Humanities
WR 150 Boston University Seaport District Research Paper

wr 150

Boston University

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Hi, it's great working with you again! This time, The goal is to finish this research paper about the seaport district which based on what we have completed before. Would you give me an introduction/ outline of the research paper by March 27 2:00pm Boston time. I will attach the instructions below, please ask me if you have any questions, or I can even email to the teacher about your questions.

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WR150: Research Paper Introductions How can we apply introductory strategies to our research projects? Here are some ideas to consider when introducing your research paper, and some sample introductions. “Moves” below are from John Swales, in Genre: An Introduction to History, Theory, Research and Pedagogy (Anis S. Bawarshi and Mary Jo Reiff, Routledge). Move 1: Establishing a Territory (or Common Ground or Context) Step 1: Claiming centrality; and / or Step 2: Making topic generalizations and / or Step 3: Reviewing items of previous research Move 2: Establishing a Niche (or Problem Statement) Step 1A: Counter-claiming, or Step 1B: Indicating a gap, or Step 1C: Question raising, or Step 1D: Continuing a tradition Move 3: Occupying the Niche (Claim or Resolution or Thesis) Step 1A: Outlining purposes, or Step 1B: Announcing present research Step 2: Announcing principal findings Step 3: Indicating research article structure Questions to help you choose and develop introductory strategies: Do you begin by establishing the significance of your research area? Do you acknowledge and summarize previous relevant research and conversation in the area? Do you offer sufficient background/context—theoretical, historical, factual—so your reader will be able to understand the basis of your research inquiry? Do you give a good sense of the debate (s) around your research area? Do you point out a gap in that previous research—perhaps, an area the research has overlooked (such as whether or not its conclusions apply to the local situation), or possibly a question as to whether the research methods or interpretations of results in previous studies are completely reliable? Do you point out a gap in the sense that previous thinkers have not taken their arguments in exactly the direction you intend to—or have not applied their theories to the sites, people or events that you intend to discuss? Do you make clear (whether or not you state it explicitly) that in the rest of your paper you will present your own original research to fill the “gap” pointed out in? Do you show how you might creatively agree with, add to, engage with or build upon current discourse? Do you raise a current question (or questions) that you intend to explore and answer as fully as possible? * Workshop In research projects like ours, your introduction may go on for several paragraphs, or even become an introductory section. Consider the academic articles you’ve been reading and some of the strategies applied to introductions in different disciplines, and also the samples from student essays (below). What kind of introduction will serve you best in your project? (For example: does your paper require a longer review of previous research? An opening counterargument or anecdotal common ground?) How will you adapt your introductory strategies? Work in class on your introduction/introductory section and share with your editing partners for feedback. Sample Introductory Paragraphs (which may be just part of a larger introductory section.) According to the folklorist Alan Dundes, his predecessors Vladimir Propp and Claude LeviStrauss base their systems for analyzing folktales and myths on contrary approaches. While the former describes the tale in terms of its temporal and observable structure, the latter develops a logical, almost “algebraic” formula for the narrative (Dundes 40). According to Propp’s theory, every folk tale consists of a set sequence of actions, which he calls functions (Propp 20). Based on his study of Russian tales, he classified these action elements into a limited sequence of thirty-one functions (26-65). These include moments such as the point when the hero is given an interdiction and violates it, when the villain tricks the victim, when the victim unwittingly helps the enemy, and when the hero is tested, acquires a magical object, defeats the villain, and returns home to marry and ascend the throne (26-65). To execute these functions, Propp identified seven universal character roles: the villain, the hero, the helper, the false hero, the princess or king, the donor who gives the hero magical powers or an object, and the dispatcher who summons or sends away the hero (22). Each of these roles does not necessarily correspond directly to a character in the story; thus, a single character could fill both the dispatcher and the donor roles. Thus Propp exclusively categorized the functions of what he called “dramatis personae” and the sequence of their actions (20). This essay does not aim to criticize the theory’s limitations in outlining the characters, but rather to demonstrate that the Proppian system does not apply perfectly to all folk narratives. –from “Nature as the Hero in the Legend King Cormac and King Conn” (Analysis Based on Levi-Strauss and Propp), --BU student Militza Zikatanova If Americans, as it is popular to suggest, are “addicted to oil,” it would appear that they are increasingly in danger of overdosing on the hydrocarbon drug. America’s reliance on oil is staggering. In 2006, the United States consumed 20.6 million barrels of petroleum per day, 1 two thirds of which went to fuel the transportation sector.2 This figure accounts for a total of 97.8 percent of the fuel used for transportation in the United States,3 making the contribution of all other alternatives appear essentially negligible. However, the U.S. is not alone in its addiction, as similarly astronomical statistics exist for much of the developed world, and these figures are projected to rise. Industrialization of developing nations, and particularly China and India, is driving world oil demand ever higher. Current projections forecast a 50 percent increase in worldwide oil demand within the next decade.4 It is universally recognized that petroleum is a finite resource, and this reliance cannot continue indefinitely. However, the largest concern is not depleting the oil supply entirely, but having demand outstrip the maximum quantity of oil that is economically feasible to produce. This watershed is likely to occur at the global oil peak, the point at which diminishing reserves cause year-over-year production to reach a maximum and decline thereafter, an event projected to occur in the near future.5 The impending arrival of the global peak in world oil production represents the most pressing threat to the current energy model. The feasibility of alternative fuels should be evaluated primarily based on their ability to adhere to the time frame and challenges presented by limited oil supply, and greater awareness of peak oil must be promoted to speed the diffusion of petroleum replacements. – BU student Gordon Towne During Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, the Farm Security