For example, you may identify (and make a claim about) an interpretive problem about the controversy, or you may destabilize (and resolve, making a claim about) the status quo understanding of the controversy. Whether you take a side or not in the controversy is irrelevant; the goal of your essay is to bring the reader to a deeper understanding of the controversy. Audience: Your audience for this essay is another Columbia undergraduate who is unfamiliar with your exhibit and texts. Your rhetorical goal is to convince your reader not only that you are right, but also that your exhibit is worth making claims about. Your job is to keep the reader reading. Goals: Continue to develop the skills introduced in the first two essays: identify a problem, make a claim,close-read effectively, use structure to present your argument clearly and effectively, establish motive, put sources in integrated conversation, practice ICE, explain and utilize key terms, use sources ethically, orient your rhetoric around understanding rather than winning.
Choose sources that represent the scholarly landscape and that relate to (enhance, support, complicate) your controversy, exhibit, and argument. Use sources in varied ways background, evidence, argument, and method keeping in mind that a source may be used in multiple ways.
Offer an analysis of your sources, interpreting and evaluating their arguments and rhetoric.
Make sure that your argument develops with exploration and deals with potential counter-arguments or complications.
Give your essay a title that intrigues and orients the reader. A few notes on research: The CU reference librarians are an invaluable resource. They’re dedicated to helping you find and select resources efficiently and wisely. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions!
You can include interviews and site visits primary sources in your research.
More sources are not necessarily better. It is better to use fewer sources deeply and thoughtfully and well than to just touch the surface of more sources. Keep the scope of your project manageable and reasonable.
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