MIDTERM DRAFT ESSAY TOPIC & INSTRUCTIONS IMPORTANT: You need to read this whole document carefully. It contains all the important information and guidance you need for BOTH your midterm draft and final version of your essay. Print this file to ensure you are not missing important details, and keep it with you to help guide your work. Highlight the areas in the instructions that may not be clear and feel free to stop by my office (Schmitt Hall 241G) to seek help or ask for clarifications. As stated at the beginning of the semester, we must write an essay for this class. All students must do the essay. However, the way we are going to do this goes like this: 1) At the midterm point, we must produce the first draft (outline) of the essay, which will be due on October 22, 11:30 AM. Whatever grade you will get on the Midterm Draft will be a placeholder grade that will be waiting for the final essay version’s grade to be changed. While this midterm grade will reflect the strict quality of your Midterm Draft, it is expected that you will use my feedback to improve your work and produce a final version of your essay that will allow you to get the best final essay grade you can get. 2) And, so, based on the feedback you will receive on the Midterm Draft, you will produce the final version of your paper, which will be due on Final Exam day on December 19. The Final Essay Grade you will get here will count not only towards your final essay grade, BUT ALSO towards your Midterm Draft grade. For example, let’s assume you got 65% (D) on your Midterm Draft, but 92% (A) on your Final Essay version; well, in this case, this 92% will count not only towards its natural spot in your Final Essay grade, but also replace the 65% you got on your midterm draft, so that you will end up with 92% on the Midterm Draft grade and 92% on your Final Essay grade. 3) Since you will have the next three weeks to do this Midterm Draft, amidst other regular weekly assignments, I would recommend working on a section of your draft each week, so that you can be ready by the deadline. Note that you will still continue to have our regular weekly 200-word assignments as per the usual, so your time management skills are going to be essential. 4) The topic for the Midterm Draft will be the same topic for the final version of your essay. So, be sure to begin to look at this carefully. TOPIC (For BOTH the Midterm Draft and the Final versions of your essay) Let’s assume that by virtue of your taking this class, you have become an expert on Africa. Based on what you have learned, and using both the films and books used in this class to support your arguments, what would you respond to someone who would make the following three statements in a U.S. Department meeting where people who have never studied Africa are present? 1. “Africans have dictatorships today because they traditionally only had dictatorial and despotic forms of governments prior to the arrival of the Arabs and the Europeans.” 2. “Africans have ethnic wars today because their ethnic groups always hated each other prior to the Arab invasions and European colonization, and their ethnic wars of today are a direct consequence of these pre-colonial and pre-Islamic hatreds.” 3. “Contrary to Basil Davidson’s assertion, the model of the “nation-state” that Europeans used to create the countries that make up Africa today was never a curse and, with their territories now independent, Africans can no longer blame colonialism and/or use the white man’s colonial abuses during colonial times as an excuse to explain their political and economic problems of today.” As you can see from the way the essay topic is organized, this is multifaceted essay topic that actually contains three questions. All three questions must be addressed as part of the same essay topic. The topic already organizes your essay into THREE sections and, therefore, THREE lines of argument that are guided by the three 2 questions. These sections should be the basis not only of your outline, but also for your general progression of ideas and arguments. • A good idea, when responding to a question is to always introduce your paper with an idea of exactly what you are going to try to show. Use formulas such as: “I will argue in this paper that such a depiction of Africa is the result of the types of colonial misperceptions and misconceptions that contributed to the “invention of Africa” by European colonial powers. Or, “In this paper/section, I will be showing that 1 + 2 + 3…. are equal to 6.” • Also: refrain from being emotional or personally and emotionally involved in your paper. Academic analysis is neutral and attempts to remain objective. So, instead of saying: “I am shocked to see how cruel Europeans were towards Africans”, a scholar would, rather, use phrasing that is similar to this: “The European’s treatment of Africans, on many grounds, appears to have involved a great deal of cruelty”. So try as much as you can to stay out of your own paper. An emotional argument takes away from the scholarly analysis expected from you and also may read as too “high-schoolish”… We want, rather, to write as scholars. A. MIDTERM DRAFT INSTRUCTIONS: • DUE DATE: October 22, at 11:30AM in class (Hand in your printed work on this day in class). • SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS: You work must be TYPED and your file attached on Canvas by 11:30AM on October 22. Must also be PRINTED and the printed copy must be turned in to me