Group Essay #1

Group Essay Prompt
Ned Weidner
Fall 2016

Background: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me offers a personal history of what it is like to be “black” in the United States. For Coates and some of the other authors we have covered, race is a social construction. For scholars who adhere to a social constructionist view on race, being “black” means “being at the bottom, a human turned to object, object turned to pariah” (Coates 55). This definition of “black” has often been referred to as being Othered. For this essay, I would like you to show how one particular group of humans is “at the bottom” and objectified as an Other. This is a two-part essay:

First Part: Show how one group of people is objectified as an Othered.
– How is this group objectified?
– How do institutional structures create inequalities for this group?
– How do social obstacles create inequalities for this group?
– What are some of the effects of these institutional and social inequalities on the people of this group?

Second Part: Offer a solution for how you might use your college degree to combat the inequalities Coates and others we have read describe. Note: This need not be a step-by-step proposal, but it should offer a detailed approach for addressing some (if not all) of the institutional and social obstacles you described in Part One.

Step-By-Step Guide:
1. Make a plan for how you will collaborate.
2. Choose an “Othered” group.
3. Do preliminary research in library and online.
4. Decide on which major themes you will focus. Note: Here you will need to hone in on major key terms and use those to search for more articles later.
5. Do more research. Choose academic articles that write about the major themes.
6. Summarize main points of articles and pull out important quotations.
7. Make a list of important quotations and points that you plan to use and make in your essay.
8. Draft a Shitty version of Part One. How will you collaborate to do this? Will you all draft sections and then join later? Will you sit together and draft one shitty version in-person?
9. Do more research if necessary.
10. Draft a shitty version of Part Two.
11. Revise both Part One and Part Two. Note: It often works best if one person does the final edit so that the final draft sounds like one person wrote it.
12. Bring a Rough Draft to class and be prepared to discuss it.
13. Revise Rough Draft according to peer and instructor feedback.

Tips for success:
– Be careful to use ideas from at least four sources.
– Remember to focus your essay around a central thesis.
– Remember to refer back to that thesis at various points throughout your essay. Your essay should begin with an interesting hook.
– Your argument should be supported using evidence from the text, which should also be analyzed in detail.
– A solid essay will also provide a summative conclusion.

Particulars: You must use quotations, summaries, or paraphrases from at least five different articles or books. You are required to use Between the World and Me for one of your sources.
Essay length: 5-8 pages. MLA Format. Times New Roman. 12 pt font.
Rough Draft Due:
Final Draft Due:


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