Multiculturalism in America?


Question Description

  • 4 - 4 ½ Pages;
  • Follow guidelines listed at the end of the syllabus;
  • Cite and fully analyze passages (see links in “English 1302 Readings” on incorporating direct quotations, summaries, and paraphrases) from both the in-class sources and outside sources. You are required to incorporate into your essay two of this unit’s in-class essays and two outside sources. For the outside sources, be aware that you will need to locate, examine, and evaluate roughly triple this amount in order to find two relevant, on-topic, reliable, and authoritative sources. You are required to pull the outside sources from databases such as ProQuest Research Library, Academic Search Complete, General Reference Center Gold, and Project Muse. You will create a works-cited page for this project, following MLA (8th Edition) formatting style.

A few things to consider:

  • Develop a focus for your essay before you begin the drafting process, perhaps conducting a couple of prewriting exercises to help you generate and refine points that will become significant to your argument (see “English 1302 Readings”). Given the nature of the assignment, this is a deeply important step, and one that should not be taken lightly. If you fail to decide upon an argumentative strategy before you start writing, you will inevitably fashion a loosely structured, ineffective essay that will not engage, let alone persuade, the reader;
  • Work to create cogent introductory and concluding paragraphs and unified, cohesive body paragraphs (see “English 1302 Readings”). Carefully examine each paragraph to determine how it is focused, structured, sequenced, and developed (do you have a strategy for each trait? You should).

Using two of the essays we have covered this unit—Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Jake Blumgart, "The Invisible Segregation of Diverse Neighborhoods," Walter Benn Michaels, "The Trouble with Diversity," Gloria Anzaldua, "How to Tame a Wild Tongue," Brent Staples, "Just Walk on By," Brumberg and Jackson’s “The Burka and the Bikini,” Mukherjee’s “American Dreamer,” Saulny’s “Black? White? Asian? More Americans Choose All of the Above,” Ehrenreich’s “Cultural Baggage,” and Rodriquez' "The Chinese in all of Us"—and two outside (secondary) sources, write an essay to the Houston Chronicle arguing for or against a deeper public engagement with multiculturalism. Please do not feel compelled to take a rigid (dogmatic) approach to the issue. You may examine the issue in terms of degrees and gradations, if you wish, and suggest that some forms of multicultural paradigms and institutions (educational, religious, political, and so on) are positive while other forms are negative. In the end, however, make your case for a specific approach to the place of multiculturalism in the institutions, symbols, and social practices that make up the United States. Create your own approach, but make sure that it is related to the central mandate of the assignment—arguing for or against a deeper public engagement with multiculturalism. To help you make your argument (to set up, promote, defend, etc. your points), you are required to cite ideas/themes/ passages from four sources—two from the above list of in-class essays and two from outside sources that you will locate in the databases. You need not simply adhere to the positions conveyed in the sources; feel free to refute the ideas/themes/passages of the sources as well (remember that refutation, in the Socratic form—dialectic—and in terms of Kastely’s notion of “meaningful disagreement,” is a democratic necessity). If no natural topical or thematic link exists among the sources you choose, work diligently to create one before you sit down and begin writing your essay (you need to determine how you plan to connect your source material to your overarching argumentative position before you start to compose your essay). In other words, establish a specific focus for your essay and choose four texts (once again, two in-class sources and two database sources) that allow you to develop your focus deliberately and judiciously, even if such a strategy requires you to locate common themes/attitudes/political approaches within the four sources, rather than a common topic or a common message.

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Tutor Answer

School: UC Berkeley


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Good stuff. Would use again.

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