in class on October 22 at 11:30AM. No late drafts will be accepted. FORMAT FOR MIDTERM DRAFT: – Type your work in a MS Word file; – 3 FULL pages of text minimum; this means you can write more if you feel inspired. In other words, write as much as your inspiration allows, but the minimum for the draft version of your paper must be 3 pages built around your drafty outline as describe below; – Paper must be double-spaced throughout; – Use Times New Roman or Garamond font, size 12 – Margins should be 1 inch left, right, top, and bottom. – Paper must have a SEPARATE “Works Cited” page attached at the end. This page does not count towards the 3-page minimum mentioned above. This means you will have 3 pages of text and one additional page containing your bibliography/works cited. – Paper must use the Chicago Manual of Style, available both here on the Web (General info: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/chicago_manual_of_styl e_17th_edition.html; Sample Paper: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/documents/2018021612 42_717_10.pdf), or attached on the page where you got this file from. The preparation of the draft outline will have to follow the below guidelines: STEP 1: Produce an outline and include it on your essay COVER PAGE. The outline is basically a presentation of the main sections of your paper organized like the table of contents in a book. It gives a general 3 Overall Topic of Your Paper Your name Class info Outline Introduction ……. p. 1 1. Title/Subheading of First Section ……. p. 1 2. Title/Subheading of Second Section ….. ……. p. 2 3. Title/Subheading of Third Section ……. p. 2 Conclusion……. p. 3 STEP TWO: Organize and produce your essay sections. Here is where the details of your essay sections are laid out, section by section. For this essay, we shall be using the Chicago Manual of Style. You can see a sample Chicago Manual of Style essay presentation on this link: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/documents/201802161242_717 _10.pdf . While that sample does not use headings and sub-headings, do follow that Chicago Style presentation for the main body of your essay, except that, while doing so, you must include the section headings that you produced in your outline above. Thus, your essay will generally be presented as below: 1. INTRODUCTION: In your introduction, you must clearly articulate what you are going to show, argue and/or demonstrate in your paper; for this to work well, people generally begin the introduction with general ideas about Africa, then, in a second move, they generally announce the THESIS STATEMENT, that is, the main ideas they are going to work on and how they are going to prove or support them; these ideas are generally presented as the things you plan to demonstrate, show or prove; they also are generally presented in a way that reflects what the main sections of your essay are going to be, based on the outline you produced. For the Midterm Draft, your introduction must be full and complete. In other words, write it fully as if this was the final version of your essay. 2. THE BODY OF YOUR ESSAY DRAFT, in which you provide: a. SUB-HEADINGS: Each of your essay sections must be introduced by a short sub-heading. These would be the same as the headings used in your outline page; b. SUMMARIES: For the Midterm Draft, we may produce summaries as opposed to full-fledged developments. Because this is still a draft of your essay, instead of actually beginning to do a fullfledged writing of your sections, what I expect is a summary of about 100-200 words that includes: o What you will be showing, demonstrating and/or arguing in each section; do not hesitate to be literal by saying “In this section, I am going to argue that….” o The book Excerpt(s) that you will be using to support your point in each section. Do not hesitate to be literal by saying: “This is the excerpt I am going to use for this section because I believe that it will help me argue that…” This means that, to support your arguments, you will need to use at least one appropriate and well-chosen book excerpt per section from each of the four main books used in this class (Ethnic Politics; The Black Man’s Burden; Why Nations Fail; Black African Cinema). In other words, each section of your essay will have to contain at least ONE excerpt from any of the four books. NOTE: It’s only once you have satisfied this minimum requirement that, if you so choose, you may use additional excerpts from the additional readings provided, if any (that is, excerpts from Daniel Mengara’s Images of Africa, William Cohen’s The French Encounter with Africans, or Mbiti’s African Traditional Religions, or even others). AGAIN, this does not mean that all four books must be quoted 4 in each section in a way that would cause you to have four excerpts per section; rather, it means that, based on your arguments, you will choose for each section only the excerpt from any book that best support what you are saying, using them only where appropriate. As such, a given book may not be mentioned at all in a given section if what you are saying in that section does not lend itself to the elements that this book provides. However, each section must have at least one excerpt quoted, no matter what book from our list it comes from. NOTE: The Book Excerpts MUST be FULLY typed into your draft; however, they do not count towards the 100-200 words that summarize your ideas. ALSO: A book or article can be used as