Essay # 1
English 1302

Opening Comments:
• Expectations for Essay 1 are much higher than they are for the discussion forums. As I cover in “Discussion Forum Grading Rubric and Posting Instructions,” the evaluation of the discussion forums is based on three things: 1) meeting of deadline; 2) meeting of requirements; 3) level of effort put into the submission. The evaluation of Essay 1 is much more involved, and is based in a much fuller range of criteria. These criteria are directly established in the Grading Profile for Essay 1, which will be made available in the next couple weeks;
• As mentioned in the class schedule and other resources, a tutor-reviewed rough draft will need to be submitted along with a final draft when the essay is due. Any final essay submission lacking a tutor-reviewed rough draft will be penalized 5 points. See “Tutoring Requirements and Upswing Submission Instructions” for information on the review process.
◙ Using two of the essays of this unit—Volokh’s “The American Tradition of Multiculturalism,” Mukherjee’s “American Dreamer,” Saulny’s “Black? White? Asian? More Americans Choose All of the Above,” Michaels’ “The Trouble with Diversity,” Anzaldúa’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” Blumgart’s “The Invisible Segregation of Diverse Neighborhoods,” and Staples’ “Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space”—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 approaches to multiculturalism, including the institutions (educational, religious, political, and so on) they represent, 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 material from four sources—two from the above list of in-class essays and two from outside sources that you will locate in the HCC 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). You should not expect your four sources to speak directly to one another or offer the same insights into the topic. Therefore, you will need to work diligently to identify some connections among the sources before you sit down and begin writing your essay. In other words, you need to determine how you plan to connect your source material to your overarching argumentative focus before you start to compose your essay.
Length and Structural Requirements:
• Follow guidelines listed in the “Assignments” section of the syllabus;
• 4 – 4 ½ Pages (Any essay short of the length requirement will be penalized. The severity of the penalty is determined by how short the essay falls of the length requirement. Although I typically do not penalize essays that exceed the length requirement, for this essay I want everyone to make careful choices with their material and thus generate compact, precise essays.);
• Cite and fully analyze passages (see all relevant course resources and the links in “Class 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, Gale Academic OneFile, and Project Muse. You will create a works-cited page for this project, following MLA (8th Edition) formatting style.
Some key considerations:
• 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 “Class Readings” and other pertinent course resources). 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;
• Establish an approach, which should be argumentative, that does much more than generically address the four cited texts. Generate your own argumentative approach to the topic (taking a position on more or less public engagement with multiculturalism) and develop that approach using your own critical insights along with some of the insights generated by the authors of the texts you choose to cite. In other words, the passages you cite from your chosen texts should play a purely strategic role in helping you achieve the overarching purpose of your own argumentative pursuits (in general, your essay should have a minimum of four citations [one from each of your four sources] and a maximum of six/seven citations. If your essay has eight of more citations, you are moving in the wrong direction);
• Provide all of your points/claims with full and sharp coverage; make sure that you establish clear and relevant connections among all of your points and source citations;
• Work to create cogent introductory and concluding paragraphs and unified, cohesive body paragraphs (see “Class 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).
o **While it is acceptable to incorporate some personal anecdotal Links to an external site. material into your argument on occasion, Essay 1 is in no way intended to be a personal narrative. What this means: if you find yourself writing the story of your life, or part of your life (or the story of someone else’s life, such as a family member’s life), you are moving in the wrong direction.**

Class readings:
• 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”
• Susan Saulny, “Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above.”
• Bharati Mukherjee, “American Dreamer
• Eugene Volokh, “The American Tradition of Multiculturalism