You don’t need to think of “things to say”; instead, you should think about quotes and how to analyze them.
Eighth, you will submit your draft for review.
Ninth, you will review the feedback you received on your draft and think about how to improve the structure and style of your paper.
Tenth, you will do a final edit, making sure you have proper MLA in-text citations and works cited entries, and limiting typos and other superficial issues.
Eleventh, you will submit the draft for final grading.
If, at any point, you feel confused or in need of assistance, please reach out to me, the SSTC, Smarthinking, and/or a trusted peer/mentor.
The paper must be 5+ pages long (not including the works cited page).
The paper will be formatted according to MLA standards, which means double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins.
The paper will include roughly two quotes per body paragraph from our readings, and each quote will have an in-text citation with the appropriate page number.
The paper will include an introduction with a thesis; body paragraphs with topic sentences, quotes, and analysis; and conclusion that re-states your main points.
The paper will include a works cited page with each entry in appropriate MLA format. See an example here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_sample_works_cited_page.html
1. The New Jim Crow Chapter 1
2. Treat Drug Addiction & Address Character pg. 52 from Solutions American Leaders Speak out
3. Shut The Revolving Door of Prison pg. 37 from Solutions American Leaders Speak out
4. A Real Mental Health System pg. 49 from Solutions American Leaders Speak out
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