Administration, a part of his New Deal bureaucracy, produced a multitude of well-known photographs documenting the impact of the Great Depression on rural America. This photographic record of the Depression, which provided work for photographers as well as illustrated the need for often vigorously opposed New Deal programs, has been the subject of substantial controversy regarding its objectivity: was it simply information, a mirror in which America could have a look at itself, or did it constitute propaganda? This question was particularly crucial during the 1930s, when two world powers—Germany and the Soviet Union—were increasingly infamous for their governments’ efforts to control the flow of information. To answer it, it is necessary first to clarify exactly what propaganda is, then to examine the FSA photographers’ methods and products, as well as their historical context. Because the issue is partly a semantic one, and reasonable people can disagree on the meanings of words, it is difficult to provide a conclusive answer; however, given the combination of the FSA photographers’ documentary methodology with the manner in which the photographs were used, it is safe to say that they were propaganda. But they were not just propaganda; that is to say, they bore the identifying marks of propaganda, but they were not in the same class as totalitarian propaganda. Rather, they were a legitimate form of political communication.—BU student Chris Meyer How one defines place varies from person to person, city to city, state to state, country to country. One person’s place could be another person’s nonplace. But what are the factors that constitute a place, making is significant enough for the label? Philosopher David Kolb, in his Sprawling Places, states, “often today places are also opposed to what are called nonplaces in another sense, all those malls and subdivisions and theme parks and parking lots that differ from classic dense and centered places …To say that the parking lot and the mall are nonplaces questions their simplicity and their thin social roles, yet even so they remain human places” (30). He suggests that we underestimate the worth of many places and proposes that the definition of a place be more general, less hierarchical and more inclusive. Kolb believes that the definition of place should be ideally any area that may or may not have a historical background, and may or may not contain communal activity, memories or personal experiences. However, what he does not fully recognize in his text is that often in local areas definitions of place do include the lesser-known and the not-historically-important spaces, like malls and parking lots. But what about these places make them eligible to carry that name? They all may contain communal activities, but what else defines them? In Lynda Morgenroth's “Intimate Geography: Boston’s Neighborhoods”, she selectively highlights the places that are special to her, namely the places that shelter her most significant memories. The importance of memory and social actions in her definition of a place is undeniable, and she clearly has a nostalgic attachment to historical Boston both natural and built, but she also presents a counterargument to Kolb’s assumption that we find it difficult to recognize the mundane. Even Boston preservationist Jane Holtz Kay, who emphasizes collective memory and architectures of “special worth”, also includes Boston buildings that have been forgotten, or that were not considered important parts of history, but that are significant to her—as she puts it,“my Boston is not your Boston.” Ultimately, “deep narratives” (as Kolb calls them), are important to our sense of place, but in Boston, even places without those deep narratives are clearly part of the greater identity of the city and recognized by many locals as significant in themselves. Last year there was a widely-publicized controversy over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil pipeline that would run from North Dakota to Illinois and run under the Missouri River and through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. In the Viceland documentary series RISE, it is stated that the pipeline would be “cutting through ancestral lands, threatening to destroy hundreds of sacred sites” while also threatening the water supply for millions of people in the Great Plains. The path of the project would go right through burial grounds on the reservation thus destroying historic cultural sites. A poignant symbol evoked in the documentary is that of a black snake that symbolizes the oil welcomed onto the reservation by the U.S. government; LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, the woman who catalyzed the Standing Rock Protests, ominously foretold that, “When the black snake comes, the world will end.” This sense of impending doom is well- precedented in that often when the United States government and industry encroaches on native land, disaster lies in its wake. The evolution of the American frontier was heavily driven by the differing ideas of land ownership held by the US government and by Native Americans. As the frontier pushed westward in the 19th century, white settlers for the most part believed that they were establishing their homesteads and communities on unclaimed land; however much of the land lay inside the boundaries of indigenous peoples’ nations. The European perception of the land available on the frontier during westward expansion is most famously described by Frederick Jackson Turner in his work The Frontier in American History, where he recounts how the American frontiersmen, unfamiliar with the native lands or people, viewed the American west as a tabula rasa wherein the land was theirs for the taking. Turner’s traders and trappers believed that the frontier “[lay] at the hither edge of free land” (or, as revisionist historian Patricia Nelson Limerick puts it in her landmark work The Legacy of Conquest, that “the virgin West was ‘closed,’ locked up, held captive by Indians’) even though there were countless tribes of indigenous peoples living on the land which, unbeknownst to them, was ‘legally’ purchased by the U.S. Government (Turner). Generally, Native Americans believed that they should preserve the landscape and the resources that sustain them; this means that the presence of these indigenous people was not always apparent to colonists, or at least that Native “ownership” of the land was not. The predominantly white frontiersmen held the prevailing belief that in order to truly settle an area, one should conquer the land and aggressively utilize its natural resources. Limerick describes more explicitly that “land and natural resources, to the Anglo-American mind, were meant for development” --and that the driving force of the westward expansion was economic. Because of this mindset, the presence of the American settler greatly and negatively affected the shape and well-being of the land. While the Native Americans co-existed with the land, the white settlers, and consequently the US government, capitalized on its monetary potential. This dichotomy in views of land stewardship and “ownership” has resulted in devastating colonial violence. From the renaming movement to Standing Rock, the US government has violated countless treaties with indigenous nations, with