Argumentation – Cultural Expectations and Single Stories

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Background:

This unit, we will be looking at cultural expectations, traditions, and stereotypes. We will complete our novel The Other Wes Moore, which discusses two men named Wes Moore who had similar childhood experiences and then went on vastly different paths in their lives. Horace Miner forces us to look at the Nacirema though an Americanized ethnocentric lens. The Humans of New York project asks us to look at Refugee storiesand challenge potential preconceived notions we may have about the intentions of refugees. Raya’s “It’s Hard Enough Being Me” pleads with readers to understand the many differences among Latinas and how shehas experienced an identity crisis, struggling between her identify as a Mexican and an American. Last,Ronald Takaki’s“The Harmful Myths of Asian Superiority”argues that “the ‘model minority’ image homogenizes Asian Americans and hides their differences”as well as “exacerbates relations between them and African Americans.”

Assignment:For this paper, answerONEof the following questions in 4-6pages (double-spaced, MLA). Be sure to useQUOTATIONSfrom The Other Wes Moorein proper format: “quote” (Moore 165).Answer your chosen question in a succinct thesis(which will go at the end of your first paragraph) and support your thesis with clearly organized paragraphs which include examples from the novel.Additionally, use AT LEAST 2 OF OUR UNIT READINGS (Miner “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”, HONY, Raya “Its Hard Enough Being Me”, Takaki “The Harmful Myth of Asian Superiority”) to supplement your interpretation and analysis of the novel in your chosen question. The in-class readings will help you to provide evidence for specific claims you make in your body paragraphs about the novel.

1.Discuss the similarities and differences in the two boys’ mothering styles. Question to answer in the thesis statement: how might the boys’ mothers influence their behaviors and their futures?

2.The other Wes Moore started in the drug game at eleven years old. Question to answer in the thesis statement: what kept our author off the streets?

3.Chapter 5 is titled “Lost.” In this chapter specifically, our author details his experiences at military school, and the other Wes Moore gets arrested for attempting to shootRay. Questionsto answer in the thesis statement: in what ways are the boys “lost” in chapters 5-8 of this book? When do the two boys show signs that they are not lost?

4.How might the family structure have affected the boys’ success? Consider both boys’ sets of grandparents and parents.

5. What do you think the most significant factor was in both boys going in separate paths in life? In other words, why do you think the other Wes ended up in prison while the author ended up a Rhodes Scholar?

Tips for Successful Essays:

4-6 pages.

Incorporates at least 3 of our unit’s readings

MLA format. 12-point font, Times New Roman.

A creative title that hints at the subject matter.

Concrete evidence from at least three sources.

Indicate a clear focus in a well-written thesis statement and stay focused

throughout the essay.

Organizing Principle.

Introduction, body, and conclusion.

Fully developed analysis of how the evidence supports each topic

sentence and overall thesis statement.

Implements proper stylistic conventions to include: sentence variation, collegelevel

vocabulary, target audience, complex sentence structure.

Use an effective structure that carefully guides the reader from one idea to the

next, and be thoroughly edited so that sentences are readable and appropriate for

an academic audience.

Write the paper as if addressing a scholarly audience.

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