BWA

The Last Big Project(s)

Playlist Paper on the Civil Rights Movement, In Two Parts

Nov. 16[1] (drafts due Nov. 2/Nov. 9)

Dec. 5[2] (drafts draft due Nov. 14/Nov. 30)

NOTE: Oct. 31, Class Meeting in the Library, 2nd Floor by the Reference Desk

Your Mission:

One Part—Five Songs (historical playlist):

Identify songs from the Civil Rights movement to create a playlist (1950s and 1960s). Conduct research on the movement in these two decades and the songs associated with it, and musical artists who were involved. See what you find. Research questions could be: what songs were sung for which events? Were these recent songs or older hymns? What is the history of these songs? What significance do you see attached to these songs? Are there songs that you find particularly moving? Of all that you find, pick five (5) songs to write more about. Compose 2,000 words on some combination of the following: the songs, the artists, the events, what the music means to you. You will need a works cited section for this blog page (research paper) that adheres strictly to the MLA format—the works cited may appear at the end of your document, but parenthetical citations to your research should be appropriately scattered throughout your writing. You may also link where appropriate to any sources that are readily available online (though you’ll still need the MLA parenthetical citation!).

One to two images required that further illuminate the project.

Include the playlist on your blog page using playlist.com or another playlist service of your choosing.

One Other Part—Eight Songs (your playlist):

Identify one Civil Rights event that particularly moves you, inspires you, or shocks you (from the 1950s or 1960s). You’ll conduct research on this event and create a playlist for it (the event may be one day, or multiple days, or just a moment). Dig deeply to discover, as best as you can, how this event happened, what the result was, who was involved, what it meant to the Civil Rights movement overall—get as many details as possible from multiple sources. Once you have completed your research, compose a playlist of eight (8) songs that reflect your interpretation of this event. You may choose old songs, new songs, any genre of song for this list. Write an introduction to the event—something that lets the reader know what happened, when, who was involved, why it happened, how it played out. Then, for each track, compose a paragraph explaining what that song expresses about your interpretation of the event. In choosing each track, remember your selection can be based on whatever criteria you deem appropriate: lyrics, style, tone, context, historical period, and so on. The content of the list is up to you—it’s your interpretation of the event, but each paragraph for each song must credibly explain the connection. Compose around 2,000 words for this project and a MLA works cited page. This is a separate blog page.

One to two images required that further illuminate the project.

Include the playlist on your blog page using playlist.com or another playlist service of your choosing.

IMPORTANT: as you include an appropriate 1-2 images to support your work for both parts, be sure these are your own work (photos or art) or work in the public domain or work licensed through creative commons for sharing. Be sure you license your blog page as needed if you are using images created by others that are licensed to share. (You may have licensed your entire blog this way already…)

You may choose which of the parts to work on first—the deadlines remain the same. Work together to share ideas and resources—be a community in all things.

How this Connects to Our Learning Objectives:

An important goal of our course is to analyze and create writing in multiple genres. This assignment, in its two parts, is a “mash-up” of a few familiar genres: the narrative, research paper, and music playlist.

Academic research is an important part of learning to think, entering into a larger conversation about a topic or subject; learning to be information literate—digging into the world of databases and the web to find information that you can use to support and expand your own thinking. You’ll need to do research pretty regularly in college, so we start now.

A narrative is what we all naturally do when we share ideas and stories—but like any skill, we need practice to be really great at narrative. But you’ve already been doing that all along on your blogs this term (I may have planned it this way…). Surprise.

You’ve also played with music a bit—creating playlists just for your own. Playlists can communicate interesting insights into the person who created it as well as reflections upon the event it is meant to illuminate in some way.  Playlists can be a fun and interesting way to gaze upon something that is both of you and beyond you. As you develop your playlists, you will be challenged to decide exactly which songs and images are most effective at communicating the distinctiveness of your subject. The strongest playlists will be those whose tracks are the most carefully chosen and most precisely explained. In this way, your playlists build upon one of the writing skills we’ve begun to practice in class: noticing and communicating specific details that others might overlook. (We’ve been exploring our world in unusual ways as directed and inspired by the Keri Smith book!)

Research Requirements for this Two-Part Project:

Before you begin this process, please read Randall McClure’s essay (if you haven’t already) in Writing Spaces: “Googlepedia: Turning Information Behaviors into Research Skills” (http://writingspaces.org/mcclure–googlepedia).

Dr. McClure will be here Wed. afternoon, Oct. 19—you’ll rarely have such an opportunity to ask an author about writing again—so have questions ready: Goodwyn Hall, 109, 3:30 pm.

We’ll also work in the library on several days… we’ll have an information literacy session with an AUM librarian and spend time working in our own library; you may explore the state archives or the Rosa Parks library downtown or any other library that you might be interested in exploring (like the Library of Congress—great web site—hint, hint).