the intent to profit from the land that was originally owned (and lived on) by the Native people. This cultural disconnect between Native Americans and the U.S. government has shaped the legacy of the American frontier over the past two centuries. WR 150: Boston’s Natural History Research project Length: 2000+ words At least 10 outside sources, some of which must be scholarly/peer-reviewed (note: some projects will also refer to at least one text from the course) May include multimodal elements/engage with multimodality: images, maps, graphics, etc. Draft proposal and annotated bibliography due for review: 2/28 Proposal and annotated bibliography due: 3/6 Developmental research presentations: 3/16-3/20 Draft due: 3/20 Final version due: 4/1 Purpose: Our academic research paper for WR150 will be a project based on an inquiry of your choosing that is related in some way to our course themes. This project will bring together skills you have learned in WR120 and WR150 including developing questions, presenting claims, building an argument, using multiple sources of differing types, drafting, revising and research. You should choose a question or problem that interests you enough to focus on for the remainder of the term, as you will be reworking your research inquiry for a different audience as a final assignment for the class. Task: For this assignment, you will design a claim-driven (not just informative) project around one of the subjects we have explored, for example: wilderness in the city, place, public space, the role of history and land in city-building, public memory and landscape, green space, parks, urban wilds, wildlife, the relationship between nature and civilization, etc. All of these areas for exploration should be connected in some way to the city of Boston. You may use any of the texts we have read this semester, and if you choose, you may also include your own perspective on your topic based on observations of/site visits to one of the places listed on our Blackboard site or to another site or sites of your choice. Personal encounters with Boston and use of multimodal elements (images, web components, graphics, etc.) in your projects are encouraged! Sample initial questions with potential texts from the class you might use in addition to your own research, which will help you refine your own specific question: What is the history of uses of green space in the city of Boston (or on the BU campus) and how can it be improved? (Mitchell, Kay, and site visits by you to supplement your discussion.) What is “place” and how does placemaking function to connect natural and built in the city of Boston? (Kolb, Kay, Thoreau, Morgenroth, site visits) What is the ideal relationship between nature and the city –especially in urban parks? (Cronon and his critics, Mitchell, Thoreau, site visits) How does the city of Boston provide environment for a particular species (choose a species) and how could that be improved? Walkability, sustainability and public space: how well is Boston (or BU) doing? Reverse development: how has it happened in the city and where could it happen more? The urban canopy: what issues, social and environmental, surround this key element of urban space in Boston? Can “wilderness” exist within a city? (Cronon, Mitchell, Kay, Spirn) What is the relationship between the nature-civilization binary and the uses of particular public spaces in the city of Boston? (Kay, Lowell, Spirn, site visits) How do individual and collective memory/history function together to build a sense of place, particularly in public green spaces? (Kay, Morgenroth, Mitchell, Kolb). How do human relationships with places, natural and built, change over time—for example as we move from visitor to new community member to local. Choose a particular site or two in which to explore this question. (Morgenroth, Mitchell) Explore the history of a particular public space or natural area in or around Boston (e.g.The Common, The Fens, Boston Harbor Islands, The Emerald Necklace, Hall’s Pond Sanctuary) What is the significance of the area to the city? What does it tell us about the way the city uses space, about what it values or does not value, about public memory, about the relationship between nature and the city, about patterns of human use, etc.? (You will obviously need to visit your site more than once for this inquiry.) Explore the history of a particular building or architectural site in Boston through the lens of organic architecture or sustainability. (Note: Pay particular attention to new construction projects happening in the city and on/near campus.) Compare the ways in which two different neighborhoods in Boston use green space—or compare the ways in which buildings and open spaces relate to one another in different Boston neighborhoods. (Morgenroth, Mitchell, your own site visits.) How does Boston University use green/open space on campus? You may wish to compare BU to other Boston campuses, which of course you would need to visit and research. How do you think green/open space should be used on campus? Compare the development or role of parks/green spaces in two different cities—e.g. New York and Boston, Tokyo and Boston, LA and Boston. You may want to focus on one or two spaces in particular. (Spirn, Kay, Mitchell.) How does human memory interaction with landscape in the construction of a city, particularly the city of Boston? (Kay, Spirn, Lowell, Morgenroth) How does landscape dictate—or not—the construction of a city? (Kay, Mitchell) How does Boston present its sacred and memorial spaces (in particular as these connect to use of public green space)? (Lowell, Kolb, Kay) The “joy of citybuilding” vs. overdevelopment and the ...
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Surname 1
Name
Instructor
Course
Date
Seaport District, Boston, MA
Introduction
The current century has had the City of Boston experiencing a crucial facelift to one of its
parts, the Seaport District. Fundamentally, history has not always been easy on the District, for it
has for years endured a strained development and minimized attention from developers.
Primarily, the region was seemingly worthless just a few years ago, littered with parking lots and
abandoned warehouses, drowning in diminishing glare. However, developers recently became
aware of the District’s invaluable nature, a key element that ignited one of the most sparking
developments both in Boston and in the larger America. Today, the Seaport District is known far
and beyond, and its reputation is a crucial ingredient to the City of Boston. Indeed, the area has
become sensational for most people, with many seeking to acquire the status of residency while
others finding joy in the honor of being visitors. Although the development of the Seaport
District adds value to Boston, the area has established itself in a way that alienates it from other
parts of Boston, portraying unmistakable variations that make it unique.
Background Information
The history surrounding the Seaport District is a rather interesting one. The area has
come far over the past one and half-century, beating the odds stacked against it with the recent
developments. Originally, the seaport, also known as Fort Point Channel, on South Boston's
waterfront was a broad saltwater inlet, which linked the channel to the South Bay and Boston

