Getting Ready for Essay 5
The final essay in our course will be a research/synthesis paper. One of your best strategies for writing large papers in college is to think through topics related to course readings, so as we work our way through the course, I will offer suggestions. Take some time with each and consider whether you would like to write a longer paper responding to these possibilities.
You can find the whole list here. If you do not wish to write on one of the topics from the list, that's OK, but in that case you will need to craft a proposal and get your own subject approved.
The best route to a good research/synthesis paper is to begin thinking very early, do background reading, and consider how you might approach the topic.
- Gloria Anzaldúa, "How to Tame a Wild Tongue"
- When the book from which this excerpt comes was published in 1987, much attention was being paid to multiculturalism and reactions against it—a conflict often called the "culture wars." Research this controversy and discuss the different political and philosophical visions informing the conflicting positions. What, if anything, has changed in the USA in the last 35 years? How might the "culture wars" affect our future?
- Frederick Douglass, "Learning to Read and Write"
- A common topic of conversation among educators concerns the ultimate goal of learning. One version of this conversation is about the tension between instrumentalist goals—you learn to prepare yourself to do certain things, such as a particular job—and the goal of knowledge for its own sake. Research this debate and what Douglass has to say about education in that light. How does this distinction make sense in his situation? Should education—especially college-level education—be primarily instrumentalist, or should it pursue knowledge for its own sake?
- Slave owners had other strategies for keeping control of their slaves besides keeping them illiterate. How else did they maintain control? Was there more than simple physical abuse?
- Research the history of the abolitionist movement and the place Douglass had in it. How did Northerners receive him? How effective was he?
- Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois had distinctly different attitudes toward education of African-Americans. After doing some research on both, evaluate their impact upon the education of Black Americans.
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Revised 12/30/21 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: email@example.com.