an argument to define ​America​ in a illuminating way given the essays and excerpts concerning American culture

Assignment Description:​ ​Make an argument to define ​America​ in a way that readers will find
illuminating given the essays and excerpts concerning American culture in ​Read, Reason, Write​,
as well as the supplementary readings on our Blackboard site. You must cite at least two of the
assigned readings to support your argument.

Take care not to define ​America​ as a dictionary, encyclopedia, or other outside source defines it.
Instead, articulate a precise and defendable definition of your own, a definition whose merits you
explain throughout your paper. To explain and clarify your definition, you should also discuss
your view in relation to competing perspectives on what America is, or what it represents.

Audience​: Your readers are college students in American or international universities who have
not taken the time to analyze what America, or being American, really means. They are open to
being informed and persuaded.

Context​: Aided by the first few chapters in ​Read, Reason, Write​, we have discussed and written
about what an argument is, including how differing understandings of a term may rest at the heart
of an argument. We have discussed, for instance, how different definitions of marriage emerge
from various belief systems and traditions and how those definitions include, exclude, respect,
frustrate, control, and liberate people. As this and other examples show, precise and carefully
supported and explained definitions of a fuzzy term can change minds and shape actions. Now is
your opportunity to define a term in a way that you see fit, not as a dictionary or encyclopedia
defines it, but as you think the term should be defined so as to influence readers in a certain way.

Length & Formatting​: At least 3 pages, no more than 6 pages; typed; double­spaced; MLA or
APA formatting and style.

Purpose​: Your purpose is to present your readers with insight regarding the definition of ​America​,
to demonstrate that you have thought creatively, critically, and carefully about the topic, and to
put forth and organize your ideas in such a way that persuades your readers.

Organization​: Your paper should be thesis­driven with unified, coherent, and sequenced
paragraphs, as well as well developed, connected ideas supported by specific evidence and
examples, including quotations and paraphrases from readings.

Resources​:
Chapter 7​ offers in­depth suggestions for arguing for a definition.
Chapter 14​ provides reminders about MLA & APA styles and formatting, including how
to integrate quotations properly and how to cite sources in a Works Cited page.
Chapter 22 ​includes readings on America, any of which you can use in your paper.
You can also use the ​Supplementary Readings on America​ in our Blackboard shell.

*For this first major paper, you should ​only​ use and discuss readings and sources that were
assigned to the class. You may briefly refer to common knowledge, such as current or historical
events or people, to support your ideas, but you should not need to cite any unassigned readings.

Grading​:
Refer to the Major Paper #1 Grading Rubric on Blackboard for specific information
regarding the criteria that will be used to evaluate the essay.

Late papers will be penalized according to the policy for late papers outlined in the syllabus.

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