This project requires that you do quite a bit of research. It also requires the use of images. Remember that images are sources in the same way that a book or article is a source. For this project you may use any combination of print and electronic sources you wish, and you may use all online sources if you wish. Before conducting a generic Google search for information and images, all I ask is that you do this:

And, of course, read the “Googlepedia” article!

What to Include in Your Blog Page for Five Songs (the historical Civil Rights playlist):

A title that indicates what these songs say about the Civil Rights Movement
A photo or image of the Civil Rights Movement that makes sense for what you are exploring, song-wise, cited appropriately
An additional photo or image, if appropriate, to illustrate or explain your list
A 2,000 word blog page (not including works cited):
–       What makes these songs distinctively intriguing for the Civil Rights movement-       Concise background information on the songs, the events, the artists, so on.
Five “tracks” or song choices, including the title and artist, cited appropriately
For each track, a single paragraph (approximately 100 words each) that:
–       Contributes to what you want to convey-       Draws the readers’ attention to a specific aspect of the song (ex: a quotation from the lyrics, a description of the song’s style, context, or historical period that might be relevant to this work)

–       Uses the research you’ve done as evidence for this song’s inclusion in your list

–       Includes any commentary you’d like to offer about the choice of song

A Works Cited listing in MLA format at the end of playlist
–       Remember to include citations for each song, each image, and any other sources used in your writing-       Refer to the Purdue OWL for MLA formatting guidelines.

 

What else? What would you like to add or delete?


*    *    * 

What to Include in Your Blog Page for Eight Songs (your Civil Rights playlist):

A title that indicates the something about you and why you picked the event you did.
A photo or image of something related to the Civil Rights event you picked.
An overview the event that explains:
–       What makes why this event matters in the larger world and why it matters to you-       Concise background information so that your readers comprehend why this matters
Eight “tracks” or song choices, including the title and artist, cited appropriately
For each track, a single paragraph (approximately 100 words each) that:
–       Contributes to a reader’s understanding of the event and your musical interpretation of it through a particular song-       Draws attention to a specific aspect of the song (ex: a quotation from the lyrics, a description of the song’s style, context, or historical period that might be relevant to your profile)

–       Uses the research you’ve done

–       Includes any commentary you’d like to offer about the choice of song

A Works Cited listing in MLA format at the end of this blog page.
–       Remember to include citations for each song, each image, and any other sources used in your paper.-       Refer to the Purdue OWL for information on MLA citations.

 

What else? What would you like to add or delete?


[1] The last class before Thanksgiving break—no extension will be given for this project.

[2] The last day of our class meets for the fall term.

*     *     *     *     *

Exploration Blog Page

Due On Your Blog Weekly from September 14–October 17

The Purpose of this Assignment

Your weekly explorations are primarily a way to help you enrich your powers of observation, your skill at communicating specific details, your originality as a researcher, and your ability to think creatively and critically about the things most people tend to overlook. All of these abilities are essential for good writing. They are also, incidentally, the characteristics of fine artists, scientists, and other people who do the world’s most interesting work.

Your Mission

Each week you will choose an exploration from How to Be An Explorer of the World and log your findings on your blog on a page designated as “Exploration.” You’ll need to date your entries each week so we know what you picked for that week (“page” entries in WordPress are not automatically dated when you add new text/material). You need to include the date of your entry as well as the page number and exploration number from the book. Thank you.

You’ll need to be ready to share, in class, something special that you really enjoyed or learned and why—on the dates listed below. The book offers well over 50 different ways to explore the world. Most of them are quirky and/or fun, and if you read the book’s bibliography (and please do) you will see that the explorations are based on a rich foundation of classic and contemporary studies in fields ranging from psychology or musicology to material culture to pedagogy. Have fun with this, but also take it seriously. If you do the work with an open mind and really engage the process you will cultivate important skills and insights.

The book’s explorations fall into four basic categories:

  • Collecting things (sometimes called making a “museum”)
  • Writing about or documenting things (this can be done visually, too)
  • Making things (drawings, sculptures, photographs, etc.)
  • Experiencing and observing things

Each week you will be given a category from which to choose your exploration. Some explorations might qualify as more than one category. It will be up to you to determine the best fit for yourself. Complete each exploration and your post by the midnight before each class listed below from Sept. 14 through the October 17. Sharing will happen in class on the days below.

(We’ll also be reading some Writing Spaces chapters from time to time to supplement your weekly work, and beginning serious work on the playlist project during this time.)

Due Date Category
# 1: Due by Sept. 14 (W) Writing about / documenting
# 2: Due by Sept. 19 (M) Collecting
# 3: Due by Sept. 26 (M) Experiencing and observing
# 4: Due by Oct. 3 (M) Your choice
# 5: Due by Oct. 10 (M) Making
# 6: Due by Oct. 17 (M) Collecting (or your choice)
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