WRIT1003 Fall 2020 Ingledew


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Paper 3(2400 words. Note this expectation!!).The first draft of Paper 3is dueby the end of the daySunday November 1. It should be aiming at at least 2000 words, with the expectation that after you get my comments, and as you continue to work on it before you get my comments, it will become longer with more sources.It should include the sources that you cite in it, laid out in APA style (we’re getting serious about formatting sources correctly; I’ve given you the links on each of the previous two assignments). For the final draft, I am expecting about a dozen entries in this References section, of which at least six should be scholarly. The second draftwill be due by class time on November 12.You will get this draft back on November 15, and have till 1:00 p.m. and not one minute later to make final revisions and hand in your final copy, which will be worth 35% of your final grade (papers one and two are worth 20% each).


As you get nearer to fixing your words in their final form, I recommend that you take advantage of the following opportunity to do with the writing (as against the research or the argument): if you wonder how to do something when you write, or you have a particular grammar problem, or you wonder whether you succeeded in something you set out to do, like write a strong introduction, or use quotes effectively or format them correctly, or if you get confused writing the paper, etc., etc., etc., let me know by inserting questions in square brackets in your paper as you write, or by writing questions in the margins, or by making some comments at the end of your paper. I will respond.


To review the assignment itself: you have done a paper laying out the background of your topic. This meant providing basic information on your topic at its largest level (BLM?), and then at the next level of specificity (BLM and the police?). As you made your way into this level of specificity, you were feeling out what the issues were at this level, and which of them you might become curious enough about to investigate: for example, how the police are funded.


But you needed to frame your curiosity in terms of a question, which would be your research question. Easier said than done. For your research paper to be an argument paper (as the course requires), the question it investigates has to be a live one, without a foreordained answer. There has to be debate about your research questionout there in the world of the journalists who provide much of our information and of the scholars who provide most of our thinking-through of that information. If everyone agreed that the police should be completely dissolved leaving no police force, there would be no need for your research question. There has to be an element of controversy about your research question, from which debate stems.


That debate was the subject of your second paper, where you laid out the views in response to your question that you were encountering in the world of journalism but even more in the world of research built primarily by academics (university professors) and other researchers. What had these sources to say about the police in relation to BLM? As you laid these views out, you were at the same time finding that some of the suggested policies or reforms or changes looked supported by better evidence than others, and you were moving in the back of your mind toward coming to your own view. But the job of Paper Two was not yet to provide that view.


Which brings us to Paper Three. Now, you present your view. In stating it, you commit yourself to an argument: you are taking a position, and you have to make your case for why you have come to hold that view as to what if anything should be done about the police in relation to African-American citizens. Now you pull together the work you did in the first two papers. In order for you to make your case, you will be drawing on background material from your first paper, and referring as you go through the paper to the views of qualified sources, especially scholarly, that speak to your research question. All of this will serve one purpose: for you to explain why you have come to the view you announce in your introduction as your thesis or hypothesis, in answer to your original research question.


If as you write the first draft of Paper Three, you feel confident about your view, call it (in your own mind) your thesis. If you still feel not quite sure, think of it as your hypothesis. I’ll be giving you feedback; meanwhile, you should still be coming up with a few new sources. By the time you write the second draftof Paper three, namely the final Research Paper, you should be able to commit yourself to a thesis with a measure of confidence. The reason I distinguish between hypothesis and thesis is to recognize the nature of research: that as we carry our research out, we may change our view according to what we learn from new sources, or as we rethink our previous sources. Our papers should be “live” all the way to the end of the process, at which point they should be in the area of 2400 words.


In our final classes, we will be recalling some of the main philosophical and conceptual ideas from the handouts by Bertrand Russell and Richard Lanham on why we might seek knowledge about the world we live in and about what the way we use language says about us; and we will be fine-tuning the voice of our papers, and their language and style—grammar, vocabulary, etc. (see the revised syllabus for details).



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