Surname 2
Harbor. The Shawmut Peninsula was isolated from the Mattapanock or Dorchester Neck tidal
mudflats.

Initially, it existed as a muddy spot in Boston Harbor, with water covering most of its
parts. In the 20th century, it became a shipping area, thriving substantially following the need to
receive different raw materials including wool and leather living (The Many Dimensions par. 1).
Fishermen also used Seaport District as a docking area before it became majorly a parking area
with abandoned warehouses (Gopal and Sullivan par. 1). However, the 21st century changed
Seaport District as developers realized the untapped potential and began construction and
development of the area to what is seen today (Acitelli par. 1). Since the development, the area
has had significant contributions to Boston, availing a novel sensation to most Bostonians and
people from other regions.
The Change in Seaport District
Over the last few years, the Seaport District has attracted immense attention from
different people primarily following the breathtaking development. Researchers, scholars,
journalists, and tourists among various other groups of people have found an interest in the area,
often focusing their energy and resources in understanding and experiencing what the District

Surname 3
has to offer. For instance, Gibson (2019) particularly praises the development by terming Seaport
as the hottest neighborhood in Boston (par. 1). The description provided by the author is indeed
true for the area has managed to overcome an abominable era, a period of parking lot domination
and abandoned warehouses, and it has moved to modernity at such a great rate that other Boston
areas seem as if they are not trying enough.
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