avoid using general terms like “ everybody ,” “ everything ,” “ anything ,” H u m a n i t i e s

avoid using general terms like “ everybody ,” “ everything ,” “ anything ,” H u m a n i t i e s

(This essay requires a lot of textual evidence and a deep understanding of the book. You need to choose one of the books central figures to analyze how people in emerging countries experience the modern global economy. More details below. A strong thesis is required and a clear argument with a lot of TEXTUAL evidence and ANALYSIS of the textual evidence.



“I quickly grew impatient with poignant snapshots of Indian squalor: the ribby children with flies in their eyes and other emblems of abjectness that one can’t help but see within five minutes of walking into a slum. For me . . . the more important line of inquiry is something that takes longer to discern. What is the infrastructure of opportunity in this society? Whose capabilities are given wing by the market and a government’s economic and social policy? Whose capabilities are squandered? By what means might that ribby child grow up to be less poor?”—Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (247-8)

In your second paper, you will be using the ideas and concepts from Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers to analyze how people in emerging countries experience the modern global economy. For this assignment, choose one of the book’s central figures (i.e., Abdul, Asha, Manju, Sunil, Zehrunisa) and write about their encounters with the new era of capitalism in India. What are their strategies for advancing in this dynamic society? What do their successes or failures tell us about inequality and opportunity in this new age of globalization?

The essay should be five pages in length, typed, double-spaced, and titled. Concentrate on writing a clear and concise thesis, with effective use of evidence from the text (i.e., multiple citations and quotes). Please note that your paper must have an argument.


1. Formatting:

Title: Use one. Your title should be a means of expressing your particular approach to a subject—a mini-summary of your topic.

Citations and Page Numbers: Number your pages. For MLA citations, use parentheses, the author’s name, and the page number (MacDonald 13), usually placed at the end of the sentence. Make sure to attach a Works Cited page.

Honor Code: Please include the Babson Honor Code with all submissions, per the requirements of the syllabus.

Punctuating Book Titles: The titles of books, journals and magazines, movies and television shows should be italicized. Shorter works like articles, poems, and short stories may be placed in quotes.

2. Issues of Argument:

Argument: An essay has an argument, which does not necessarily mean a dispute or disagreement. Instead, think about an argument as providing an interpretation of events and data—explaining to readers what is important about some episode or figure. You might also think of an argument as providing an answer to a larger question.

Have an Introduction, Body, and Conclusion: In the introduction, present the essay topic and your thesis (your main argument of the paper). The thesis should be one to two sentences long. The body is the main portion of the paper. In the body, you should present the evidence to support your thesis. Each and every paragraph should support the paper’s main argument—be sure to demonstrate how the evidence supports your thesis. In your conclusion, summarize your argument and main points. In the conclusion, you may also relate your argument to any present-day issues or present any larger moral questions.

3. Issues in Writing:

Verb Tense: Be consistent in your verb tense. When writing about historical events, use the past tense. When analyzing the action in a work of literature, use the present tense.

Third Person: Use third person voice in a formal academic paper (not “you,” “we” or “I”).

Contractions: Avoid contractions.

Quotes: If a quote is more than four lines long, it should be formatted in a free-standing block, and indented without quotation marks. Remember that while a quote uses double quotation marks, a within a quote requires single quotations marks. Attribute a quote to a speaker or source (Example: MacDonald recalled, “Southie was all ours and we never wanted to leave.”) With quote use, in American English, the final quotation mark goes after a period.

Avoid sentence fragments: Write in complete sentences (You must have a subject, verb, and object.)

Write in specifics: Avoid using general terms like “everybody,” “everything,” “anything,” or “something.” Tell your reader who or what, exactly, you are talking about. Be as specific as possible about your subject or point of argument.

Strive for “lean, mean” prose: Avoid the “to be” verb form. Use forceful, active verbs. Avoid the passive voice. Minimize the use of adjectives, adverbs, or qualifiers– especially “really,” “very” and “truly.” Try to avoid wordiness and run-on sentences. Cut redundant sentences.

Paragraph length: While there are no hard and fast rules about this issue, reasonable paragraph length is often a sign of a well-organized essay. In general, a paragraph should be at least three sentences in length, but not more than ten sentences (depending on the point one is making).

Type of Text: Be aware of the type of text you are analyzing. For example, a novel is a book-length work of fiction. A memoir is a non-fiction, first-person account of one’s experiences.

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