least two professional scholars W r i t i n g

least two professional scholars W r i t i n g

The purpose of this assignment is to further develop the class conversation with regard to the topics covered in any of the assigned texts (e.g. Gibbons) and other students’ comments.

Free write 500-1000 words (can be in paragraphs, bullet points, etc.) reflecting on some of the following elements from the last two weeks:

  • points of contention or disagreement
  • times when you changed your mind about something
  • interpretations of the assigned texts
  • potential research questions (relevant and unique)
  • connections you have made between different ideas
  • positions you feel comfortable taking on discussed topics
  • areas where more clarification is needed
  • useful concepts/keywords you might add to your research vocabulary
  • any other interesting reactions or insights you have had

As much as possible, use this opportunity to push your own thinking further and to push the class conversation in a direction that will suit your interests. This is a chance to brainstorm, as well as to carve out space for any potential research topics you’d like to bring into the conversation. Keep your comments tied closely to previous texts and posts (citing them as specifically as possible), but contribute your own new ideas in relation to them.

Remember that you will need to situate your research project in the context of the class conversation, and you are required to cite at least two other students in your Contexts Project (CP). Start to look for ways to connect your research interests to the research interests of other students, so that it will be easier to meet the expectations of these future assignments.

From the CP prompt:

The contextualizing in the CP must be supported by a broad and varied selection of research, including primary and secondary sources, scholarship, journalism, policy papers, reports, case law, and other sources as appropriate for your topic. While both you and your instructor will work to determine an appropriate scope and variety of research for your essay, at a minimum it should draw evidence from 6-8 sources, including at least TWO professional scholars in conversation and at least TWO other students in this class. Keep in mind that the total number of sources for the entire project’s bibliography is 15-20 sources.


The scholarly community assumed to be your primary target audience is our class, so the message should be clearly relevant to us, demonstrating attention to prior class conversations, online posts, and assigned readings. Papers addressing some abstract audience beyond the existing class discussion will not meet the expectations of this assignment.


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