source for your essay ONLY if it is part of our syllabus and /or I provided scanned PDFs or photocopies of it on Canvas or in class. You cannot use external sources not used in this class. § NOTE ON FILM SCENES: You must also, in addition to the book excerpts as indicated above, use AT LEAST ONE SCENE from the films used in this class to support your arguments. For the Midterm Draft, you can use scenes only from the TWO films used SO FAR in this class (Lumumba and Sankara’s Ghost). In other words, you are free to mention scenes from these films briefly in the sections where you think they will help your argument the most; AGAIN, this does not mean that the two films must be used; rather, it means that, based on your arguments, you will choose for a given section only the scene or the scenes that best support what you are saying, using them only where appropriate. As such, a given film may not be mentioned at all in a given section if what you are saying in that section does not lend itself to the scenes that movie provides. However, at least one scene from any of the films must be mentioned/cited somewhere in your essay. So, you summaries will look like this: 1. Title/Subheading of First Section In this section, I will be showing that Africa was blah blah blah and I will be using this excerpt: TYPE the exact excerpt here I will support my argument with this excerpt because I think that blah blah blah Note: Your own text must be about 100-200 words. The excerpt is not included in these 100-200 words. Note: If using a film scene, you would do the same, except that you must describe the scene and if possible quote the exact words that may have been used if referring to a specific dialogue. 3. A CONCLUSION SECTION where you can write a few concluding lines to “wrap up” your essay. A conclusion generally attempts to summarize the things you were able to show or prove, and may open the topic to new general ideas or new questions. For the Midterm Draft, you may limit yourself to stating what you think your outline as presented should allow you to show or prove. 4. A WORKS CITED SECTION, where you will list: o The four books used for this essay draft. Of course, if you used more sources, that is, more excerpts from the additional readings provided in this class (that is, excerpts from Images of Africa, The French Encounter with Africans, and others), you must list their full bibliographical information in this “Works Cited” section. o The films cited in your essay. This means you will be listing in your “Works Cited” section ONLY the bibliographical information of the film or films that you cited (that is, for the Midterm Draft, Lumumba and/or Sankara’s Ghots). 5 NOTE: Of course, these are minimalistic requirements. If you prefer to actually begin to do the real writing, feel free to do so, but at a minimum, your work should reflect what is required for the midterm draft; you will expand on your content later after we have seen additional films. You can see a sample “Works Cited” section on the Chicago Manual of Style sample essay presented on this link: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/documents/2018 02161242_717_10.pdf. IMPORTANT: Be sure to read the other instructions provided on your instructions page for this essay on Canvas if any. Also be sure to read any other document provided on that page. ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTES ON ESSAY WRITING. An essay is nothing more than a way for us to present and argue ideas, and then support them with sources such as films and books. The essay will thus, alongside our own ideas, include ideas from both PRIMARY sources as well as SECONDARY sources, that are meant to provide support to what we are saying. For our essay, the books are our PRIMARY sources since we are working directly with them, and the films are our SECONDARY sources since they are used as additional support for our arguments. The bibliographical information of each of these sources will need to be included in your bibliography/works cited page, as shown in this sample paper: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/documents/201802161242_717 _10.pdf. 1. USING SOURCES: You will need to draw specific quotes from the various books or describe specific scenes from the films that you will be citing in order to make your points. Doing so will prevent your work from being too generic, too vague and not specific enough. A generic work is one that privileges general statements, but does not provide enough in terms of concrete textual quotes from the books or concrete examples of scenes from the films to support the various arguments being made. Think of your essay in this class as you would a literary essay in which you have to analyze novels. When working with novels, you normally have to quote specific passages to help guide your thinking and arguments. Thus, if using a film, the idea is to describe scenes that help you support your lines of argument. You do not need to use all the films in each of the sections of your essay. Instead, use the films only where needed in your analysis. If a given film, say, does not have scenes that can be used in section 2 of your essay for example, then skip that film for that section and use it in a section where its scenes are more pertinent. What matters is that one scene AT LEAST from any of the films used in this class must be mentioned in your overall paper where needed the most (see each specific section for the draft or final essay above for specific instructions). If using books, you will need to quote specific passages from the readings assigned in this class to support your arguments as instructed above (I provided scanned PDFs for any additional readings on Canvas). It is expected that you will have read most the PDFs or passages assigned for reading in this class. You are not allowed to quote anything from the Web or from sources not assigned in this class. Only the readings assigned on the syllabus and/or provided in class can be used as sources to support your arguments. 