Description Topic Overview: For this assignment, you will attempt to debunk, dispute, or disprove a hoax, conspiracy theory, or incorrectly held common belief. There are many ways for you to interpret this concept. You can interpret this concept literally–as in literal conspiracies or hoaxes (9/11 truthers, Bigfoot, JFK assassination conspiracies, etc.), or you may interpret it metaphorically, academically, scientifically, socially, medically, etc., as in semi-widely held beliefs that are nonetheless wrong (examples: you can flush “toxins” out of your body using special cleanses or foot baths; the earth is only 6000 years old; you can cure diseases with essential oils; the symptoms of a heart attack are the same for men and women, etc.). *Your audience for this assignment is an interdisciplinary audience of college students, scholars, and inquisitive adults (the kind who watch PBS). The genre for this assignment is a researched argument.* focus on strategies for counterargument, counterclaims, and contradiction. You will also integrate visual media into your essay in the form of photos, charts, maps, graphs, trees, or graphics. You will compose an essay with a strong thesis statement and evidence, coherent body paragraphs, and a strong conclusion. The sources can be anything you want (photo, audio, map, article, website, video, interview, survey, census, data, graphs, trees, art, literature, book, etc.) as long as they meet the following two parameters: A) You must have sources from at least two different modes (ie-print and digital, textual and visual, etc.) and B) One of your sources must be accessed through our library (catalog, database). As long as they meet those 2 criteria, your source selection is entirely up to you. You should choose the sources that have the most credibility, accuracy, and relevance to your topic. You should choose the best sources to answer your research question. Evaluation Criteria (Rubric): An essay that achieves excellence on this assignment will be distinguished in the following criteria: The writer has a clearly defined purpose and argument demonstrated with a strong thesis statement. The writer illustrates the significance or importance of his or her topic. The writer uses five sources, including sources from at least two different modes and at least one from the library. The writer engages responsibly and appropriately with research that he or she uses as specific evidence and examples. The writer’s evidence supports his or her argument directly and is the best evidence for the research question the writer chose. The writer effectively employs strategies for counterargument, counterclaims, and/or contradiction. The writer effectively incorporates a visual into the body of his or her essay, such as a chart, graph, photo, graphic, map, tree, or image. The writer cites his or her sources effectively using summary, paraphrase, and/or direct quotation. The writer’s paper is succinct and tightly composed, with coherent body paragraphs. The writer’s essay is appropriate for a general academic audience. The writer meets the standards of clarity, accuracy, logic, significance, fairness, precision, and relevance. The writer uses appropriate spelling, grammar, and mechanics. The essay is in MLA format, including for the Works Cited page and overall document design. The essay is approximately 1100-1200 words (about 5-6 pages double-spaced).
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