In the Introduction, the concept of hegemony is introduced and discussed. Define what this concept means using evidence from the text (not a dictionary). Second, explain in detail how this concept plays a significant role in American culture by using historical examples from the Introduction and Chapters One and Two. In your essay, be sure to discuss the following points in your explanation of the role of hegemony in American culture. Be sure to answer these questions in arguing for a thesis and back up your views with specific examples and ample citations from the text (these are all major factors in grading and essays that do not meet the minimum requirements will not be graded): • Define hegemony using evidence from the text. • Give historical examples from the text that illustrate and explain the concept in careful detail. • In light of your understanding of hegemony, what is your view of the traditional metaphor of the melting pot? Should it be revised? If so, what other metaphor is more accurate? • Discuss one example of cultural hegemony where you would object to the view of the authors and explain why. In other words, is there an example where the authors would view the situation in terms of hegemony, and you would argue otherwise? Is there an example they miss? Your answer could vary depending on your own background, political views, or values. As long as your thesis is well-supported, you should feel comfortable arguing for a thesis that represents your own point of view. In other words, don’t try to guess what you think I believe or worry that you will be graded down if our points of view happen to be different, as this is irrelevant to the grading process. Avoid generalizations. Use specific examples to back up your thesis, following the instructions below carefully (reproduced from the syllabus) and using the handouts and grading rubric provided on our course page. Avoid block quotations as they take up too much space but back up your points with an ample supply of citations (with page numbers from the text in parenthesis). Avoid citing from just one page or a handful of pages. One goal of the essay is to demonstrate broad familiarity with the text. The essay grade will be an average of the three scores generated according to the three criteria listed on the writing rubric, which can be found, along with other sources on writing essays, using the Files course tool on our course page. For each criterion, Grammar/Presentation; Use of Textual Evidence; and Content, one of four performance indicators will be assigned: Exceptional; Exceeds Basic Expectations; Meets Basic Expectations; or Needs Improvement. Please be aware that your essays will be graded in part using Turnitin, software designed to detect unattributed text from sources such as internet sites and academic essays. The software also analyzes similarities with essays handed in previously for assignments in courses such as ours from around the world. Grading Essays that do not meet the minimum requirements will not be graded. Essays must be written clearly, have the required word count, and be properly referenced. Essays that do not meet these requirements fall outside the scope of the performance indicators on the writing rubric and will be assigned a grade of zero. For a paper of this length, about three pages, plan to include 12-15 references to the text. These should be relevant, carefully chosen, and further the argument presented in the essay.
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