2. USING CHICAGO STYLE FORMAT TO QUOTE/CITE SOURCES: We will be using the Chicago Manual of Style for our essay. This means that every paper will follow the Chicago Style format and instructions for quoting and referencing sources inside the text, as well as listing the sources used (films and books) in the Work Cited page of your paper. Again, this list will contain only those sources (films and books/articles) that you actually quoted/cited in some form or another in your paper. 6 To know how to quote and use bibliographical references based on the Chicago Manual of Style manual, visit the following links: • Citing, referencing and quoting sources within your text: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/general_format.html, • including books https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/books.html • and articles: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/periodicals.html • and films (https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/audiovisual_recordings _and_other_multimedia.html) • and using the corresponding entries in your list of works cited as shown in this sample paper: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/documents/2018021612 42_717_10.pdf. NOTE: A document summarizing how to present your bibliographical information based on the Chicago Manual of Style is also available on your instructions page for this essay on Canvas STATEMENT ON PLAGIARISM: Montclair plagiarism statement goes like so: It is Montclair State University’s policy not to tolerate plagiarism of any kind. Plagiarism is defined as the verbatim use of four or more words from an unreferenced source. This includes copying from someone else’s homework, from a book or article, the Internet, etc. without attributing the words in question (giving the author, the title, the pages, and so on). Plagiarism is severely sanctioned by the University and it may result not only in a grade of “F,” but in suspension or even expulsion from MSU. Take this statement into account. Any paper containing plagiarized statements or passages will simply be given an “F”. A paper is personal; that means the thinking and wording must be original and creative. It is therefore important for students to learn to “digest” what they have read and learned so as to be able to convey the same ideas in an original fashion using their own words and formulas. When you do quote or refer to someone’s thinking, mention the source properly with specific references to the author, pages, and other information that would allow the reader of your essay (me!) to track the source and verify the accuracy of your quotation. Remember, I do not expect perfection in these papers. I value originality more than perfection. So, purchasing a paper or having someone else do it for you so it can appear perfect will not help you at all and I will easily detect a paper that is not done by yourself (I will be asking you to provide files of your papers to me so I can submit them to the databases that check for plagiarized or purchased essays). My interest is to see you progress in your ability to handle an intellectual reflection on the issues raised in this class, and to come out of it with a sense of achievement and broadened state of mind. Ways of avoiding plagiarism: • Never copy ideas directly from a book, unless you are quoting. Rather, try to paraphrase ideas intelligently using your own words. And do not paraphrase a passage with the source book open under your eyes. Doing so will cause you to be influenced by what you are reading, ending up in plagiarism. Rather, close the book and try to remember the main gist or idea conveyed in the passage or idea you are trying to paraphrase. • Give credit to the source’s author even as you paraphrase someone else’s ideas. Cite the source and reference the page in your text! • Make sure any quotation used flows naturally with the rest of your text and, at the same time, aligns with your demonstration and argument (makes sense and supports your thinking well). • Do not mention names of authors in your essay that you did not actually read. If you use as source the author of an article in a collective book edited by a given person (such as Images of Africa), reference the 7 actual author of the article quoted or referenced (See the sample Chicago Manual of Style links provided above) • Every author quoted or referenced in text must be listed in your bibliography or Works Cited section. • Never use a paper that you wrote for one class in another class, and never use another student’s paper and present it as your own. • Never copy a paper from online sites and never buy papers from online “shops”; I am able to track the stylistic differences between your usual work and work written by someone else and there are databases available to professors for checking plagiarized work;
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